Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kickstarter Spotlight: Travesty Games

This week, since the wife is out of town tending to her very sick grandmother, I haven't had too much time to play games. I've got 3 games on the review schedule, but I simply can't get people together to play them for a second or third time, respectively. Suffice to say that one of them will knock your socks off and the other will have you soiling yourself with laughter, at least until the jokes wear thin.

So, this lunch hour I've decided to start yet another little Circus venture, where I show you some games that you likely have never, and arguably would never, have heard of. These games are from relatively unknown, or at least underrealized, companies that are making their livings by trying to get funding through Kickstarter, the newest way for companies to attract investments in small increments based upon a sort of preorder system. 

This week's game company is Travesty Games, a small and relatively unknown publisher that got its start on Kickstarter and has successfully produced a handful of imaginative and rather diabolical games. Just my kind of folks. 

Travesty Games is an odd bird, and that's why I've been subtly stalking them for a while. The boys over there, Gil and Adam, have a good sense of humor and I, as a proponent of all things humorous, appreciated their "Vision" page on their website:

"Our goal is to make stuff so awesome that your skin flies off your body.

Or to put it another way, our goal is to make stuff so awesome that it’ll make you run into the forest, where a turkey will fly into your mouth and you will jump up into a tree. And I’m not talking about some little tree either. I’m talking about a Redwood or something.

And that’s how angry that makes me."

So far, my skin is still intact, but I've had skin cancer and so I stay out of the sun to avoid burns and subsequent peeling. Maybe I'm the outlier. To be fair, though, I've only read rules and checked their press releases, so perhaps I've just not been exposed to their games long enough to have my skin etched from my body as they so hope. Anyhow, they have three really interesting products, one of which has just successfully been funded by Kickstarter supporters.

The first game is PsiDuel, a card game that allows you to take the role of a psionic superdude (or superbabe, as it were) to psychically kick the piss out of your opponent. The card art is really nice, and the layout of the cards is actually really appealing to me. So appealing, in fact, that I asked Gil to send me a copy for review, which he has kindly done. So you'll be hearing more about it very soon.

The second game is KillBall, which is a cross between soccer and the French revolution, and it's played by clones. There's goals on either side of the board, and the goal mechanisms aren't all that smart, so you can score by putting a ball in the goal, or alternatively, by severing an enemy player's head and putting it in the goal instead. Not only that, but you can regrow clones, which squirt out of little chutes and can re-enter play. In short, heads will roll. It's a neat looking and quite clever dicefest, and although the art is black and white, it's still a pretty cool chit and counter type game.

The last game these guys are currently publishing is a cool dungeon crawler called Deathfear. It's not your standard fare, though, as it comes with a twist: the object isn't to kill some nameless, faceless monster and emerge a champion, it's to BECOME the nameless, faceless monster before your opponents, and then bust their shit loose. You hunt the dungeon for demon parts, and once you've gotten them all, you become that demon and then seek to devour your former running mates.'s a promotional video that comes with the game, apparently, and you have to check it out. It reminds me of the video that comes with Dragonstrike on's a riot.

I just started looking at this game very recently, and they just hit their mark on Kickstarter, which guarantees that the game will be published. It's currently on a fast-track to get printed before GenCon, and these boys will be there in the dealer hall at booth 757, giving demos of PsiDuel, from what I understand.  Get over and show them some love, check out their stuff, and see if there's something there for you.

Check out the Travesty games site at for more information on their stuff!

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