Kickstarter Spotlight | Elinor. The Deserted Valley
"Elinor - a huge continent, situated in the middle of a boundless ocean. The nature of this world is rich and diverse – high mountains, deep forests, endless prairies, severe snows of the North and arid deserts of the South. Eight nations originated from the Valley of the Ancestors, created their own governments in different parts of the continent: wise Djunits, reckless Guawars, fearless Itoshins, enlightened Ulutau, discreet Vedichs, mighty Taurs, inventive Tausmatus, and careless Chekatta." The Valley of the Ancestors, in the middle of Elinor, is the cradle of civilization. The point at where all 8 sets of people develop together. The most innovative ideas of Elinors’ most outstanding thinkers made the Great Cities of the Valley increasingly more powerful and prosperous. But in the year 530 of the Third Era, the valley became deserted. The population disappeared without a trace. The rulers of all the Elinor nations began to assemble convoys of warriors, sages, traders, and settlers to re-fill the Great Cities with life and find out what had actually happened in the Valley of the Ancestor... this is the world in which the game takes place.
This game has two variants, one that suits people who enjoy chess and head to head strategy and another that suits turn-based strategy you would get in Civilization. You are randomly assigned a group to represent, this forces players to develop strategies for each nation. The game is set for 2-6 players, so even if you had 6 people, the last person to randomly draw a nation won't feel stuck when it is their turn to pick.
The art and story were what really drew me to this campaign page. The game looks to have gone through different iterations during playtesting and you can actually get a book to delve deeper into the world. Looking over the rules, the only issue I found with the gameplay was that this is your classic knockout type of game. If you lose, you are stuck watching your friends play. This is pretty typical, and to be frank a hard problem to solve in these types of games.
You can find more information on the game HERE. Let me know if you become a backer and why you made the leap of faith in the comments below! Also, what games do you play that are similar to this? Have you found games that really try to keep people involved in the game... even if they can no longer "win"?
Don't forget to check out other Kickstarter Spotlight posts HERE.