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Flourish

From gardens and Wonderland to bot fights and dungeon delves, September brings a wide assortment of games to Kickstarter: tile placement, dice drafting, card duels, and tree stacking. If you’re looking for holiday themes, there’s a game for Christmas, while Monsters on Board should make an excellent addition to Halloween next year.

Flourish

Flourish (Starling Games) – Each player is building their garden and filling it with flowers, trees, paths, and special features. Players take their turns simultaneously. During the first three rounds, each turn you choose one card from your hand to add to your garden, placing it face-down, and then one card to pass to the player on your left and one to the player on your right. Everyone then reveals their played card and adds it to their gardens. You then draw the two cards that were passed to you and another card from the deck. You continue this until you have played three cards into your garden and the round ends, scoring points for cards in your garden with end of round scoring. During the final round you do not pass cards or draw them from the deck, but add three cards to your garden in one go. Finally, at the end of the game you calculate the end of game scoring abilities on your cards. The game includes both a cooperative and a competitive mode.

Streets

Streets (Sinister Fish Games) – A tile laying game in which players are building a city together and the player with the most money at the end wins. On your turn your place a building tile to a street and add different colored meeples according to the tile’s color. You also place a token to mark your ownership of this tile. Once a street becomes enclosed by other streets, each building tile is sold, earning its owner money based on the tile's value as well as the number of meeples on that tile. Once a tile is sold, any meeples on that tile then move to nearby tiles of matching colors, increasing the value of those tiles when they are sold in the future.

Bots Up

Bots Up (Bots Up) – At the start of the game, each player is dealt six bot cards which they use to assemble their bot. Different cards have different health totals. You then move onto the battle phase, dealing each player four battle cards to start with. On your turn, you will be dealt an additional two cards and may play up to two battle cards. Some battle cards will deal damage to a specific player's bots while others will spread the damage around, and others will perform special actions such as healing, drawing new bot parts, or even swapping parts with an opponent. The last bot standing wins the game.

Automated Alice

Automated Alice (Epic Scale Games) – In this cooperative dice placement game, players control Alice who is stuck once more in Wonderland. There are six case files, with two-to-three clue cards on each one. Each clue card requires specific colored dice showing certain numbers in order to complete them, and players are attempting to complete all the clue cards on the table before running out of rounds. On your turn you may move Alice to any case file that Mrs. Minus does not currently occupy (Mrs. Minus moves at the start of each round) and draw four dice. Any green dice are rolled and placed to block a die on a clue card (in order to discard these green dice you must match it with a die of a certain number and color) and may then attempt to place the rest of your dice. You have two rerolls on your turn and may move case file locations between each roll. Each case file has its own unique ability associated with it, which you can use once per turn. You can read our review of Automated Alice here.

Forgotten Depths

Forgotten Depths (Void Knight Games) – In this cooperative, dungeon crawling, tile placement game, players work together drawing map tiles and adding them to the board. Players can decide when they wish to move their heroes onto the tiles they have already placed. Players can attempt to build unique features within the tiles, in order to unlock special legendary locations to explore. Combat is determined by cards, playing your numbered attack cards against the enemy's numbered cards. The game includes three different environments for the dungeons: the ruins, the caverns, and subterranean architecture. Each comes with unique map tiles, monsters, items, and legendary locations to construct.

Monsters on Board

Monsters on Board (Final Frontier Games) – Players are attempting to gather spook juice by caring the local townsfolk. Each round players roll monster dice and place them in 3D cardboard cars (the Fearmobiles!), and take turns drafting a die before passing the car onto another player. After each player has drafted four dice, they will place them on their player boards, sending one to the swamp to gain malice and the other three will be used to gain actions and spook juice. The higher the number on the die the more spook juice you will earn but the fewer actions it will give you. Drafted dice will also cause monsters to move around the main town board, which can earn you more bonus actions, and potentially bonus spook juice. The player with the most spook juice at the end of the game wins.

Xmas PileUP

Xmas PileUP (Mushroom Gaming) – In this light pocket sized dexterity game with a Christmas theme, players take turns rolling the die and either adding that number of trees to their own tree stack or giving that number of trees to their opponent. The game ends when the last tree meeple is placed and the player with the most trees in their stack wins. If even one tree falls from your stack at any time, you must discard all your trees and start again. The game has an estimated delivery of November, in plenty of time for Christmas.

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.