Nowadays, board games have gained a new popularity. Despite the fact that the video game market is full of entertaining multiplayer experiences, people still have the need to come together in one room, sit around a table and touch the game pieces and dices with their hands. That is why more and more new titles are appearing, and in many cases, we can thank Kickstarter for providing great opportunities for creative designers. Let us see five international success stories that were initiated by Hungarian creators.
Let us begin with the greatest success so far: Trickerion’s Kickstarter campaign occurred in January of 2015 and it received almost ten times its planned 30,000 dollars of funding goal. The game was inspired by the 2006 movie Prestige as it puts the players into the roles of rival magicians from the 19th century who are contesting for the favor of the audience. One of the game’s Easter eggs is that Hungarian champion magician of the world Soma Hajnóczy is one of the playable characters.
A little bit more than a year ago, three young men came up with the idea of creating a game in which players must survive the cruel circumstances of a Mad Max-like post-apocalyptic world: this is how Antler Games was founded and Saltlands was created. It is a competitive game in which players struggle with the drought, the extreme weather and the raiding bandits and try to escape from the salty desert by vehicles either run by oil or wind. The greatest advantage of the game is probably its unique world, which is made even more living by Soma Csátvák’s recently published novel Saltlands – Isten után.
Anyway, Antler Games recently finished the Kickstarter campaign of their second game Critters Below.
Published on the 60th anniversary of the Revolution of 1956, the game tells the story of Hungarian history’s two dark weeks and the desperate fight against the communist tyranny. It is a cooperative game in which players play as freedom fighters, who are trying to eliminate all ÁVH (State Protection Authority) and Soviet forces from Budapest and deliver food, medical equipment, information, ammunition and other necessities to the revolutionist. There is also a competitive mode in which one player takes the role of General Zhukov and tries to oppress the revolt through leading the Soviet forces, while the other 1-3 players fight against him.
Another game by Dávid Turczi, the mastermind who also plaid a role in developing Trickerion and Days of Ire. This Euro-style game puts the players into a futuristic environment in which different political ideas struggle for world domination with the help of legions of exosuits. The greatest specialties of the game are that it is divided into Eras and the past Eras are available again later in the game with the help of “time travel”, and that the four political factions – called “Paths” – offer quite different playing styles. The goal of the game is being the dominant Path by the end of the fourth Era when the world gets hit by an asteroid and a cataclysm occurs, letting only one idea to rule humanity.
Korona Games has already become successful in Hungary with Magyar Népmesék (Hungarian Folk Tales), Kard és Korona (Sword and Crown) and Pókháló (Spider Web), but with the successful Kickstarter campaign of Hexpanse, they got to the international market. This abstract wargame takes the players to the distant future when humanity created an intergalactic empire and a new precious material called hexilium has been discovered, which is mostly mined on Mars under harsh circumstances. The unsatisfied miners of Mars revolt against the Terran Empire, and the greedy Union of Trade Worlds and the power hungry Interstellar Nomads also join the conflict.
Each player leads one of the four factions into the intergalactic war, which is played on hex-based maps. The players conquer hexilium mines, train armies, hire mercenaries and use tactical tricks to defeat each other. The goal of the complex but easily learnable game is to either eliminate all the other factions or form a “victory pattern” from one’s units on the game board.