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Salmon Run by Gryphon Games

Independent game designers and publishers often turn to crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to gather support for their game projects. There are often some truly innovative casual games seeking funding help, but they're usually drowned out by RPGs, miniatures, and heavier games. That's where we come in! Here is a list of some of the best casual game concepts being crowdfunded this month.

Salmon Run (Gryphon Games) - You are a salmon trying to race upstream to the spawning pond to proliferate your species. But you'll have to avoid the obstacles along the way, such as bears, waterfalls, strong currents, and even fatigue. This game looks very intriguing and the presentation is very well done. From the publisher:

Every year, thousands of salmon are compelled by nature to leave the ocean and swim up the river of their birth to spawn. This perilous journey can span hundreds of miles and it is fraught with danger. Strong rapids, waterfalls, hungry bears, and eagles all await the salmon on their quest. Only the most fit will complete the SALMON RUN!

Eight-Minute Empire (Red Raven Games) - Build an empire and dominate as much of the map as possible in about 8 minutes. Yes, 8 minutes (or so). Seemingly simple game play and a nice presentation make this a good option for casual gamers. From the publisher:

In Eight-Minute Empire, 2-4 players take turns selecting a card from six displayed. The card gives a good, and also has an action that the player takes immediately. Actions help players take over the map, but sets of goods are worth points at the end of the game, so players have to balance the two aspects. Eight-Minute Empire is the super-quick area control game with tough decisions. It's easy to learn and perfect for when you only have a few minutes.

Guesstimaster (Acabo Games) - This game features numeric trivia where players try to "guesstimate" a number that is closest to the right answer. What seems intriguing about this is the logarithmic spiral board with a range of 1 to 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 – simply place your marker on the board and the player who's closest to the actual number (represented in physical distance on the spiral) wins the round.

Trick or Treat (Patrick Leder) - A rummy-style casual game about – you guessed it – trick-or-treating. The Halloween theme is obviously great for this time of year, but not so much when the final product is delivered in February. Hold onto it and break it out during next year's Halloween party.

Deserted Animals (BebryGamez) - A lightly-strategic survival game with endearing animal characters and artwork. It appears to fit solidly in the casual game spectrum and could be worth checking out. With only a little while left and a long way to go to reach the funding goal, I'm sure the creators would appreciate any support they can get.

Note: we have not seen or played any of the above games. Our assessment of each game is based on the information given on the crowdfunding project page.