Casual Games on Kickstarter: Tranquility, Mystery, and Crime | Casual Game Revolution

Casual Games on Kickstarter: Tranquility, Mystery, and Crime


This month’s Kickstarter games come with several themes centered around crime, from a Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty game to ones about burglary and prohibition. There’s also a game of cooperative (but silent) puzzle solving and a set collection card game.

Capone: The Business of Prohibition

Capone: The Business of Prohibition (El Dorado Games) – Each round, bottle tokens are drawn from the bag and placed on the truck in the center of the table. Next, three client cards are dealt to each player. Players draft one, place it behind their player screen, and pass the remainder onto another player. Players keep drafting clients until there are no more cards in hand. Each client will be requesting bottles of specific colors. Next, players bid on the truck. The player with the highest bid claims the truck. Players may then freely trade among themselves: clients, bottles, and/or money. Next is the Capone phase. Any player with more than ten bottles must discard them all and flips the Capone coin which may make other players discard half of their bottles or lose half of their money. Finally the round ends with players serving their clients drinks by matching client cards with specific colors of bottles. The game ends after three rounds.


Tranquility (Board Game Hub) – There is a six-by-six grid in the center of the table. The goal of the game is to work together to play cards so that they will be in ascending order in the grid. There are eighty cards in total in the game. On your turn you may either play a card anywhere into the grid or you can discard two cards and draw back up to five. Cards are always discarded face-down and players cannot communicate during the game. If you play a card adjacent to another card in the grid, you compare the two numbers and must discard a number of cards equal to the difference between the two; if you play a card between two cards you check both differences, and choose the smaller number for how many to discard. If a card placement would require you to discard more than four cards, you may not place it there. If a player has no legal moves on his turn, then the players lose.

Mint Condition Comics

Mint Condition Comics (Miguel Martinez) – A set collection game about managing your own comic book collection. On your turn there are three phases. First you trade comics, either trading any two of your comics for one at the comic book shop (or one of yours for two from the shop if the two you select are of a lower rarity) or trading one of yours for one of an opponent’s of the same rarity. Next you move on to the pick phase. There are three piles of comics in the center of the table. Starting at one end, you may look at the cards in the pile and either take the pile or put it back on to the table and move on to the next pile. If you reject a pile, a new card is added to it. Finally it is the manage collection phase, during which you can put your comics into sets to score points.


Burglar (Red Herring Games) – A family-friendly game in which each player is a burglar breaking into the house. Each player is looking for three specific items of loot. On your turn you roll a die and move your piece around the room. You may move to any clear adjacent space, even diagonally. You may not move through or over furniture. If you roll a one or a two, you may move one or two spaces or you may choose to move a piece of furniture about the room to block your opponents. If you land on a treasure tile, you turn it over for all players to see. If it is one of the treasure pieces you are looking for, you remove it from the board, otherwise you turn it back facedown and leave it where you found it.

Goblin Teeth

Goblin Teeth (Jellybean Games) – Every round players bid on items in the center of the table. At the start of the round, you roll your three dice. Then on your turn you may play any number of cheat cards from your hand (these have special effects that give you advantages or inconvenience your opponents) and then you must play a die either on an item to bet on it or on the altar. The sum of all the dice you play on an item is your bid on it and the player with the highest bid on an item at the end of the round wins it. When playing a die on the altar, you choose to either draw a new cheat card or discard one that is currently active.

Clash of Minds: Holmes vs Moriarty

Clash of Minds: Holmes vs Moriarty (Creativemaker) – One player takes on the role of Holmes and one takes on the role of Moriarty. Moriarty is trying to commit a crime and Holmes is trying to prevent it. There are three elements to the crime: victim, weapon, and type of crime. Moriarty looks at the cards which represent these elements and chooses which of the three tracks to place each one face-down. During the game, players will be playing influence cards into these tracks, trying to win control of them from the other player. However, different elements of the crime may benefit Moriarty or Sherlock when they are revealed, so Moriarty may attempt to bluff Sherlock into revealing certain elements of the crime and prevent him from focusing on others. A different location card is also revealed each round, which will have its own effects on the gameplay.

Small Samurai Empires

Small Samurai Empires (Archona Games)Small Samurai Empires is played over three rounds with each round having two phases. During the first phase, players plan their actions, placing tokens face-down on the board. During the second phase these actions are resolved. Actions include growing your army, moving them around the board, attacking opponents, gathering resources (which are used to improve or activate other actions), and building fortifications. At the end, players will score points for the areas they controlled at the end of each round based on the final values of these areas at the end of the game.

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.