What to Kickstart: March 2013

It’s a great time to be a board game fan! Crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter are offering more and more board games for players to choose from. In this post we’d like to review some of the best projects that you can support, but first let’s take a quick look at what Kickstarter is, for the uninitiated. If you’re familiar with Kickstarter then just scroll down to the bottom for our take on the hot Kickstarter projects going on right now.

kickstarter-badge-fundedKickstarter (and others like it, though for board games, Kickstarter is the dominant player) is a crowd-sourcing site. What this means is a person or a company has a project (can be almost anything – but in this case, let’s focus on board games) and they want some financial support from the world. The company sets a target for how much money they need, and then they set how long they’d like the campaign to last – usually around 30 days.

People then go to their Kickstarter site and show their support by ‘investing’ in the project.The company has set a variety of different levels that people can invest. The basic level is usually the cost of one game. By investing at this level will mean that if the project gets funded then they will receive a copy of the game. So effectively what we’re all doing is pre-ordering a copy of the game.

After the allotted time, if the company did not reach their target, then it is not funded and no one is charged anything. If the target is reached then everyone is charged the amount they invested and the project is happening!

To me, this is a fantastic model. Companies put out a game on Kickstarter to see if the public is interested and if the public shows interest in it, then it gets funded and the game is released. If no one is interested in the game, then it won’t happen and will save that company money from investing their own money and trying to release it.Currently 34% of ll games (which includes video games) on Kickstarter have been funded.

Kickstarting board games has been going on for a few years now and there has been an evolving art to how to run a successful campaign. I won’t go into all the details, mostly because I haven’t been involved in a Kickstarter project (yet!), but there’s a skill in determining the Stretch Goals and various packages. Stretch Goals are funding targets that are higher than their original funding target – and if a Stretch Goal is hit then all backers will get some sort of bonus. Usually it’s more content for the game, which can sometimes be an exclusive for Kickstarter backers and sometimes it will even be available in the retail version.

So that’s Kickstarter in a somewhat over-sized nutshell. Sen and I have already been backers for quite a few projects already, including:

  • D-Day DIce – this one was huge! They wanted $13,000 but raised $171,805. 1321% of their goal!
  • Sentinels of the Universe – Another huge one. $20,000 target but raised $185,200. 926% of their goal!
  • Garden DIce – with art by the amazing Josh Cappel. $10,000 target but raised $15,897. 158% of their goal.
  • Kings of Air and Steam – published by Tasty Minstrel Games with art by good ole Josh Cappel. $10,000 target but raised $41,722. 417% of their goal.
  • Ground Floor – another Tasty Minstrel Game. $15,000 target but raised $116,894. 779% of their goal. One of their Stretch Goals was at $75,000 where everyone who backed the game got another game for FREE called Skyline!
  • Frankendie – a fun party dice game. Goal was $10,000 and raised $13,127. 138% of their goal.
  • Top This! – a flicking game about pizza! Goal was $15,000 and they raised $16,431. 109% of their goal.
  • Airborne in Your Pocket – $30,000 goal but raised $102,010. 340% of their goal.

So far we’ve been pleased with all our Kickstarter games! Here are the ones we’re backing right now – and you can join in if you feel so inclined!

dungeon-rollDungeon Roll – by Tasty Minstrel Games. This one has caught on and still has 10 days left. They wanted $15,000 but are currently up to $106,000! Lots of Stretch Goals have been unlocked so you’re getting a lot for your $15!



Maze of Games – From game designer Mike Selinker (designer of dozens of games) has created a book full of games, mazes and puzzles. It looks amazing! I secretly think he created this just for me! He targeted $16,000 but has so far raised $137,804! Only 5 days left and so many Stretch Goals have been smashed, so you’re going to get your money’s worth!




Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination – this game has quality oozing all over it. They wanted $23,000 but have so far raised $320,437!! Wow! 10 Days still remain. They’ve added a bunch of new options, including a Deluxe wooden box that looks pretty sweet!

What other board games should we keep our eye on that’s being Kickstarted?

-Jay Cormier