I relate to board games the way a novice surfer might regard the ocean. There’s fun to be had in the shallows, but I know the real experience is out where unknown dangers could be lurking in the deep darkness below. I know how to rack up the Victory Points in Settlers, but I wonder if it might not be time to paddle out… to the Black Forest? And catch a big wave? Okay, time to rethink this surfing metaphor, it doesn’t really –
Black Forest is a board game by Jack Reda, a board game designer with plenty of experience building game expansions and helping people have a good time working together. He’s set up a Kickstarter to fund the completion and production of this new game, which involves establishing and upgrading a village with your friends, except that one of your friends is secretly a werewolf bent on killing you all. So, look out! Just because your best pal helped you harvest all that grain during the Day phase doesn’t mean he won’t pull your guts out during the Night phase, while you cower on the floor of the little hut that you built together with the bonds of friendship.
The Kickstarter campaign will succeed if it reaches its $30,000 goal by May 23rd, and it’s already at $12,861 as of this post, so success is likely. The rewards are refreshingly gimmick-free: for contributing, you get a copy of the game. Those that pledge at a higher level will also get a copy of the game’s first expansion when it’s available, and may even get a chance to have their likeness integrated into the expansion’s art, but Jack’s kept things very focussed on the game itself, which I admire.
If you’d like to know more about the game before contributing, you can check out a pre-print PDF of the rules (you’ll need a BoardGameGeeks account to download it), or read the blog maintained by Jack, detailing the design and development of the game. I, for one, am looking forward to losing this game hard after playing it with my friend Jeremy, who has undoubtedly already backed it.