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Baldrick's Tomb

We're seeing some common themes in casual game crowdfunding this month: two dungeon crawls, two mafia-style games, and a few others. Overall, there are some great choices that seem to be worth a look. Without further ado, here are our top picks for April.

Dungeon Crawls

From Wikipedia: "A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling various monsters, and looting any treasure they may find." I'll be the first to admit that RPGs are not really my cup of tea and therefore the term "dungeon crawl" alone doesn't excite me much. However, it's nice to see some casual games using this theme in a way that really grabs my interest and are likely to be successful among other casual gamers, as well.

Baldrick's Tomb

Baldrick's Tomb (5th Street Games) – An accessible, family-style dungeon crawl in which players are exploring various levels of a tomb. I personally like the games that 5th Street Games is putting on the market, and I'm sure this one fits right in. The campaign on Kickstarter is nearly over, so you'll have to act quickly to get in on it.

Hunter's Guild

Hunter's Guild (Robb de Nicola) – This game has a similar dungeon crawl theme that looks very well made and seems like a great choice for adult casual gamers. I like the use of "day" and "night" decks, in which players prepare their weapons and shields during the day, then face the monsters and challenges at night. Looks like it could be intriguing, while seemingly maintaining very accessible game play. Extra props for a great video.

Mafia-style Games

Mafia is a highly social party game for large gatherings in which players are secretly assigned roles: either mafia members, who all know each other, or townspeople, who only know the number of mafia members among them. In each round, the mafia discretely choose a target to "murder", after which the townspeople debate who the mafia could be and eliminate one person. The goal of the townspeople is to try to get rid of the mafia, while the goal of the mafia is to get rid of all of the townspeople. There are many games that are very similar in nature, namely Werewolf, Assassin, Witch Hunt, Palermo Nights and Pirates.

Ultimate Mafia (Bezier Games) – Bezier Games is the publisher of the popular Ultimate Werewolf and, despite the similarity in game play, they are now seeking funding for an "ultimate" version of Mafia. On the one hand, they already have a similar game, so why bother? On the other hand, if they produced the highest rated version of Werewolf, it's likely that they'll hit this one out of the park for those who prefer the Mafia theme over Werewolf.

Fox & Chicken (Michael Fox) – Michael Fox of the Little Metal Dog Show is Kickstarting a Mafia-esque game that is much more family friendly than the rest. Instead of mafia murdering townspeople, mischevious foxes are carrying the hens into the forest. Cute artwork and theme should make this a much better choice for a family setting, without sacrificing the fun of the game.

Other Themes

Paradise Fallen (Crash Games) – This looks like an interesting option from our fellow-Tucsonan friends from Crash Games. Players take on the role of tribes exploring an island, unlocking its powers, and overcoming the obstacles put in their path by other players. The artwork looks great and I'd like to give this one a try. Though I confess that at first glance the canoe meeples (caneeples?) looked more like airplanes to me – fortunately, it does mention on the project page that the design is not yet final.

Twin Tin Bots Reboot (Flatlined Games) – Last, but not least, is this robot "programming" game from the designer of Small World. To program their robots, players select various movements and actions that will be carried on the turn. Robots need to harvest crystals and transport them back to the player's base in order to score points.

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.