*Originally published on October 3, 2015 by Melissa Johnson.
We’re back! I’m excited to be highlighting the awesome games to be found on Kickstarter this week, because there’s an abundance of them.
First things first: I got my Exploding Kittens game. I love it. So do my friends. I’ve played through with large groups and small groups alike, and it’s great every time. I also love that the boxes for the game and its NSFW expansion are basically works of art in themselves. Plus, I keep trolling cats with the, uh, special surprise inside the main box, and their reactions range from indifference to indignation, and it’s great.
All hail Kickstarter and the creative geniuses with great game ideas!
So what projects are worth your consideration this time around? Let’s take a look…
1. Wizard School
I’ll admit, I’m biased toward this game. It’s made (at least in part) by Hank Green, who is brother of John Green (the author of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Looking for Alaska, among others). Hank is plenty busy in his own right, though! He does a lot of YouTube videos, and helped create one of my all-time favorite series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (a modern-day vlog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice).
Wizard School is being launched under DFTBA Games, which is an offshoot of the original DFTBA (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome), a collective for YouTubers to sell their merch— including the fabulous Geek & Sundry!
But the premise of this game is fantastic! It’s a humorous cooperative game where everyone is a student at a magic high school. The goal is simply to make it through each year, leaving you free to decide how to best go about that. The art is done by the wonderful Karen Hallion, and designed by Eric Johns of Wyrd Games. Hank is doing the writing for the game.
There’s even a NSFK expansion (that’s “Not Safe For Kids”) with cards that had to be excised from the game for various reasons.
The art looks fabulous, the premise amuses me, and I do love card games. $20 will get you the base set; $35 will get you the base set plus the NSFK expansion.
The Wizard School project exceed its goal and raised over $461,000.
2. Spirit Island
Here’s another game that has me excited in part because of the creative team behind it. In this case, it’s Greater Than Games, the same people who created Sentinels of the Multiverse (which is a blast to play, if you’ve never played before). Spirit Island has fantasy elements and it’s set in an alternate world around 1700 A.D. It’s also a cooperative game.
In some ways it’s kind of a reversal of Forbidden Desert or Forbidden Island — in this case, you play as spirits, the magical embodiments of various aspects of the island, and the goal is to drive out the invading colonists to protect the islanders. You are the environment, in this case, and the people characters play out according to the game’s mechanics. The art looks great and the premise is interesting — it’s nice to see a reversal of the usual “people vs. the elements” trope.
You can get a copy of the game for $49 plus shipping — or get a signed copy for $129.
The Spirit Island campaign ended on October 16th and raised over $84K.
3. World’s Fair 1893
This is in no way my usual fare, but World’s Fair 1893 looks like a stunning bit of work. It’s got a historical flair to it — the 1893 World’s Fair took place in Chicago and featured the first-ever Ferris wheel, so naturally that’s a key focus of the board game’s design. This game was created by Foxtrot Games, and it’s their third game to launch on Kickstarter.
The premise is part card-drafting and part area control, as the goal is to get your supporters into the right areas of the fair and get the exhibits of your choice approved. The board design itself is absolutely beautiful, and the artwork has a lovely vintage feel to it.
Plus, backers get to vote on exhibits during the campaign.
$29 will get you the base set, with free shipping in the U.S.
The World’s Fair 1893 campaign ended on Oct. 28, and raised over $45K.
Honorable Mention: An Ideal Necklace
As far as history goes, I tend to get bored after the Renaissance, but occasionally I’ll make an exception. In this case, I’m making one for An Ideal Necklace. Set in Victorian times, the players are ambitious ladies on the hunt for fashion — and husbands, of course! Either you can go it alone or attempt to navigate a mess of alliances and rivalries — which could play out in your favor, or hinder your chances.
This is Flintlocks & Fancy’s first game, and it certainly looks interesting. I really hope it gets made! The premise somewhat reminds me of another Kickstarter game, Marrying Mr. Darcy (OK, I admit it: I’m a sucker for anything Jane Austen. I absolutely backed the Emma expansion for Marrying Mr. Darcy, too.)
The artwork is absolutely gorgeous, too. It’s done by Kacey Lynn, whom I haven’t encountered before, but I love her style!
The game runs $29, or you can back it at the $8 and get a Print-and-play copy. The campaign for An Ideal Necklace ended and was unsuccessful.
What Kickstarter projects are you backing? What’s your favorite game that originated on Kickstarter? Leave us a comment and let us know!