Updated: Apr 19
We reviewed Stephanie Kwok's Ducks in Tow three years ago when it first launched on Kickstarter. Now it's coming back to KS for a reprint and, with it a new Bugs & Slugs expansion. You can find more out about the original game by checking out our 2019 review on Board's Eye View at www.boardseyeview.net/post/ducks-in-tow so here we're focusing on the new expansion.
The Bugs & Slugs expansion is designed by Stephanie Kwok and Gordon Oscar, and Gordon Oscar also shares the art credit with Andrew Bosley. The expansion isn't standalone: it requires the core game but it adds several new components and ways to score. In addition to the ducks and matching food in the original game, the expansion gives us tokens representing the eponymous Bugs & Slugs. These are placed out on all the tiles and, as an action additional to those in the core game, you can collect these tokens to place out on your special Bugs & Slugs board to activate that board's unique ability. Alternatively, you can place the tokens on the additional new duck cards that are also part of this expansion and which also give you a special (single-use) action. When you take the card's special action, the cards are flipped and the bug tokens discarded, but the flipped cards still contribute to your score.
The extra ways to score in Bugs & Slugs add to the replayability of Ducks in Tow and if you've played the base game a lot you'll find the new expansion gives it a new lease of life. Of course they also add to the rules overhead, so newcomers will probably want to keep the expansion in reserve until players are all familiar with the core game. That's especially important because, as we observed in our original review, there's more to Ducks in Tow than a player might expect on casual first sight.
Shown here on Board's Eye View is a prototype of Bugs & Slugs along with the prototype of Ducks in Tow (the published version includes, for example, painted ducks rather than the plain versions shown in our 360). Publishers First Fish Games are bringing the new expansion to Kickstarter along with the opportunity to nab a copy of the original game. The campaign is live right now. Click here to check it out.