TTRPGs: Solo gaming for Self-care - Kickstarter Campaigns
By: Chad Christian (TapRackBang)
Unless you’ve been living in a deeper cave than the rest of us nerds, you know that Kickstarter is one of the best ways to find and support new tabletop games. Though it’s a lesson in patience while waiting for projects to be fulfilled, the games and exclusive backer bonuses you receive usually pay off in the end.
I recently wrote about solo gaming and its benefits for mental health. As stated in previous articles, our goal here at Stack Up is to provide a supportive network and community of veteran gamers. We encourage everyone, especially those struggling with heavy mental health burdens, to avoid isolation and steer into your available support. We’ve found that gaming is a perfect facilitator for this. However, there are days where human interaction is not what the doctor ordered, but you need that welcome distraction. Solo tabletop games and those offering robust solo modes are on the rise, allowing you to get your tabletop fix when you just don’t have the energy for others. I provided some suggestions from games that I’ve played and thoroughly enjoyed. Now I’d like to take that further and share some exciting projects you may be interested in to further that experience. Without further ado, here’s my list of upcoming Kickstarters I can’t wait to get my hands on!
Disclaimer: Kickstarter/pledge info is what was current at the time of writing, 5/25/21. Pledge/late pledge availability, pricing, and other information may have changed at your time of reading.
The Witcher: Old World - Go On Board
GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY, I MUST CLUTCH MY PEARLS! As soon as I saw this pop up on the list of upcoming projects, I signed up for that go-live notification. At the time of writing this, it’s been live for about 30 minutes, has doubled its funding goal, and is still rapidly climbing. If you’re unfamiliar with the epic Witcher series, books, or video games, I highly recommend both. Taking place years before Geralt hit the scene, this tabletop adaptation stays true to the term “epic,” with a 90-150 minute replayable experience for 1-5 players. I especially appreciate solo play options in these longer games, as I can take them at my own pace and dive into the experience. The base game allows you to choose from 5 Witchers and their miniature, while the deluxe option also includes miniatures for the 15 monsters you will face off against. The project ends on Friday, June 11th, and can be found here. €70 ($86-ish) for the Standard Pledge; €125 ($153-ish) for Deluxe.
Vengeance: Roll & Fight - Mighty Boards
A roll-and-write fight adaptation of their base game Vengeance, Mighty Boards calls this version “an action movie in a box, where you play a vigilante intent on wiping out the gangs that plague your city... [an] action-packed twist on the roll and write genre, bringing a real-time, dice-rolling system where you punch, throw, and backflip your way through gang-infested dens.” Put me in, coach. I’m ready to play. The game offers a chipper 30-minute experience for 1-4 players in two standalone episodes. The base pledge will get you Episode 1 for $29, or you can up your pledge to $55 to double the content and up your player count to 1-8 (other pledge options are available)! The project ends soon, on May 31st, so keep your eyes open for possible late-pledge options. Vengeance: Roll & Fight can be found here
Stationfall - Ion Game Design
Stationfall is a game about a ship destined for incineration upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere and the doomed crew aboard it. A 90-120 minute game for 1-9 players, Stationfall promises high intrigue and conspiracy in a “box full of creative solutions, but that box is going to morph, twist, and grow teeth over the course of play.” All this and the option to play as Astrochimp?! Say no more, fam. The base pledge gets you the game for $64; up your pledge or scoop up some add-ons to get those sweet minis and other goodies. Stationfall has already completed funding, but late pledges are still available here.
Harsh Shadows - Wonderspell
I came across this one and backed on a whim, but I’m definitely looking forward to it. For one, it’s purely a solo game, and I love that I’m seeing more of these. More importantly, you get to play “secret agent” and get your espionage on in “Project Nightshade” as you hunt down a notorious criminal. Collecting gear and evidence at differing locations, these features offer variable gameplay to keep challenges fresh each playthrough. The Kickstarter project has already been funded, but you can preorder the game at the same Kickstarter discounted price of only $12 on their website.
Tiny Epic Dungeons - Gamelyn Games
I’ll admit it: I had never heard of the Tiny Epics until I saw this pop up on the ol’ Kickstarter. Backed for the minis, gonna stay for the gameplay. The games are epic, but their collection of them isn’t tiny. So far, out of the myriad of Tiny Epics, I’ve still only played Tiny Epic Galaxies Blast Off, but it was a blast! A self-proclaimed “fully cooperative dungeon crawler for 1-4 players set in the fantasy world of Aughmoore,” only $25 gets you a ton of content, including 8 hero minis, or toss a few more bucks at ‘em to up your pledge for substantial upgrades! Tiny Epic Dungeons has also successfully completed funding, but late pledges are still open here. If you miss the pledge, you’ll eventually be able to find it on their site along with the other Tiny Epics.
Paperback Adventures: A Novel Solo Word Game - Fowers Games
Paperback Adventures channels that old-school pulp-y paperback feel into a roguelike, solo deckbuilding game where you use cards to test your “wordsmithing wit...to defeat a series of AI enemies.” I know spelling words can be tough for us grunts, but it sounds like this entry will help us grow a few more brain cells and have some fun while we’re at it. I’m a Jarhead. I’m allowed to say these things. Anyways, the campaign ends on June 8th, and $35 will get you a copy of the Core Box and one character box of your choice, and there are certainly options to upgrade and add more content. Find the Paperback Adventures campaign here.
Maximum Apocalypse: Wasted Wilds
Alright, full disclosure: I found this game while specifically looking for entries for this list. That’s why it’s here at the bottom, but certainly doesn’t sound like it’s the least of these. MAWW (that’s what us cool-kid backers call it) was funded in under an hour and apparently is a continuation of the Maximum Apocalypse series of games that follows an impressive Legendary Edition and a standalone RPG. A 20-30 minute per player, 1-4 player experience is offered in the base game. For what you get in the box, it comes in a little steep at a $60 base pledge, but with all that post-apocalyptic survival goodness, I doubt we’ll be disappointed. Plus, each player character gets its own miniature, so that’s a nice bonus. Check out the campaign here; the campaign countdown ends on June 11th.