As you may well be aware, in November, Kingdom Death launched a Kickstarter campaign for their forthcoming Monster game, hoping to attract funding of US$35,000 to move the prototype into production. With six days left, the amount pledged by independent backers is just shy of the $1m mark. This is extraordinary for a number of reasons, not least the difference in the initial goal and the amount pledged, but, for me, more due to the popularity of the unique imagery that Kingdom Death have developed in their quest to capture their vision of a true 'nightmare horror'.
On their website, the company state that, "We want to create a board game experience that underscores the brutal physical and mental torment of surviving in a world where people are the struggling bottom of a monstrous ecology." Rather than achieve this through allusion or innuendo as so many other mainstream gaming companies are forced to due to their demographic make-up, Kingdom Death have been absolutely uncompromising, and uncompromisingly adult, in their choice of themes: body horror, abjection, psychological terror (there aren't many gaming companies who would choose to utilise some of the psychological horror of pregnancy as an in-game trope, for example). These themes could so easily be terribly realised but Kingdom Death have enlisted the finest of the finest sculpters in bringing their vision to life (Jacques-Allexandre Gillois's Scribe and Phoenix, and Allan Carrasco's Forge God easily being amongst my miniatures of the year). To have these uncompromising themes so welcomed and embraced by gamers marks an interesting development in the continued emergence of a true gothic gaming scene.
The development of the Kingdom Death vision over the past few years has been a delight to witness, even if I don't necessarily like everything that they've produced, and have some criticism of some of their miniatures; however, I think they're quite possibly the closest example of a company working within that 'golden age' idea that I tentatively sketched out on the Isstvan side-bar so long ago now. There's a marked singularity of vision and purpose to the project and I think it's testament to that vision that they've far exceeded their initial financial goal. Given that the company has also name-checked Warhammer Quest as one of the games that they cut their gaming teeth on, and hope in some small way to emulate in Monster, I'm really genuinely excited about the release of the game and to continue watching the developments that this singularity of vision has given.
Actress - R.I.P;
Carter Tutti Void - Transverse;
Dead Rat Orchestra - Guga Hunters of Ness;
Godspeed you! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't bend! Ascend!;
Haxan Cloak - The Men Parted the Sea to Devour the Water;
Liars - WIXIW;
Radoslaw Kurzeja - Lake or Sad War;
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement - Black Magic Cannot Cross Water;
Silent Servant - Negative Fascination;
Swans - The Seer;
Next up for me is a trip back to Nottingham in February to continue with the Yggdrassilium games, so expect some more details on my clan of devolved Navigators over the next few weeks, as well as my continued ruminations of the machinations of (playing) Inquisitor Thaddeus Velk.
Happy new year!