Top board games of the week: Splintered Lands, Compounded, and Mini Express

Do you go on long getaways with your family? Then you'll need to bring some board games. Here are our favorites of the week.

Top board games of the week: Splintered Lands, Compounded, and Mini Express
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Are you booking an Airbnb retreat with the family this year? Sure, that lakeside getaway has a hot tub for the adults and a climbing wall for the kiddos. But what will you do during the inevitable downtime? Play some cool board games, of course. And here are some of the top crowdfunded ones of the week.

These titles will add a healthy dose of competition to your quality time, from a chemistry-based board game to a post-apocalypse deck-building game.

Splintered Lands deck-building game

Top board games of the week: Splintered Lands, Compounded, and Mini Express
Splintered Lands Kickstarter promotion

Plunge yourself into a post-apocalyptic world when you play Splintered Lands, a 2-player game. This game occurs 200 years in the future when humanity has been mostly destroyed.

While a small segment of people took refuge in domed utopian cities, those outside the domes became rugged, stubborn individuals—the survivors. But there aren’t enough resources left to sustain their growing numbers, leading to war.

As a player, you must spend your authority to gain power, assert your influence, and find skilled allies. On your turn, you’ll play cards, choose cards, and navigate your faction.

Support Splintered Lands for $35 on Kickstarter.

Compounded: The Peer-Reviewed Edition and Lab Notes: Roll-and-Write

Top board games of the week: Splintered Lands, Compounded, and Mini Express
Compounded: Peer Review box

Taking its 2013 board game to the next level, Greater Than Games is releasing Compounded: The Peer-Reviewed Edition as well as Lab Notes. In the new Compounded, scientists grapple for recognition and get credit for their discoveries while competing for resources.

This updated edition boasts new rules and artwork for easier, more fun gameplay. In the game, you’re a scientist attempting to create chemical compounds that receive a high score using the tools you collect along your way.

Then, in Lab Notes, you’re challenged to chemical bonds according to how you roll elemental dice for Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen, or a Bunsen burner. Can you make the chemical on the card? The winner completes their sheet first, making this one of our favorite cool board games.

Pledge $15 to support Lab Notes or $35 to support Compounded: The Peer-Reviewed Edition.

Mini Express Map Pack Expansions 1 & 2

Mini Express map pack expansion
Mini Express Map Pack Expansion 1 & 2 components

Did you love Mini Express by Moaideas Game Design? Then the Mini Express Map Pack Expansion 1 & 2 is the natural continuation since it includes the UK, Taiwan, Japan, and Spain editions.

If you’re unfamiliar with Mini Express, it’s a strategic board game for 1 to 5 players where you and other wealthy capitalists run 4 railroad companies. Through careful planning, you attempt to be the most influential railroad baron.

The expansion maps take you to the UK, Taiwan, Japan, and Spain to build railroads, exerting your influence abroad. There, you’ll construct things such as the London Underground.

Support them starting at $20 on Kickstarter.

The DUNGENERATOR: Series 2 and Reprinting Series 1

The DUNGENERATOR Series 2
The DUNGENERATOR dungeon cards

Are you and your family all about RPGs? Then maybe you’re getting used to the turns your DM throws at you. So check out The DUNGENERATOR: Series 2 and Reprinting Series 1 by ROLLINKUNZ. It belongs in your cool board games closet because this deck of cards randomly creates inky, organic dungeons.

This way, the DM won’t have to hand-draw a layout or borrow a map. Meanwhile, each room in the dungeon includes captivating visuals. The Standalone deck comes with 54 double-sided cards with over 60 pieces of hand-inked art by ROLLINKUNZ.

The DUNGENERATOR Series 1 is also available as a reprint in this campaign.

Pledge $5 for a digital DUNGENERATOR deck on Kickstarter.

Dice Throne: Santa Vs. Krampus

Dice Throne: Santa Vs. Krampus video

Going away for the winter holidays later this year? Then be sure to pack Dice Throne: Santa Vs. Krampus. It’s a 2–6-player game designed for ages 8 and up. Featuring fast playtime, easy rules, and super replayability, it’s holiday-themed fun for the whole family.

Simply choose your hero—Santa or Krampus—and roll the dice to activate their abilities. Then, you can use Upgrade cards to improve your abilities as you play. Action cards help you strategically manipulate the dice and catch your opponent off guard.

Claim victory when you reduce your opponent’s health to zero.

Pledge $35 to help this board game come to life.

Add healthy competition to your getaways

After a relaxing day of boating or hiking mountain trails, your group will undoubtedly be up for a bit—or a lot—of friendly competition. So games like Dice Throne: Santa Vs. Krampus, Compounded: Peer-Reviewed, and Splintered Land will fit right in.

What board games do you own and love? Tell us about them!

Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she's not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters.
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