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Dog Park

There are a number of games with cozy themes this month on Kickstarter, from one about dog walking businesses to two separate games about plants. There is also a solo game about mountain climbing and a cooperative game centered on fighting oil spills, while the newest game in the Mint series has hit Kickstarter.

Dog Park

Dog Park (Birdwood Games) – The game is played over four rounds, with each round consisting of four phases. During the first round, players pick which dog they wish to attract and secretly choose how many reputation points to bid to win the dog. All bids are revealed simultaneously. Once players have each recruited two dogs, players decide which of their dogs they want to walk this round. Next, players walk their dog through the park, collecting resources, using dog abilities, and earning reputation. The faster you go, the more bonuses you'll miss out on, but you can lose reputation points for going too slow. During the final phase of the round, players earn points for the dogs they've walked and lose points for un-walked dogs. At the end of the fourth round, players also earn points for bonus objectives and the player with the most reputation points wins.

The Little Flower Shop Dice Game

The Little Flower Shop Dice Game (Dr. Finn's Games) – In this dice game adaptation of Dr. Finn's card drafting game, players are trying to place flower arrangement tiles in their shop. Each player has six dice: four flower dice, one initiative die, and one vase die. The game is divided into six rounds. At the start of each round, players roll all their dice, then take turns based on the number on their initiative dice. On your turn, you must first lock one or two dice by setting them on your basket tile. You may also pay to be able to lock more than two dice or to skip locking dice. If you have any unlocked dice, your turn ends and you must wait until all other players have taken their turns. All players will then re-roll any unlocked dice and again take turns. On the turn in which you have no more unlocked dice, you earn money, and may then spend your dice to buy arrangement tiles to add to your display, to earn more money, or buy ribbons to increase the point values of your completed arrangements. Once all players have locked all their dice and then spent them, the round ends.

The Spill

The Spill (Smirk and Dagger/Smirk and Laughter Games) – In this one to four player cooperative game, each player takes on the role of a different specialist with a unique ability. A four-way dice tower is set in the center of the board and each round dice are dropped through it, which sends the dice randomly into four different quadrants of the board. These dice represent oil, and the value of each die determines which sector in those quadrants the oil moves to. If a sector ever has too much oil in it, the players lose the game. Players move their specialists around the board, trying to remove oil dice from the sectors as well as rescuing marine life. If too many animals are contaminated by the oil, players also lose. In order to win the game, players must save a certain number of animals and remove twelve oil dice from the game. Weather, represented by blue weather dice, also serves to complicated your task.

Verdant

Verdant (Flatout Games) – On your turn you choose one column from the market. You take the item token from that column and choose either the room or the plant card. You then place the new card into your home, which is a five by three grid. You must place a card so that it is not adjacent to the same card type (room cards can't go next to room cards, for example) and cards may not be rotated. Each plant card has different ideal light requirements, and each side of a room card has a light icon to show what kind of light it gives a plant that is played on that side of it. Each match earns a plant one verdancy point. When the plant achieves its required verdancy, it is completed and earns points. You also place a pot on completed plants which can also score points. Additionally, on your turn you may place and use items. Some items will make rooms be worth extra points at the end of the game, while others can be used to add verdancy to one or more of your plants.

Unsurmountable

Unsurmountable (Button Shy) – The rules are simple in this little solo game. You shuffle the deck of seventeen cards, and must then use them to lay out a ten-card pyramid to form the mountain, playing one card at a time, trying to build a connected path. Cards must be either played to the lowest level or supported by two cards underneath. Alternatively, instead of playing a card, you may choose to discard any other card from a pyramid row in order to use its unique ability. If you manage to complete the pyramid and there is a path leading from one card at the bottom of the pyramid all the way up to the top, you have won the game. The game also comes with different levels of difficulty, to make it harder as you master the gameplay.

Mint Mini

Mint Mini (Poketto) – The sixth game in the Mint series, Mint Mini combines mini games inspired by all the previous Mint games. Each round a number of dice equal to the number of players plus one, are rolled. Each player will then take turns picking one die and then playing the mini game that is associated with the die's result. You may skip choosing a die to gain an extra mint from your supply instead. In the Control mini game, you may influence a location by placing a mint there or spending a mint to push another player’s mint off a location. If you have the majority of mints on a location, you gain its ability, and if you control a location at the end of the game you gain its points. The Mint Cooperative mini game allows players to fight villains together to earn heroic feat cards which are worth points. If villains are not defeated quickly enough, the game can end prematurely. Mint Bid allows players to bid mints to win plan cards. Mint Works has you placing a mint on worker spots to complete tasks. Finally, Mint Delivery allows you to either place mints in your delivery truck or discard any number of mints from it to take an order card, but only if the number discarded matches the number shown on that card. The game ends at the end of the tenth round and players add up all their victory points from all the games.

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.