I like Kickstarter a fair bit. The idea of supporting the creation of something that might otherwise not exist is quite appealing. Further, it’s somewhere to find things that you might not be able to easily get elsewhere. Whilst there are more than a few stories about terrible Kickstarter project results, or ones that never get completed, there are plenty of excellent ones that I’ve been very happy to receive. Don’t tell my wife how much I’ve spent though…
I’ve had a look through the 27 projects I’ve backed (with 2 due to finish soon), and I’ve received 15 of them so far. I have no reason to believe the others won’t arrive (although some are very overdue) which is good! I’ve had a little think about which ones I’d consider to be my favourite results, and here are a few of them! I’ve gone for ones that I enjoyed and haven’t considered the cost or whether they arrived on time. Let’s have a look then.
BattleTech – Raised $2,785,537 (I spent $25)
This one was delayed by about a year, but it was well worth the wait! I was a fan of the MechCommander games as a younger chap, and I really enjoy XCOM, so a combination of the two was always going to get my money. Taking command of your own band of mercenary Mechwarriors, you set out to reclaim the throne for your childhood friend during a bloody civil war. You can do this at your own pace by taking on contracts from the various star systems in your region of space to raise funds and recover salvage to turn your unit into the toughest outfit in the sector.
Combat is fairly deep as you manage ammunition, heat, and evasion for each of your ‘mechs. You could go for lots of missiles and cannons, but that ammo could run out or could explode, causing huge damage to your machine. But going with lasers will build up your heat quickly, risking a temporary shutdown which leaves you open to attack. There’s a huge amount to do in this game, and the $25 I paid in the Kickstarter campaign was worth every penny.
Burger Up – Raised AU$ 46,810 (I spent AU$42)
From millions of US Dollars to tens of thousands of Australian ones. Burger Up is a competitive tabletop game based on building burgers to order. With a hand containing a few cards, and three orders on the table, players need to create the biggest burgers that satisfy the orders to earn the most money by the end of the game.
It’s fantastically light and easy to get people into and goes from slow paced to people selling burgers every turn by the end. Do you sell the burger now, or hold on for another turn to make it bigger and even more valuable. There are a lot of ingredients, and the Burgers of the World expansion adds even more variety. Not only that, but there’s also a “recipe book” containing rule variations based on rules from other board games which is pretty neat. This was a great project for very little money.
Yooka-Laylee – Raised £2,090,104 (I spent £15)
Yooka-Laylee was not received well by some people upon its release. Personally, I really enjoyed it and had a good time in spite of a few sections that were more awkward than they needed to be. Made as a love letter to the collect-a-thons of yesteryear, it looked to modernise the likes of Banjo-Kazooie. Some people felt it went too far and lost what made those games great, others felt it didn’t go far enough and was stuck in the past. You can’t please everyone.
I was never a huge fan of those games, but I liked this a lot. The bright colours, the music, the varied gameplay. It was all fun! Whilst I’m never going to go out of my way to collect everything, and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that annoying final boss ever again, I’m still glad I spent the time and money on this. Plus, getting it on Kickstarter was a lot cheaper than buying it on release. So that’s nice.
Dark Souls: The Board Game – Raised £3,771,474 (I spent £171)
I know, I know! I spent far more than is sane on this, but I really wanted this along with a few of the expansions. Dark Souls: The Board Game is quite a bit heavier than my usual board gaming options, but the theme and minis (which aren’t that mini) are fantastic. Pick a class, fight the monsters, level up, and take on the boss! Every encounter is very difficult, with choices about trying to block and mitigate damage or roll to avoid it all together are often difficult and are life and death decisions, just like the video game!
The bosses are as tough as they should be, and require you learn their patterns to have a chance of success. A game of this can take a long time as you fight enemies, gain souls to level up and buy weapons, then fight them again. Because of this, I like to house rule that you get twice as many souls from combat, just to increase the pace. The expansions add a lot of additional content (that Gaping Dragon piece is amazing), and there are still some more to come!
Expedition – Raised $64,663 (I spent $43)
I wrote about this one quite recently, but this has become something of a favourite here in a short time. Playing like Dungeons & Dragons lite, you pick a character and some abilities, then your phone tells you a story in text form, as you make decisions and roll dice to resolve combat situations.
The brilliant bit is that most of the stories are written by the community, meaning that there’s a huge variety to experience. From three hour epics to thirty-minute comedies, there’s something for every play, whether solo or in a group. The one I backed came with the Horror expansion, that includes new classes and abilities, as well as a number of Lovecraftian monsters. There’s even a Future expansion coming along soon for even more variety! I’ve already backed that obviously.
Some other Kickstarters I’ve backed include the Cyanide & Happiness card game titled Joking Hazard which is pretty fun if you like Cards Against Humanity style games. The NES Visual Compendium is a wonderful book that covers pretty much everything ever released on the NES, along with interviews with people involved in the creation of them.
I’ve got a lot of others on their way in the next six months or so, with a surprising number due in March 2019, so I’d better clear my calendar! How do you feel about Kickstarter? Have you backed anything brilliant, or are you the victim of some of those horror stories? Let me know!