I admit that I am not extremely experienced with Kickstarter. Darkest Night, which will fund on June 11, is the first Kickstarter game that I have ever backed. But many of the games I own were originally funded through KS campaigns, and I love them. Hostage Negotiator, Apex Theropod, or Flash Point: Fire Rescue are all very welcome additions to my game collection.
Now, another Kickstarter game has caught my eye. It's called Sovrano, and it's a two-person abstract strategy game. Even though I usually play solo, this looks like a great game to learn with my boyfriend, with my grandfather, or with my students.
So, what made this game catch my eye above all of the others on Kickstarter? A few things. First of all, just look at that game! It's gorgeous. The developer, Cambium Games, is a father-son team interested in developing games made out of wooden components. They've made it clear in their campaign that they are aiming for a small print run—each game will be handmade, and they are only trying to raise $5,000. The funds will partially go to equipment upgrades to make their work easier and better. I feel like this is an opportunity to acquire a game that supports a cool business and that is also a unique work of art.
Most importantly, the game looks fun. When you see a board with squares and two sets of differently-colored pieces, you automatically think of chess. But Sovrano clearly has its own flavor. Players can move multiple pieces per turn, and while each side has an "Emperor" who must be protected at all costs, there are actually two ways to win the game: Either take the other side's emperor, or control specific spaces on the board to earn victory points. Multiple win conditions, combined with the incentive to compete for dominance over specific areas of the board, promise many hours of strategizing and experimentation.
Cambium also did something else very right with their campaign, and it tipped the balance for me. The current campaign is actually the second attempt to fund Sovrano. Not enough money came in the first time. So Cambium Games thought things through and tried again. This time, on the Sovrano KS page, there are not only playthrough videos, but meaningful endorsements. Ricky Royal recently released a video that shows how to play Sovrano, and his recommendation is what sold me. Getting a deeper look at the game's mechanics made me realize that I truly want to play it. Plus, Royal's videos are some of the best in the business. His sterling reputation made this Kickstarter campaign feel like one I could trust. Being able to see a polished-looking product on video, explained by the guy whose videos have taught me how to play several of my favorite games, made me feel like I knew exactly what I was getting into.
I scroll through Kickstarter regularly, and I see a lot of interesting-looking games. But Sovrano won me over because it looks like a premium product that will offer many hours of enjoyment over a long period of time. I hope the campaign is funded, because I truly want to play this game.
If you think Sovrano might interest you, click here to view the Kickstarter.