I think Kickstarter is a great way for startups to build capital to develop their project. Essentially, the consumer pays up front for an item before it’s actually produced. It could be a movie, book, game, device, service, event – really, anything.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the infectious ambition of entrepreneurs. Admittedly, I pay more for a haircut than I have backing any one Kickstarter project, and that makes it fun for me without risk, but there are some Kickstarters where the initial investment is over $100, and I do not play at those tables. That’s just me, but I don’t.
I usually back tabletop games because I’m a gamer and there are some really interesting concepts that pop up on Kickstarter. Someone comes up with a game idea and needs the funds to make it a reality. I get a copy of the game in return for my early investment, before it ever hits retail and often, they include stretch goals – bonus components when the project exceeds its goal.
Here are the recent projects I have backed on Kickstarter. Each link has the Kickstarter details, videos, images, etc. In some cases, they are over, successful and are now available in retail. I include links to the ones I know about.
Tiny Epic Kingdoms
A 4X/Euro MICROGAME for 2-4 players! Do you have what it takes to create the greatest pocket-sized Kingdom!? Tiny Epic Kingdoms has all the strategy of a traditional 4x game without the cost or the long playing time. Tiny Epic Kingdoms is only $16 and takes only 30-60 minutes to play.
2-4 players run tiny kingdoms with big ambitions. You want to expand your population throughout the realms, learn powerful magic, build grand towers, and have your neighbors quiver in fear at the mention of your name. The conflict? All of the other kingdoms want the same thing and there’s not enough room for everyone to succeed.
This game had a goal of $15k and is currently over $170k in backer pledges. 6 days to go as of this writing.
The Dice Tower – 2014 (Season 10)
The Dice Tower is one of the best gaming podcasts available, reviewing and demoing table top games. They do this for free – everything is on Youtube. I really enjoy the reviews and the goofy antics, and it was a no-brainer to support them.
Dice Tower had a goal of $40k, and raised over $134k. Clearly, I am not the only one who appreciates what these guys do for the gaming community.
Dice Tower can be seen, here: Dice Tower
Six-sided dice do not roll well – they are cubes. There are even books available that teach you how to manipulate the roll of such dice. Double-Six dice are 12-sided, numbered 1-6 twice. They roll more easily and are far more difficult to manipulate.
I don’t play with any gamers that are trying to manipulate the dice roll (except when trying to use The Force, which is completely legitimate), and I use a handcrafted dice tower for rolling, anyway. Still, I love this concept and the price was right to buy in.
This Kickstarter had a goal of $3,246 and finished with over #133k in backer pledges. I’m looking forward to these, and I already am seeing other games popping up on Kickstarter, offering Double-Six dice as components.
Coin Age – A Pay-What-You-Want Area Control Micro-Game
In Coin Age (published by TMG), two players attempt to control the land of Agea using a single card map and a handful of pocket change. Players take turns placing their forces (coins) on the map to control spaces, outmaneuver their opponent, and score victory points.
This Kickstarter has ended, but with a goal of $5k, it achieved an amazing $65k+, all based on a “pay as little as $3 for the game” concept.
They even have a “Print and Play” version of the game for free, HERE.
Burgoo – A-Pay-What-You-Want game of Community Stews
Burgoo is a game designed by Dan Manfredini (produced by TMG) for 2-5 aspiring stew chefs which takes 15-30 minutes depending on the number of players.
Each cook (player) starts the game with 12 stew ingredients randomly formed into a mixing line (2 sets of 6 ingredients). And a hand of ingredients that allow them to manipulate their mixing line, or add ingredients to the stew from every mixing line.
On a cook’s turn they may sample the stew, taking one ingredient of their choice from the stew into their hand. Or they may spend an ingredient from their hand to divide their cooking line, gaining access to more of their ingredients, or to add ingredients from their line into the stew, but be wise because if you add an ingredient that other cooks are ready to add, they too can add to the stew on your turn.
This Kickstarter has ended, but it more than quadrupled its goal of $5000, all based on a “pay as little as $3 for the game” concept.
Where Art Thou, Romeo?
Where Art Thou Romeo? is a nano-game in which 3-5 players take turns taking on the role of Juliet, who is attempting to find Romeo amongst the others players. Each card, other than Juliet, has two different roles from which to choose. Players holding these cards choose one of the two roles, which will subsequently make them want to convince the Juliet player that they either are or are not Romeo or perhaps point out who they think Romeo might be.
The game lasts 3-5 rounds depending upon the number of players with each player taking on the role of Juliet once. The player with the most influence points at the end of the game wins.
This game had a backer goal of as little as $1 to get a copy of the game, mailed. With a modest goal of $250, it raised $5723. I’ve gotten my copy, and the cards looks great. I haven’t played it yet.
HOST: The New Card Game From BROKEN PRISM GAMES
In HOST, the world has reached the first great apocalypse, You are either a brain munching zombie, an interstellar alien, or one of the few keeping them at bay… for now. Collect and trade matching cards to complete your mission for either an alien invasion, wide spread infection, or be humanity’s last hope, and cure them all. But every card you draw has a negative and positive value. Will you inadvertently let the enemy win by passing the wrong card? Deception is just as important as luck.
I’ve received my copy of the game and want to play it a few more times before I review it, but I like it. It had a goal of $2k and raised over $4k in backer pledges.
The deluxe version of game can be purchased here: TheGameCrafter
Marrying Mr. Darcy – The Pride and Prejudice Card Game
Marrying Mr. Darcy is a strategy card game where players are one of the female characters from Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. Players work to earn points and attract the attention of available suitors. Our heroines do this by attending events and improving their characters, but advantage can be gained by the use of cunning. All of their efforts are in hopes of marrying well and becoming the most satisfied character at the end of the game!
I backed this one for my wife, who is a huge fan of Jane Austen. I love playing games with her, and she’s played Zombies!!! and Talisman with me, so I guess I can play this once in a while, too. Apparently, there are no shortage of Austen fans as the goal was set at $10k, and it achieved well over $57k.
The Game can also be bought here: Marrying Mr. Darcy
Though Bocce Dice only takes a minute or two to learn, you will find yourself honing your skills and coming up with new strategies every time you play. The combination of skill and chance mean that, with some luck, even a beginner can challenge a master. It’s simple and adaptable structure encourages you to customize the game with your own rules.
Straight up, I loved this game concept and was so happy with the components when the game arrived. It’s a regular in our family game rotation. I did a full review of it HERE.
The game can be purchased here: Bocce Dice Game