Casual Games on Kickstarter: Aliens, Mysteries, and Pirates | Casual Game Revolution

Casual Games on Kickstarter: Aliens, Mysteries, and Pirates


This month, Kickstarter is host to two escape room games, duck-centered alien abductions, wizard duels, pirate battles, river adventures, and (just for a change of pace) organizing your junk drawer.


Abducktion (Very Special Games) – Players are aliens seeking to abduct ducks onto their space ships! Each player has a board that holds ten ducks. The color of the ducks you start the game with is randomized. Three formation cards are dealt to the center of the table. Each one is worth a set number of points. In order to claim and score a formation card, you must arrange ducks of the same color on your board in the pattern shown on the card. When you claim a formation card, a new one is drawn to replace it. Everyone has a hand of three action cards. On your turn you can play up to three of your action cards to move ducks on your board to try and complete formations, or on an opponent’s board to try to set them back. Once all the formation cards have been claimed, the player with the most points wins the game.

Doomensions: Pop-Up Mystery Manor

Doomensions: Pop-Up Mystery Manor (Curious Correspondence) – This escape-room-in-a-box game features a 3D pop-up house with eight different rooms. Half escape room, but also half murder mystery, players have a folder of evidence to read through, while an answer wheel will help them check the answers to their various deductions.

Guns or Treasure

Guns or Treasure (Castillo Games) – Each player is a pirate captain! The game is divided into three phases. At the start of phase one, each player is dealt six ship cards. Simultaneously, each player will select three cards and play them to build their ships, then draw back up to six, and do the same again. You will continue to do this until each player has played twelve cards. You can start a new ship by playing a card face-up or add to an existing ship by playing a card face-down onto it. There are three types of cards: treasure, guns, and bombs. Treasure and guns card have different values. During phase two, players take turns choosing to attack or retreat. To attack, you pick one of your ships and attack another player's ship using your ship. All cards in both ships are revealed, and the ship with the highest combined value of guns wins, taking all treasure from both ships. If a bomb is in one of the two ships, then both ships explode and no one gets any treasure. To retreat, you select one of your own ships and collect all treasure from that ship, discarding any other cards. Once there are no more ships, you move on to the scoring phase. Each player counts up how much treasure they collected and the player with the most treasure wins the game.

Junk Drawer

Junk Drawer (Winsmith Games) – Each player takes a junk drawer board, which is divided into four compartments, and 21 item tiles. Four item cards are drawn in each round and placed face-down on the table. One at a time, these cards are revealed and you have to place each item in a different compartment on your board. If you cannot place an item, you are finished organizing. Once all players have finished organizing, the game ends and you score points. Points are earned based on how each compartment is organized compared with organization goal cards drawn at the start of the game.

River Trek

River Trek (Wattsalpoag Games) – The game has a modular board showing a river and various spaces along it. On your turn, you start by placing a trading post on any trading post location. Next, you choose a stack of player tokens on the board to move forward, dropping one token on each space you pass. Each token that is dropped activates that space, earning money at matching colored trading posts, collecting animal tokens that have special abilities, or being pushed back along the river. Next, you may place a new explorer on the board at any of the starting locations, and finally, you end your turn by moving any stacks with seven or more tokens forward in the same way you moved the stack at the start of your turn.

Wizards & Relics: Awakening

Wizards & Relics: Awakening (Eternal Realms) – Choose a wizard and a relic in this dueling card game for 2-4 players. Each round, a new shrine card is drawn which gives bonuses to different wizards. Every player chooses one wizard card and one relic card to play from their hands each round. These are revealed simultaneously and you count up your power points from your cards and how the shrine affects them, activating any abilities that your cards might have. The player with the most power points wins the conflict and his wizard card goes into his hall of immortality. Once you have a certain number of wizards in your hall of immortality, you win the game. Wizards & Relics: Awakening is a standalone expansion but can also be combined with the original game.

The Magician's Curse

The Magician's Curse (Eliane & Corinne) – In this escape-room-in-a-box game, players download an app to use with the components in the game to create puzzles based on augmented reality. With 16 puzzles to play through, players must attempt to break a curse and learn more about a world of wizards and magic.

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.