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Kickstarter Update: Thunderbirds and Ghostbusters

This Kickstarter update is a lot shorter than my usual updates, with only two titles I want to talk about. The games I’ve chosen look incredible and have geeks of all ages champing at the bit to get their mitts on them!

Thunderbirds are go… Or are they?!?

First up, we have the latest co-operative board game created by Matt Leacock – designer of the excellent Pandemic and Forbidden Desert. This new title is based on everyone’s favourite wooden puppets, the Thunderbirds! is due to release to retail outlets in September 2015. Just in time for the 50th Anniversary of the iconic TV show.

Thunderbirds Board Game

Thunderbirds follows the exploits of International Rescue – a secret organisation funded and set up by the multi-millionaire Tracy family. Using a multitude of advanced land, sea, air and space crafts, and equipment, International Rescue can launch at a moment’s notice to save mankind.

Since the conception of the idea, last year, the development team have come up with a fully realised game that they believe will keep gamers happy for hours. Players work co-operatively as International Rescue and do battle with their arch nemesis The Hood. Throughout the game, this evil mastermind attempts to trigger disasters across the globe and uncover the Tracy family’s secret project. Each player plays as a different Thunderbird character, or role, to complete various missions around that world and in outer space. Any character is able to control any of the different vehicles as they try to weigh up the risk to the world compared to the risk The Hood and his schemes pose to humanity.

Personally, I think the board looks a wee bit basic, but the rest of the components look very good quality and quite interesting. Whilst the sculpts of the various characters are not incredibly detailed, they are very true to the TV series. Of course, as with many Kickstarter projects, the current character sculpts are simply prototypes, the game rules are nearly complete and the finishing touches are being put on the artwork and design as I type.

For a mere £75, including postage, you can grab yourself a copy of the base game, the three unlocked expansions, plus any further stretch goal expansions that unlock in the next 24 days. With just £11,000 to go until the first part of the fourth expansion is unlocked, backers are set to grab themselves an absolute bargain with this campaign. Now, I could tell you about the rules, but I recommend that you take a look at the Thunderbirds campaign page for yourself. It certainly seems like excellent value for money to me!

Thunderbirds has already exceeded its funding target and with 24 days to go, it’s fair to say that Thunderbirds are go…..

Who you gonna call??? Ghostbusters!!!

I’ll be very honest with regards to this Kickstarter campaign – I am beyond excited about this game! I actually backed the game on about day two of the campaign – by which time it had already exceeded its funding target by quite a significant amount. Most people of around my age group grew up watching the two Ghostbuster movies and despite the cheesy – often terrible – jokes, Ghostbusters has remained one of my all-time favourites.

Ghostbusters Board Game

For the younger generation of gamers, Ghostbusters is about four Parapsychologists – Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, and Egon Spengler (Later joined by Winston Zeddemore) who work out a way to trap and store ghosts using proton packs and a containment unit. In the first movie, the city of New York is rapidly being over-run with ghosts in preparation for the arrival of the ancient God, Gozer the Gozerian. Needless to say, there’s laughs abound as Spengler, Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore find themselves  confronting all kinds of bizarre ghosts and creatures including Slimer, Demon dogs and an Acrobatic God.

In the grand finale of the first movie, the Ghostbusters face off against Gozer himself/herself, who summons whatever creation our hapless heroes can imagine… Enter the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a giant man, as big as a building, made of nothing but Marshmallow… Suffice to say, by the end of the film, the Ghostbusters defeat this giant sugar-based monster and save the city.

In Ghostbusters the board game, 1-4 players work co-operatively as the Ghostbusters, roaming the streets of New York catching ghosts and sealing gates to the spirit world before the city is overrun by ghouls and things that go bump in the night. The game is adaptable according to the experience of the players or the skill level of your characters.

At present, Ghostbusters features three campaigns, each with four individual scenarios which you can play in around 30 minutes each. Scenario maps are double-sided, giving players the opportunity to customize the game for much more scream-inducing replayability. Many actions are resolved with a dice roll – representing the unpredictable movements of the ghosts and the gates to the spirit world, as well as controlling the ghost traps and proton packs. Players have several actions they can take during their turns which include speeding through the streets in Ecto-one in order to achieve the campaign goals.

As a Ghostbusters fan, it’s clear the designers have worked hard to remain true to the Ghostbusters theme, ensuring each characters special abilities tie in to their actual characteristics from the films. Egon is a nerdy genius while Janine is the quick-thinking receptionist devoted to her employers and leaping to the rescue in the nick of time.

The artwork looks incredible and, thanks to the amazing funding by fans all over the world, you get a huge amount due to all but one of the stretch goals being met. However, by the time you read this, I imagine the final stretch goal will have funded. If this game sounds like your idea of geeky heaven, I recommend you check it out quick – there’s just six days left to grab your copy of the game plus all the Kickstarter exclusives.

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Nikki Bennett

Nikki is a social worker, and proud auntie, with a passion for board games. She strongly believes that games help provide quality time for families, teach young people new skills, and make relationships stronger! She loves to play games of all types, particularly those with a strong theme and a good story!