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Arcane Alley

Halloween may be over, but Kickstarter still has a couple of spooky games this month, from a narrative-based horror game to a social deduction game about solving a murder. If spooky isn’t your cup of tea, you can also take on the role of a pirate or a wizard selling illegal goods, or perhaps you’d rather just build your own zoo?

Arcane Alley

Arcane Alley (Strange Space Games) – Players are wizards selling illegal magical items. Each round you are given a storehouse of nine cards placed face down on the table (two of which you then choose to reveal) and a hand of two cards. On your turn you draw a card into your hand and choose to either discard one card or play a card into your storehouse, replacing either a hidden or revealed card that is already there. Your goal is to create a set of three matching cards, which are then sold, earning you gold and removing them from your storehouse. At the end of each round there is an inspection, earning players infamy points for items still in their storehouse. Earn too much infamy, and you'll be forced to pay a fine.

Grind House

Grind House (Everything Epic) – In this narrative-based horror game, each player assumes the role of a character entering a spooky house in order to win ten millions dollars. You also start the game with a unique persona and an item. Each player has to survive through five rooms. Rooms will present you with difficult choices, many of which will result in players becoming injured. If players die during the game, they become a ghost with special rules determined by their persona dealt at the beginning of the game. As a ghost you still have a shot at winning.

Awkward Guests

Awkward Guests (Megacorpin Games) – Your goal: find out who killed Mr. Walton, the motive, the weapon, if there was an accomplice, and do so before the other players. You collect information from game cards which will give you insight on different elements of the crime. Sometimes you will have to infer information from the clues you gather. At the start of the game a deck is created by taking the cards indicated by the scenario card you selected to play and each player is dealt a hand of six cards. On your turn you may request information on suspects or rooms and then exchange cards with other players. At the end of each round, players discard cards and new cards are drawn from the deck. Cases come in six different levels of difficulty.

The Crusoe Crew

The Crusoe Crew (Van Ryder Games) – Tabletop gaming meets cooperation and adventure books. Each player chooses a character along with that character's comic book. Different characters have different abilities that can be used to solve challenges in different ways. A map is placed in the center of the table and players select an island on the map to explore, with each player turning to the correct frame in their respective books and studying the image shown there, looking for clues and hidden numbers that will send them to new frames in the books. Based on their abilities, different players will find different clues, often flipping to other panels in their books to reveal things only they can see. One game of The Crusoe Crew takes about forty-five minutes to play, but with multiple islands to explore and some islands having things to offer over multiple visits, the game promises replayabilitiy.

Zoo-ography

Zoo-ography (Doomsday Robots) – A tile laying zoo building game. On your turn you start by drafting a zoo tile into your hand and then playing a tile into your zoo. Next you draft animals. By connecting zoo cards you create larger habitats which can hold more animals. Players are competing to earn stars by completing objectives such as having an animal in every habitat or having three pairs of animals. The zoo with the most stars wins the game.

FlickFleet

FlickFleet (Eurydice Games) – In this two player dexterity combat game, players flick their ships into prime firing position on the board. To fire at an opponent, you place a die on top of your ship and flick it towards your target. If it hits, the die result is the damage that is dealt. There are special scenarios you can play through or you can choose to do free play. There are five different types of ships with their own unique systems, strengths, and weaknesses.

Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates

Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! (Forbidden Games) – In Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates, each player controls three ships, with one ship starting at the beginning of each of the three paths to the end of the board. The game is a deck builder, with players using cards to move their ships further along the paths. However there are merchant ships to plunder for treasure which can be turned into points later, and ports to stop at to acquire better cards for your deck. Players must choose when to take one of these detours and when to sail on, as points are scored at the end of the game for ships that have made the most progress. You can read our review of the game here.

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.