Kickstarter Corner – Kicking Class & Abducted Cow

This week’s Kickstarter Corner is about some games with some unique themes: Kicking Class by RAAM Games and Abducted Cow by Lloyd Miller.

Kicking Class is the first Kickstarter from RAAM Games, a board game publishing company from Kansas City, Missouri, founded by the designers of Kicking Class, Aaron and Risa McKinney.

The game itself has a fairly unique premise. Each player is a student going through high school and is trying to earn the most scholarship points through passing classes, being popular and taking the ACT. There are four rounds which represent the four years of high school. Each round is then split into three “trimesters” where players roll a skill dice that matches the class card’s colour to see if they pass a certain class. If the player does pass, they keep the class card and gain the reward. If they do not pass, they must draw from the failure deck and deal with the consequences. When classes are passed, an action card is drawn which will boost or lower a player’s popularity, depending on what the card represents. Popularity earns players scholarship points at the end of the game as well as determine turn order, so this is an important resource to gain.

At the end of the third trimester, the school year ends, and the actions available at the end of this trimester are how players earn scholarship points through taking the ACT. The ACT can optionally be taken by players who have accumulated 3 apples throughout the previous semesters. The ACT can be taken multiple times by a player throughout the game, but can only be taken once per school year. The ACT score is determined by dice rolls and only the best ACT score per player is counted for scholarship points.

During the summer phase of the third trimester of every year, after the ACT, players can choose one of three options as summer plans: get a job (draw an action card), hang out (gain two popularity) or summer school, which can only be chosen if a player has failed 2 or more classes throughout the school year. In summer school, players can try again to pass a failed class. However, there is no penalty for failing a class in summer school.

The game itself seems pretty luck based and being the first game created by the McKinleys, there can be some questioning. However, the game has received some good reviews from some well known reviewers including Man vs. Meeple and Mark Streed at The Dice Tower. The game plays 1-4 players and plays in 45 minutes. As of this writing, Kicking Class has raised US $3,620 of its US $15,000 goal with 27 days to go. A pledge of US $39 will get you the full game along with all unlocked stretch goals which have not been announced.

 

The second game in this post is Abducted Cow by Lloyd Miller. The theme of this is really unique and is what drew me to the game in the first place. Players are aliens who have a fascination with cows and are trying to abduct cows with their UFOs to bring them back to their planet. The objective of the game is to abduct 10 cows or the most cows once the cards have been depleted.

Players start with three cards, two cows, and two energy tokens. There are 5 phases to each player’s turn. A cow is taken from the main supply, an energy token is taken to help power cards. Then players can use the required energy tokens to power cards they wish to play. There are four types of cards with different benefits. The first is Attack cards, where a player can attack and “kill” a cow or multiple cows belonging to another player, which then returns those cows to the main supply. The second type is Steal cards which work in a similar manner, except instead of cows going to the main supply, they are stolen by the player who has played the card. There are Defense cards, which can be played to defend your cows from the aforementioned Attack and Steal cards. These are either played when attacked, as long as the power cost is met, or on a players turn, placed face down in front of them and can be activated when needed. The last type are Utility cards which cost no energy to play and can influence gameplay.

This game is Lloyd Miller’s first Kickstarter campaign and it looks pretty strong. Most of the stretch goals are for improved component quality and not additions to the game that would make or break it. The other bonus is that shipping to countries outside of the US is very cheap, with it being an extra US $4 for backers in Canada, Australia, Asia and the EU and US $6 for everywhere else. For a pledge of AU $34 (around US $26), you can receive a copy of Abducted Cows. As of this writing, the game has raised AU $5,597 of its AU $17,000 goal with 19 days to go.

So there we have it, two games with rather unique themes out there on Kickstarter and looking good. These two are definitely worth a look.

Until next time, remember to play fair and have fun!

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