I figured I’d start out with a review of a past Kickstarter campaign. Afterall, it is Thursday and a perfect time for a throwback.
So, I decided to start with a review of this particular project for a couple reasons. One being that I got some really great pictures of everything I received from it. Another being that this is one of my favorite games.
A Little Background
My interest in the game Tanto Cuore actually was inspired by a YouTube video. A couple of years ago, Felicia Day and friends did a live play through during their Tabletop Day 2014 live stream. They were playing the base game and I honestly just fell in love. I’m already relatively fond of deck builders and this was a deck builder with a bunch of scantily clad, anime girls. How could I resist? My husband and friends in my gaming group like to refer to it as “Fan service the game.” Needless to say, I had to get a copy. Unfortunately, at the time, the base game was really hard to find and when you did find it, it was incredibly pricey.
After doing a little research, I found out that there were expansions for the game. One of the great things about the Tanto Cuore expansions, unlike most deck builder expansions, is that they are totally stand-alone! This was super exciting news, so when I saw a copy of Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation at Coliseum of Comics, I bought it. This particular expansion is fantastic. The cards have good cohesion, the extra mechanics it offers are easy to understand, but still provide you with good strategy, and the card art is just beautiful.
Tanto Cuore offers a little bit more as game than its predecessor Dominion. If you’ve never played a deck builder before, the general idea is as follows:
- Start with a personal deck of cards
- Usually 10 cards total; 7 currency, 3 filler
- Draw 5 cards
- Play any cards you can (first 2 turns will usually just consist of buys)
- Buy cards from market
- Discard hand, spent cards and purchased cards; draw again
- Shuffle when deck runs out
- Rinse and repeat until end condition is met
- Count points and hopefully win
Normally, there aren’t a lot of options outside of those steps, but Tanto Cuore adds a little bit more to them. One of the main goals with this game is to chamber your maids. Only certain maids are allowed to be chambered. These maids can either add to the total points you earn at the end of the game or add to the choices you have during your turn. The other really great thing is that most of the Tanto games offer an extra way to gain points for the end of the game. In the Romantic Vacation expansion, for example, you want to try to obtain reminisces. These are cards that represent memories of your time on vacation. These cards not only give you points at game end, but they also have special abilities that could hurt your opponents or boost your ability to buy cards for your engine. The art in the game is a big sell, but these extra objectives are what makes this game rise above the rest.
The Campaign- August 2014
I’m not sure how I came across the campaign originally, but I was so excited when I did. We had played a lot of the copy that we had and I was ready to add something new to the game. It appears that I wasn’t alone in wanting to do so. The original goal for the campaign was $20,000 USD; they surpassed this by more than $150,000. It was a really successful campaign and the backers were going to be able to get a lot of really awesome stretch goals with their pledges. The campaign also offered a really great selection of add-ons. My husband and I were able to get Oktoberfest as well as the base game and the Expanding the house expansion, giving us the full collection.
We decided to both back the campaign (mostly at my urging). He backed at the $75 level which gave us the game, all of the stretch goal promos, and a playmat. He also added on the two games we didn’t have and the collector’s edition big box. I backed at the $25 level for an extra playmat (we occasionally play MTG and you can never have enough playmats). Looking back I wish we had added on the really awesome beer stein.
The campaign wrapped up in September of 2014 and they had estimated that the game and its extras would get to backers by December of the same year. As my fellow backers know, Kickstarter campaigns are almost never on time. Things get caught up with production companies, shipping and customs, and sometimes there are even language and time differences between everyone working on the project.
We ended up getting our stuff January 8th, 2016, so it was a pretty big gap in between the expected date and when we finally received the game. However, it was totally worth the wait. Behold:
The quality of everything we got was amazing. The cards are a good stock, the playmats are sturdy and well-printed, and the collectors box is just awesome (we bought sleeves later and sleeved every card). I love the addition of the randomizer deck too.
Oktoberfest follows the same formula as Romantic Vacation as far as the normal deck building and chambering goes. There are a few special features for this expansion: Beer and event cards. Over on YouTube, Board Game Brawl does a really great, thorough review of the cards and what they do. He explains it way better than I do and he and I share a similar view on our overall thoughts. From my own experience, this addition to the game is pretty fun and it is a bit more challenging than the vacation expansion. I prefer the reminisces from Romantic Vacation, but this is still a great addition to the Tanto Cuore line. Unfortunately, I still have not had a chance to play with the base cards or the cards from Expanding the house. Most people in my game group are fans of “frowny face” games and apart from the art, they are not fans of Tanto. 😦
Like BGB says, if you didn’t like Tanto before, this expansion won’t change that for you. But if you love deck builders, this is a great addition to your collection. Overall, I am more than pleased with what they were able to produce with this campaign and it was absolutely worth the wait.
Thanks for reading and check back next week for another TBT Review 🙂