Beasts of Balance board / app-game gets new expansions

Have you seen or played Beasts of Balance yet? It came out last year as a board game with a companion app, aimed at families.

You took turns to stack plastic animals and pieces on the board, which created an array of colourful beasts within the app on your nearby smartphone or tablet. I reviewed it for the Guardian just before Christmas, and it’s rather marvellous.

The creators of Beasts of Balance raised more than £168,000 on crowdfunding website Kickstarter to make the first run of the game. Now they’re returning to the site for a follow-up: a ‘Battles’ expansion set.

Beasts of Balance expansions

Whereas the current version of Beasts of Balance is about cooperative play, the ‘Battles’ expansion will help parents and children compete against one another as gods of the land, sea and sky.

There will also be 16 “battle cards” which players can use to attack, defend and have other effects on the game, as you try to topple your opponents’ score.

There’s also a ‘More Beasts’ expansion with three new plastic beasts: a flamingo, chameleon and anglerfish will be included in physical and digital form, joining the existing bear, eagle, shark, warthog, toucan and octopus.

The full details can be found on the Kickstarter campaign page. The game’s creator Sensible Objects was looking to raise $50,000 in pledges, but a few days in, it’s already past $154,000 with 25 days to go.

That means that a series of “stretch goals” (extra features) are being unlocked as the total rises, which should make the game even more fun.

The way Kickstarter usually works is that people offer multiple “tiers” with different prices. That’s the case here. If you pledge $49 or more, you can buy the Battles and More Beasts expansions.

If you don’t already own Beasts of Balance, you can pay $99 for the latest edition plus the Battles expansion; or $119 for the main game plus the Battles and More Beasts expansions.

(If you’re feeling flush, you can splash out on higher tiers: $169 throws in a gold dragon statue; while $375 gets a ‘gift pack’ of five copies of the board game.)

I’ve really enjoyed the original Beasts of Balance, but having unlocked lots of its beasts within the companion app, there was a risk that its appeal would dwindle.

The new battles mode, beasts and other features are coming at exactly the right time, although having plumped down my $49 for the expansion packs, it’s going to feel like a long wait until March 2018 when they’re due to be shipped out.

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