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Evil Intent

February seems to be the month for casual games on Kickstarter! There are a plethora of great options for casual gamers to choose from, so without further ado, here is our list of what's currently seeking funding.

Evil Intent (Kraken Games) - "What are we going to do tonight, Brain?" "The same thing we do every night, Pinky: try to take over the world!" No, Pinky and the Brain don't have a cameo appearance in this game, but the idea is the same: steal, kidnap, and otherwise scheme to be the first to take over the world. The artwork looks great, the presentation is fantastic, and most importantly, it looks like it could be fun.

Odin's Ravens (Works, Ltd) - A 2-player game in which players race their ravens across many different terrains. Action cards allow players to change up the terrain to make their own flight easier while slowing down their opponent. This is a second edition of a game that has already been in print - the new version is supposedly more streamlined and easier to pick up. This game looks very interesting, though it is unclear why it is intended for ages 14 and up. Update: the publisher has notified us that the 14+ rating has more to do with the new EU customs restrictions on toys and games than it does on the actual perceived age range of playability.

Compounded (Dice Hate Me Games) - This new offering by Dice Hate Me Games may be a bit too long or heavy to be considered a casual game, but I figured it deserved a mention as a borderline casual game. Plus, the designer (Darrell Louder) is a friend and the graphic designer for two of my own games, published by Stratus Games: DiceAFARI and Off Your Rocker. The game is about building chemical compounds before they are completed by other players or destroyed in a lab explosion.

Dragon Whisperer (Erik Dahlman) - This is a casual trick-taking game that is accessible to anyone, yet doesn't skimp on the details and artwork like similar types of card games do. Players collect treasure and defeat monsters to become the next Dragon Whisperer.

Gunrunners (Dr. Finn's Games) - A relatively quick area control game in which players control teams of international agents who are after an illegal arms dealer nicknamed the "Merchant of Death". Players pursue the Merchant of Death, confiscating his weapons and ultimately trying to be the first to bring him to justice.

The Candy Shop War (Shadow Mountain Publishing) - This project is proof that the board gaming community (perhaps especially on Kickstarter) is not always welcoming of newcomers, even with fantastic artwork and presentation and from an established company (albeit in the book publishing industry). The funding amount halfway through the campaign is disappointing at best, but really deserves a bit of extra help to reach its reasonable funding goal.

The Candy Shop War is a fantasy novel by Brandon Mull (author of the Fablehaven series) that is aimed at tweens but is enjoyed by people of all ages as a decent, light read. The publisher has adapted the story into a card game that appears to involve a good amount of planning and strategy, in addition to dice rolling, to gather magical candy, battle formidable foes, and retrieve mythical artifacts.

Influence (Two Monkey Studios) - In this tactical card game, players represent different factions hoping to extend their military, political, and economic influence to conquer and maintain control of castles. A free print-and-play version is offered by the publisher to "try before you buy".

Trifecta - A small and simple 2-player game that was designed by a game store employee hoping to fill a niche in the market. It seems to be very straight-forward and may be a good option for a light casual game that is accessible to anyone - even grandma.

Geek Dice (Alien Lab) - A simple Rock-paper-scissors game with the addition of two more symbols: lizard and spock. This idea was introduced (perhaps originally) on The Big Bang Theory sitcom. Game play consists of betting and rolling, trying to accumulate the most chips.

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.