Casual Games on Kickstarter: Pirate Ships and Mafia Dogs | Casual Game Revolution

Casual Games on Kickstarter: Pirate Ships and Mafia Dogs

Fire in the Hole

There is an eclectic mix of casual games on Kickstarter this month, including several dexterity games, a roll-and-write game, multiple cards games, a very creatively packaged party game, and a book of light-weight RPGs.

Fire in the Hole

Fire In The Hole (McMiller) – The game is played with a pop-up ship that has a series of connected boxes that you are trying to toss your cannonball pieces into. On your turn you play a card, either a fire card which allows you to roll the dice and then toss a cannonball in different ways into the ship, or a sabotage card which has a special ability such as allowing you to turn the ship around or move an opponent’s cannonball from one space in the ship to another. The first player to connect four of his own cannonballs in the ship wins the game. Plus, there is a fun pirate shanty at the start of the Kickstarter video, so it’s well worth watching in its own right.

Boss Dog

Boss Dog: The Card Game (Boss Dog Games) – You are trying to impress the boss dog by collecting the best food. Each player starts the game with four cards and one dog card. On your turn you draw a card from the deck and then may play a card. If you play a food card, it goes next to your dog. Each dog needs a certain number of food cards before you can score that dog and then draw a new one. You can play garbage cards next to an opponent's dog, or play an action card. Action cards have a range of abilities such as stealing an opponent's dog or a food card. The player with the most points wins the game after the end card is drawn from the deck.


Pathways (Frank Sarro) – The game board is made up of rows of holes. Players attempt to flick disks across the board into their opponent's first row in order to score a point. As disks fall into holes in the intervening rows, the board fills, making it easier to flick across it. There are three different modes of play, as well as a game mat add-on that can unlock further game modes, as well.

Mondrian: Color in Motion

Mondrian: Color in Motion (Binary Cocoa) – Each player has a hand of three cards. Each card is a rectangle made up of three colored squares. On your turn there are three phases. During the first phase, you place one card face-up to at least partially overlap a card already on the playing area. The card must be placed so that a colored square on the new card matches a colored square it is played on top of. Any overlapping squares must match the colors beneath. Also, if there are any adjacent colors to a square played to an empty area, the colors must also match. You then place a white marker on top of the newly played card, with one marker on each square that is overlapping another square beneath it. Next you move onto the jumping phase. You capture a marker by jumping a marker over it from any square. You may jump diagonally. You may use multiple markers to jump on a single turn, capturing multiple markers. But a marker may only jump if it can capture. A captured marker is worth one point. Finally, you end your turn by drawing a new card.


Dated (Josh Junge) – A trivia game for players who aren't very good at trivia. In Dated, players take turns drawing a card and choosing from one of the five categories on the card (categories are movies, music, show, game/toy, and event/miscellaneous). He then reads the title or event from that category. All the other players take turns guessing the year that title was released or event occurred. Players cannot guess a date that another player has already guessed. Once everyone has guessed, the player who guessed closest to the correct date wins the card. The first player to win ten cards wins the game.

Motor City

Motor City (Motor City Gameworks) – In this roll-and-write game, each player takes two player sheets. Each sheet shows various tracks that you will be marking off during the game. Several tracks intersect, unlocking bonuses and advantages when you mark them off. The game is played over eight rounds. Each round, you roll a set amount of dice based on the number of players. You then place the dice according to color and number on the action board. Most spaces on the action board have an ability associated with them. Each player drafts one die and uses it, then everyone drafts a second die and uses that as well. When you draft a die, you also get to perform the bonus from the action space it was on. After players have finished drafting dice, all players get to use the ability from the action board space that the remaining die occupies.

Tiny Tome

Tiny Tome (Long Tail Games)Tiny Tome is a collection of fifty RPG's, with the rules of each game fitting on a single-page of the book. These make the games light on rules, and easy to start playing. From running a tea shop to life as a zombie, from living as prehistoric humans to manning a ship, there's a huge range of games and themes inside the book. The games also come from a wide range of designers.

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.

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