Planetoid (Kickstarter)

The first thing I noticed on the campaign for Planetoid by Portal Dragon was a Canadian maple leaf. No, the game isn’t Canadian, and neither is the company, but I thought it was pretty cool that Canada was included in the game, even if just in the shipping considerations. That doesn’t happen nearly often enough.

In Planetoid, a resource-collecting game, players are asteroid miners in deep space, trying to make more discoveries and bigger bonuses than their competition. The “flip a chip” mechanic of the game board  is not only an interesting bit of design, but it also connects into the gameplay. On each turn, players have to choose between drilling (taking one chip, but also revealing all its neighbours) or scanning (secretly peeking at two chips). But you don’t get points for the items you have collected until you ship them back to Earth, making room for more minerals on your ship. And that’s only the simplest version of the game: there are also advanced rules, and a solo-mode.

The base goal for this campaign is $4,000 (USD), and they have already exceeded that. Pledging is simple, $22 gets you one copy of the game when it’s done. Extra copies of the game can be added at $20 (but as an add-on, not a pledge level). The company’s previous game, Palm Island, is also available as an add-on, for $18. Shipping is fairly reasonable: $5 within the USA; $7 for the UK, EU, China and Hong Kong; $8 for Canada; Australia and New Zealand; or $12 for “the rest of the world”.

There are several stretch goals listed: technical improvements like a UV coating for the box and game pieces, or a more durable game board, as well as a score pad. There have already been hints of other stretches in the future, if the campaign gets past $24,000.

In my opinion, this game has a good design based on a cool idea, and the company has the experience to get it done.

You can back Planetoid on Kickstarter until March 21, 2019.

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