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I have a soft spot for story driven cooperative games, including my favorite game of all time, but most of them are either too complex, or too thematically mature to play with my kids, which is a bummer considering my almost-eleven year old’s expressed interest in the games. Enter Wander: The Cult of Barnacle Bay, a new cooperative dungeon crawl by Panda Cult Games that just launched on Kickstarter.

From the campaign page:

Wander: The Cult of Barnacle Bay is a campaign based co-op dungeon crawler where the players take on the role of heroes from the Wanderer’s Guild. They must work together to infiltrate the once peaceful village of Barnacle Bay and put an end to Elder Bane and his Cult of the Deep! Throughout the campaign, players will choose branching scenarios that each provide their own challenges. Its up to our heroes to navigate these scenarios by choosing a set of unique abilities tailored to their own strengths. They acquire these abilities by defeating enemies during a scenario, but dont get too carried away! If you do, you are liable to summon more of Elder Bane’s cultists who will try and stop you by any means.

The art style of the game immediately drew me in, with clean, vibrant illustrations that have this great Saturday morning cartoon vibe. They style of illustration being used for the characters in the game translates wonderfully into the miniatures for the game. When they are painted, the miniatures look like they were pulled straight from the drawings.

Wander Campfire

The art looks amazing. I want to explore this world.

Panda Cult Games is sticking with an incredibly straightforward approach when it comes to pledge levels in that there is only a single pledge level for the game. For $90 plus shipping (the project is US, EU and Aus friendly) you get a copy of the game, a Kickstarter exclusive hero, and all applicable stretch goals that may be unlocked during the campaign. There is also one optional add-on at the time of this writing. For $50 you can add on the Founder’s pack, which will contain pewter miniatures and some alternative playable hero cards.

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All miniatures painted by Elizabeth Beckley.

This is Panda Cult Games first Kickstarter project as a company, but the team behind the game have a ton of experience in the tabletop games industry including work with Mantic Games, Gale Force Nine, Kingdom Death, Ninja Division, Reaper Miniatures, and more. The timeline laid out for the game looks fairly realistic considering the amount of development that has already been done on the game, and the Panda Cult Games team plans to deliver the game in September 2018.

Wander Box Contents

You are going to have to paint your own minis, but the box comes with a pile of them.

The project is seeking $50,000, and it’s very nearly reached its funding goal as of the time of this writing, so it’s a safe bet to say that this game will probably easily reach and then surpass its goal. There is already one Stretch Goal laid out for $55k, with a graphic that shows at least 21 goals have been planned by the team, so if you are the type who likes to chase stretch goals during Kickstarter campaigns, then there should be plenty of offer here to keep you interested during the campaign.

What do you think of Wander: The Cult of Barnacle Bay? Are you a fan of story driven cooperative games? Have you been looking for a cooperative game that has a more family friendly vibe? Let us know in the comments below.


Travis Williams

Tabletop Editor

Maestro of cardboard and plastic.


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