Casual Game Crowdfunding: Gods, Nightmares, and Screams

Ephyran

This month brings a heavy dose of horror themed games to Kickstarter from games about escaping dark castles and nightmare realms to iconic monsters turned into adorable children. But it’s not all spooks, with the beautiful artwork of Rival Realms and the Greek gods of Ephyran.

Ephyran

Ephyran (Elements Editions) – As a Greek god, compete to build the most prestigious city. Each player starts the game with five cards. Each card has two halves, a territory and a support card. On your turn you can add a territory to your city and build a chain of territories by type, play a support card to help you, or discard a card. At the end of your turn you draw a new card either from the deck or from the top of the discard pile. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game, with multiple factors contributing to your total such as having a wide variety of magical creatures appear in your territories and doubling your points in the territory that matches your god.

Lucidity

Lucidity (Fox Tale Games) – In this press-your-luck dice game, players are rolling dice and trying to escape the nightmare realm, or may just become a nightmare themselves. On your turn you select between one of three different sleep tracks which affects how many dice you’ll be pulling from the bag. After rolling dice if you haven’t rolled too many exhaust icons, you can always move up the sleep track and roll again, but with even more dice this time. After you choose your sleep track, you pull a certain number of dice out of the bag, and choose two to put back. Dice come in four different colors and show different symbols. Different colors are more risky to roll than others. Some symbols will give you points, which you need to earn in order to win the game. Some symbols are Hunt symbols, too many of those and you lose the game. There are also Shadow symbols which will often activate special abilities, such as allowing another player to force you to reroll a die or you may have to draw another dream die to roll. If you end up rolling enough of the Shadow symbols of one color, you become a Nightmare, which gives you different special abilities based on the color of nightmare you become.

Scream or Die

Scream or Die (Amber Palace Games) – This dice game has monsters turned into children and forced to go collect candy if they want to be turned back into their regular monstrous selves. Each round one player is the roller. He draws five dice from the bag. Dice come in various colors and some are more likely to help out a particular monster than others. Players can spend scream tokens to add more dice to the pool or to reroll them once they've been rolled. Players collect candy and scream tokens from the rolls and the first plater to get thirteen candies wins. You can read our preview of the game here.

Rival Realms

Rival Realms (Eagle Games) – In this two player card game that is set in the same world as the board game Fantastiqa, players create realms by playing region cards of increasing value in available spaces from left to right. Players must also explore the regions and travel across lands, while also engaging magical creatures to help them, and earning points for completing quests.

Escape the Dark Castle

Escape the Dark Castle (Themeborne) – Fifteen random cards are selected to create the castle and a random boss card is chosen. Each player chooses one of six characters which each comes with their own unique die and stats. The object of the game is to escape the castle by going through all the castle cards and defeating the boss. Since this is a cooperative game, if one player dies, you all lose. Players reveal the top card of the castle deck which will inform the group what they must accomplish in order to survive the card unscathed and move on. Along the way players will gather item cards to help them in their escape. The game plays in thirty minutes and has a unique art style.

Carcosa

Carcosa (One Free Elephant) – In this Lovecraftian themed, tile-laying game, at the start of your turn all your insane cultists (ones which have been used to score points on your previous turn) recover from their insanity and are ready to be used again. You then use your prophet meeple to choose which stack of tiles to draw from, but you can only select a stack that does not currently have another player's prophet on it. Tiles are double sided so you can see what type of tile you will be drawing. Once you draw a tile, you peek at the other side to see if there's a special item on it. How tiles are placed and which ones you place your cultist meeples on, earn you points. The game ends when one player has successfully summoned an Elder God or when enough tiles have been played in which case the player with the most points wins.

Disclosure: unless otherwise noted, we have not seen or played any of the above games. Our assessment of each is based on the information given on the crowdfunding project page.