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Introducing: Goodies & Baddies (Kickstarter 2019)

There are very few games out there that can be described as literally having come into being due to a dream. A few games use dreams as mechanics – your Mysterium’s and Dare to Dream’s of the board game market; however, hardly any can be called as having been described as being conceived of in the hours we spend unconscious each night.

Goodies & Baddies, however, is just that, and it is a game I am more than happy to introduce on this blog today. I spent some time talking to the designers last week, and Goodies & Baddies has me excited for when it hits Kickstarter. Today, I wanted to share some of that excitement with you, as well as explore a little bit why this game deserves some attention. I haven’t played it yet, but I look forward to it in, I hope, the not too distant future.

Goodies & Baddies

What is Goodies & Baddies?

Goodies & Baddies can be described in several different ways.

The first is by using mechanics. Goodies & Baddies is a highly mechanic driven game, using concepts reminiscent of Munchkin but with a few twists that makes it really interesting. Firstly, the game is combat based, using a monster (or Baddies) deck of dastardly villains to give the game a whole host of flavour. Those Baddies fight the heroes with the added jeopardy that other players can intervene to make the game that much harder.

The game uses these elements, along with the concept of improving your fighting prowess through Goodies to keep a fast pace. To make things even more interesting, there are also bosses and PVP, meaning Goodies & Baddies promises to be a chaotic chasm of coordination, cooperation, and the backstabbing all your friends.

The way Goodies & Baddies comes across is as an arena style game, in which players fight it out using four types of cards – Prepare, Panic, Interfere and Game cards. You fight a Baddie using the Prepare, Panic, and Game cards. Meanwhile, other players can interfere, just to make your life that little bit worse. It comes across as fun, fast paced, and looks like it’ll be great to play.

I’ve actually spent some time on the phone to Mikey Wade and Michael Krawec, the two designers, last week and the way they described it as “a mix between Munchkin and Exploding Kittens”.

The second way to describe what Goodies & Baddies is goes beyond the core mechanics. It goes into how the game has been designed itself. Goodies & Baddies is a labour of love for the two Michaels. It is a game that is a culmination of the games they love to play, as well as a whole host of additional aspects that help transform it into something different.

There are two things that I actually adore about Goodies & Baddies. The first is that Mikey Wade is an artist who learned a whole different style of art to create a game that oozes personality. It is cartoony and creative and really helps define the feel of the game. Michael and Mikey put their all into the game, starting the development aspect in early 2017, to create an end product where that care really shows.

The second thing I really admire about Goodies & Baddies is how it is a game with a simple philosophy at its core, and that is something we are going to look into a bit more.

The Goodies & Baddies Philosophy

Whilst talking on the phone with Michael and Mikey last week, they were fairly quick to admit one thing: Goodies & Baddies is not a long form strategy game.

What this means is that it is a game that relies on luck and quickly turning cards around. There is no real time to ponder over your turn to formulate the ideal strategy or concept for your turn. Instead, it is *snap, snap, snap* (and I just realised clicking my fingers at the screen does not constitute good blog writing) – the turns are fast and furious.

The reason for this is simple, and anything any player of Munchkin knows all too well. Munchkin can slow to a crawl at the end of the game. Everyone is trying to stop everyone and suddenly it becomes this game of balancing numbers than actually playing.

Goodies & Baddies has been designed however, with the notion that we should all remain in the moment. The start of the game should be just as fast paced and fun as the end of the game. The end of the game should be just as quick moving as the middle – and the middle of the game…well…the middle should be as fun and fantastical as the rest.

Beyond the Take-That Genre

So, now is the part of this article where I, as a board game blogger, have to admit some form of bias. Munchkin was, as a gamer, my gateway game. I blummin’ love Munchkin, but I love it with a fond nostalgia. For me, it reminds me of New Years Eve 2014, when I first got introduced into this world of gaming, playing Munchkin for the first time.

That being said, I have to admit that Munchkin is a flawed game. It relies too heavily on the take-that concept in the last round, that it can harm the pacing of its own game, falling victim to the mechanics.

Interestingly, Munchkin was the first game Michael and Mikey played together when they first met, and their combined enjoyment, along with their bitter frustration, led to the birth of Goodies & Baddies.

This is why Goodies & Baddies excites me as a player. This is why Goodies & Baddies deserves to do well on Kickstarter. What it is doing is standing proud before the world, puffing out its chest and showing that the take-that genre has its basis in fun rather than mathematics.

So, all in all, I am really looking forward to playing Goodies & Baddies. As stated at the top of this article, I haven’t played it yet, but I look forward to backing it on Kickstarter. It will be live on Kickstarter the 30th September 2019.

So, there we have it. Goodies & Baddies is definitely worth keeping an eye out for. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Images used with permission from KeySquared Games.

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