Kickstarter Games I’m Sad I Missed; Part 1, Tavarua.

I was fairly late to Kickstarter. A few years ago I was aware of this word floating around but didn’t quite know what it was all about, and it was only in the last year I started actually looking into it and getting myself up to speed. I was initially put off by a few bad stories, some negative experiences people posted about, but overall I mainly see great looking games, happy gamers, a good sense of community around it and other gamers saying ‘wow this looks neat’- ‘yes I backed it on Kickstarter, you might be able to get it in 18 months!’ Jamey Stegmaier of Viticulture/Scythe termed  it ‘the shopping mall of the future’. Which I actually really like.

I’m probably the poorest I’ve ever been in my life right now, so I don’t back often and can never back anything too pricey (goodbye Anachrony & Days of Ire Budapest 1956, I’m in a world of hurt.) So every now and then I thought I’d write a post about successful Kickstarter games that I’ve missed and look great, and hopefully one day I’ll still be able to play (forever the optimist!) This weeks choice is….Tavarua!


Image totally nicked from the Kickstarter page, link below.

This is an awesome looking game by Cody Miller who also designed the Xia: Legends of a Drift System (which I haven’t played either yet much to my distress. I clearly have a lot of board gaming cherries to pop) and it’s themed around surfing. Surfing! I’ve never been surfing which is ludicrous really, as I love activities and being in the water, but for whatever reason the closest I’ve come to surfing is watching Point Break fifty times (unbelievable, another classic is being remade but that’s another topic!) and there is something here that appeals to me. Maybe it’s that I’ve never played a sports related board game before (again with the cherries).

When Tavarua appeared on my Instagram feed the other day I immediately thought was ‘how has this been done?’ What mechanics can you use that work with a surfing theme?’ So I went and checked it out. Initially I thought wow this looks very cool, lots going on, dice, surf board meeples, words like ‘barrel’ and ‘stoke’ and ‘catching the break’ (images of Lori Petty and Keanu Reeves dancing in my head right now). I’ve read the rule book and watched some play throughs and it looks really interesting and like something I’ve never played before! Which is great! So your competing in a surfing competition, the players ‘paddle out’ on the board to catch waves (represented by dice and wave tiles, the dice change and you have to get them in the right spot to ride them) and players use action cards to perform tricks that will score points, and when you catch the waves you use the wave cards that interact with your surfboard (which is like your player card). If you  haven’t heard of this one please pay it a visit here, I don’t think I can do it justice by rehashing the rule book/BGG blurb when I haven’t played it myself.

I’m gutted to have missed this. Hopefully they’ll be a retail release next year. As for Kickstarter I will definitely be looking to be a backer for a few more games I have my eye on (more on that coming soon!) even if I can only put in a small amount. Now I need to go surfing. Or maybe I’ll watch Point Break again.