Keep a tribe of Kiwis fed and thriving in Kiwi Chow Down, the last entry in a trilogy of avian-themed tabletop games.
An upcoming game for one to four players, Kiwi Chow Down is set on the bird’s native island of New Zealand, which is currently the stomping ground for several warring tribes of kiwis. The island is split into several different sections, each one up for the taking by whichever ambitious tribe of kiwis manages to establish their dominance there first. However, the kiwi’s lust for land is easily surpassed by their immense hunger for food, meaning that players will need to ensure that their birds are kept well fed.
Players begin their turn by playing a card from their hand and performing the action shown, before taking a new card into their hand. This process repeats until all the players have laid down three cards into their flock boards. Whenever a player uses a feed card, they can choose to give food to one of their own kiwis or an opponent’s. Feeding a kiwi causes it to grow in size - which is indicated by how many kiwi tokens are stacked on top of each other - with a size three kiwi being the limit. Should a size three kiwi be fed, then it explodes and is taken off the board.
The larger the kiwi, the more intimidating it is to the smaller kiwis on the board. Whenever a kiwi enters a space occupied by one or more smaller kiwis, up to two of the smaller kiwis can be pushed off to an adjacent space. If a player’s kiwi tokens ever outnumber those of another player’s on a hex, they can choose to pay fruit in order to build a nest there. Building nests give players immediate benefits, as well as benefits during a season change, with the more expensive types of nests giving better benefits. Players can also gain advantages by hitting the requirements of a season card, which change with each new season.
At the end of a season, players take turns to establish their tribe’s dominance by placing dominance markers on a hex where their kiwi tokens and nests outnumber any other players’ present there. Placing dominance markers gains players points at the end of the game, depending on the colour of their tribe, with the player holding the most points being named the winner.
Kiwi Chow Down was co-designed by Pepe Macba and Rubén Hernández Santillán - the creator of Dodos Riding Dinos, the second game in Detestable Games and Draco Studios avian trilogy - with consultation from Morgana Watson to ensure that the board game depicts its theme in a respectful way towards Māori cultures.
Besides Kiwi Chow Down and Dodos Riding Dinos, Detestable Games and Draco Studios have also co-published War for Chicken Island - the first entry in the studio’s avian trilogy - with Detestable Games solo publishing the television cooking show game, Crooks & Cooks, and a card game about characters fighting over a chair called Seat Wars.
The Kickstarter campaign for Kiwi Chow Down is live until May 27th, with a pledge of $65 (£47) getting backers a copy of the core game that’s set to be released in May 2022. Alternatively, a print-and-play version of the game is available for a pledge of $12 (£9) that will be launched in September.