Casual Games on Kickstarter: Skulduggery, Royal Machinations, and Battle Royale | Casual Game Revolution

Casual Games on Kickstarter: Skulduggery, Royal Machinations, and Battle Royale


From cooperative games that fit in a tin to asymmetrical games of social deduction, September has been a strong month for casual games on Kickstarter this year. And if you’re a fan of roll-and-writes, you’ll be particularly interested in the roll-and-write anthology book Dice & Ink.


Skulduggery! (White Flag Games) – The purpose of the game is to get the most gems, stealing them from dragon lairs. There are eight different dragon cards and each dragon will attack players based on different criteria. Each round players use value cards to manipulate the cards on the table. Value cards are worth negative and positive numbers ranging from zero to four and also come in four different fantasy races which each have their own special ability. The human cards allow you to peek at the dragon card for that round, the dwarf cards allow you to steal gems from other players, the halfling lets you swap cards in play, and the elf allows you to double the amount of any card.

Reigns: The Council

Reigns: The Council (Nerial) – Each round, another player is the monarch of the kingdom. The other players are the advisors and each take a secret goal card which determines what state they want the kingdom to be in at the end of the present monarch's reign. Each advisor also has a hand of proposal cards, and each turn each advisor plays one of these cards facedown and makes a pitch for their proposal. The king then decides which proposals to accept and which to reject and the cards are revealed. The kingdom has four trackers: church, people, army, and wealth. Each proposal will affect these tracks in different ways depending on whether they are accepted or rejected. Whenever one track becomes too weak or too powerful, the current reign ends and a new player becomes the monarch. At the end of each reign, the monarch scores points for the number of proposals he accepted, and each advisor reveals their secret goal card and scores points based on how many of the kingdom trackers are in the correct range. Once every player has been the monarch the game ends and the player with the most points wins.

Board Royale

Board Royale (Arvis Games) – A survival battle royale card game. There are two decks: resource cards and item cards. Each player starts the game with five resource cards, and four item cards are placed in the center of the table (these are available for any players to build and whenever one is taken it is immediately replaced from the item deck). On your turn there are two phases. During the first phase you either draw two resources from the deck or steal one randomly from an opponent. During the second phase, players can spend resources to buy items and place them in front of themselves. Items have different abilities such as extending your hand limit or attacking other players. Some item cards are worth escape points. If you obtain ten escape points, you escape the island and win the game. You can also win the game by attacking other players and being the last one left standing. Resources double as hit points, so if you ever run out of resources you are out of the game.

Mint Cooperative

Mint Cooperative (Five24 Labs) – Players are superheroes, working together to protect Mintopia and surrounding cities. Seven town cards are placed in the center of the table. Each city has a freshness track. Players can choose different heroes to play and different villains to defeat each game. On your turn you select a die. The die’s number determines which action you take: you may place freshness tokens on your city, move to a different city, perform your hero’s special ability or the ability on your current stunt card, reduce panic on the panic tracker, or take a unique action that is determined by the villain you are playing with. When there is only one die left unclaimed, all dice are rerolled. If you roll 4, 5, or 6, trouble cards are drawn. Trouble cards cause freshness trackers to go down on various cities, which can cause the panic level to rise. In the trouble card deck are three mayhem cards, which also raise the panic level and triggers a special action based on the villain you are playing with. If the panic level ever reaches twenty-seven points, players lose the game; if players manage to survive through three mayhem cards, they win.


Orchard (Side Room Games)Orchard is a nine card solitaire game. The game itself comes with eighteen cards. During setup you shuffle these, deal a draw pile of nine, and place the remaining cards back in the box. You then draw the top card from the deck and place it face up to start your orchard and draw two cards into your hand. Each card shows a grid of two by three trees. Trees can come in three different colors. Each turn you will play a card onto your orchard and then draw a second card. When placing a card you may rotate it 90 or 180 degrees and you play it so that at least one tree on the new card overlaps at least one tree on a card already in the orchard. Your goal is to overlap as many trees of matching colors as possible. When you do, you place a die showing the number one on top of the matching trees, to represent fruit. If you overlap matching trees where a die is already present, you rotate the die to a higher number to show an increase in the fruit. Twice per game you can overlap trees that do not match, however you will need to place a rotten fruit cube on them (which is worth negative points at the end of the game) and that tree will not be able to grow any fruit for the rest of the game. Once all nine cards are played, you count up all the dice numbers currently displayed and the resulting number is your score.

Dice & Ink

Dice & Ink: A Roll & Write Anthology (Inkwell Games)Dice & Ink is an anthology of ten roll-and-write games all in one book, and featuring eleven different designers. The pages of the book are perforated to make it easy to tear them out as desired and easy to copy. The games include a range of player counts, from solo games to games that accommodate up to six, and offer a range in complexity and themes, featuring star constellations, ship wreck survival games, space exploration, and more.


Lots (Royal N. Games) – Players are all working to build the same skyscraper on the game board, but competing for the most points while doing so. Every round, each players perform the following actions: roll the supply die and add the block indicated by that roll to their personal supply. Next, the player will choose to add one of the two blocks in their personal supply to the tower. Players score points for completing a level of the tower, for matching colored blocks, and by playing crew cards which can score points or effect gameplay. Players who reach various scores last, earn special bonuses. The player with the most points at the end of the game 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.