If you want to keep some money in your wallet, definitely avoid Kickstarter right now. Of course, that's pretty much par for the course with Kickstarter. This week is a good one whether you want a puzzle-heavy route-building game or a high-tension, thematic adventure.
1. Tramways Engineer's Workbook
Tramways is a game about route building and delivery with a modular board. It's also a little bit of a deck builder in which you acquire with multi-use cards, and it's an all-around good time if you are looking for something to burn your brain. In addition to a reprint of the game, this Kickstarter campaign offers a puzzle book that allows solo or competitive play. Using dry erase markers, you can compete against the designer's scores by creating the most efficient route plans. If you get satisfaction out of efficiency, improvement on past performance, and generally solving logic problems, then the Tramways Engineer's Workbook looks like a great option. This is especially true if you also enjoy games you can play on the go, because all you have to have with you is the book and a dry erase marker.
Lifeform is a new release designed by Mark Chaplin with collaboration from Tristan Hall, designer of Gloom of Kilforth and 1066: Tears to Many Mothers. Hall's track record alone is enough to make Lifeform worth a look for solo players, but this game also just looks exciting. In Lifeform, you and your friends are unarmed members of a mining crew, and you're trying to survive an extremely hostile alien. In the multiplayer game, the alien is controlled by another player. There is also, however, a solo expansion that will allow you fight for survival against the game itself. And an alien is not the only problem you're dealing with—you also have to find the supplies you need to load up an escape pod before your spaceship self destructs. It looks like a wild ride, and I'm definitely interested if I can find room in my budget!