My Kickstarted 2016

This is the story of my 2016 on Kickstarter. Since first discovering Kickstarter as a site I’ve been an avid user and spent far too much money on a range of projects. Over the past three years or so board gaming has been the major project area that has seen me spend my cash, so what has 2016 done for me?

Explorers of the North Sea – Garphill Games

Funded 25th February 2016
Expected Delivery: November 2016
Cost: $112NZD


Shem Philips of Garphill Games always runs a tight ship, no pun intended, when it comes to his Kickstarter projects and this one was no exception… or it was in the sense that it pretty much delivered earlier than projected.

This was an instant back for me as it completed the North Sea Saga (Shipwrights and Raiders being the first two). I’ve already given it a play and you can read my early thoughts on it on a previous blog post.

This project also included the Rune Saga expansion which turns the series into a kind of light legacy game, where you can play through a three game campaign. Yet to try that element.

Villages of Valeria – Daily Magic Games

Funded 1st March 2016
Expected Delivery: September 2016
Cost: $34

This is the second game in the Valeria series by Daily Magic Games, the first of which was Valeria: Card Kingdoms (which I also backed and loved). The production quality of VCK was outstanding, so at the price point I had no problem in jumping on to the next in the series, also splendidly illustrated by one of my favourite illustrators, The Mico.

As it stands, Villages of Valeria is behind schedule, although not for much longer hopefully. I watched a Youtube video from The Dice Tower and saw Tom Vasel unbox the copy they sent to him, so surely backer copies aren’t far away now!


Joking Hazard – Cyanide & Happiness

Funded 10th March 2016
Expected Delivery: November 2016
Cost: $53

Hot on the heels of Exploding Kittens, another massively popular web comic designed and released a very small and simple card game. This time a comic strip creation game which plays a bit like Cards Against Humanity to some degree.

The main reason for backing was the fact my wife is a MASSIVE C&H fan. No idea if she’ll play it, but it’s worth a go if nothing else!

Arrived bang on time, if not a touch early too. Very impressed. Needless to say, yet to play it as it’s planned for Christmas, but if it hits the table expect reports on future podcast episodes!

Snowblind – Pleasant Games Company

Funded 21st April 2016
Expected Delivery: November 2016
Cost: $42

Delivered bang on time, this arrived on time and on spec. Fair play to Pleasant Games Company.

Why did I back it? I foolishly watched the Rahdo Runs Through for it and duly ran off to back it on Kickstarter right away. The base price was very good, at $29, though a bit more with delivery, but the game looked fun, illustrated nicely and about the perfect weight for me.

I’ve yet to play it, but have received it and it looks fine. Looking forward to giving it a crack, hopefully before the year is out!


Downsize – Braincrack Games

Funded 24th April 2016
Expected Delivery: May 2016
Cost: £35

A small UK based project, this got me as a backer mainly to support a UK project and also because the art style was pretty cool. The gameplay it self looks pretty basic and I’ve to be honest here, I’ve not played it yet and not entirely sure I even will… but it looks nice, for sure!

Delivered pretty much bang on time, maybe a little later than expected, but not bad by any means. I think it was a little overpriced for what it is… a small card game and it cost £35? In retail I’d expect this to be around the £15 to £20 mark.


Quests of Valeria – Daily Magic Games

Funded 7th May 2016
Expected Delivery: February 2017
Cost: $23

What’s this? Another Valeria game? Yep! Before they were anywhere with Villages they launched the third in the series. This one was even cheaper than the previous game and so yep, count me in.

Current state of play: not many updates of late… production is ongoing, not sure it’ll deliver by February now seeing as Villages still hasn’t arrived yet either, but not a big deal.


Space Race: The Card Game

Funded 18th May 2016
Expected Delivery: December 2016
Cost: $29

Fab artwork, great theme (1950s through to current age space industry tableau building), great price point. I watched Rahdo’s Run Through and that sold me almost right away, even if the artwork and theme didn’t. The card comboing effects kind of reminded me a bit of Race For The Galaxy or Glory To Rome and I like that kind of tableau/engine/combo building effort.

At present it’s in production limbo to a degree… it’s getting there, but they’ve been fine-tuning the game a bit longer than they expected. However, that’s to good effect as the improvements and polish they’ve been applying continue to make this look a great effort. Looking forward to (hopefully) getting this early next year.


Plague Inc: The Board Game – Ndemic Creations

Funded 31st May 2016
Expected Delivery: November 2016
Cost: $45

Another first timer, though this time it was from the developers of the app Plague Inc. I’d played that app before and enjoyed it well enough – it’s like the other side of Pandemic, where you’re playing the virus rather than the scientists attempting to cure the diseases.

Again, it’s a UK project and the gameplay looks about the right weight for me. Artistically, it looks good though not as polished as I would normally want for me to back it so quickly… I’m still not entirely sure why I backed it in honesty, but will play it eventually.

It delivered a tiny bit late, arriving in December, but that may well have been the fault of customs on the UK side, as it docked on time and just sat there for a couple weeks. I did also see that this was one of the very few games Tom Vasel himself actually backed – he gave it an 8/10 by the way.


Glori Eternia – British Briefs

Funded 3rd July 2016
Expected Delivery: November 2016
Cost: £9

This one sadly falls into the category of Kickstarter Fails. I was drawn to the game by the artwork and (VERY) cheap price point. Only £9? Very fair for a fun looking and well illustrated card game.

It only just crept over its funding target and all looked fine for a while, but just recently the project creator canned it and refunded everyone’s pledges. The amount of money they made just didn’t cover the cost of creating the project and presumably there was very little interest from other publishers or distributors in taking it to retail… dead in the water.


Planetarium – Game Salute

Funded 7th July 2016
Expected Delivery: March 2017
Cost: $49

Science and sci-fi themes seem to be in this year for Kickstarter projects. This is probably the number one game I’m excited about receiving from this year’s clutch too. The theme is fab, the art is stunning, mechanics solid – the board is basically a solar system of matter which accretes on three orbiting early stage planets, which slowly terraform them into whatever players are trying to create in order to score.

I even got to play it on Tabletopia with the Devon Dice gang during the project and totally convinced me I’d made the right call on backing it – no doubt it’ll be available at retail too, it’s good enough to sell, but it does have a handful of goodies via the Kickstarter that will make it worthwhile hopefully.

It even looks like it is on schedule too, which is remarkable given it is a Game Salute title and should rub Joel’s nose in his ribbing!


Near and Far – Red Raven Games

Funded 12th August 2016
Expected Delivery: May 2017
Cost: $80

Despite the fact I’m a fan of Above and Below and a bigger fan of the overall Red Raven Games aesthetic and philosophy… wow, was this a lot of dollars to drop on a game that will be available at retail at about the same cost…

That said, it comes with the goodies you’d expect from a deluxe Kickstarter, in the form of metal coins and some other goodies, so hopefully worth it in the long run. Heck, it’s Red Raven… it’ll be worth it!


Multiuniversum: Project Cthulhu – Board & Dice

Funded 27th August 2016
Expected Delivery: November 2016
Cost: $30

Multiuniversum was a surprise hit for me, and others, at this year’s UK Games Expo. It’s a lovely little set collection, area control, multi-use card game which plays quick and simple with some great artwork. The art, in fact, is so good I’d love some big posters of some of the cards!

Project Cthulhu is the expansion for the base game which changes out the standard portal scoring cards for Lovecraftian horror locations. More of the same, generally, but that’s no bad thing here.

Delivered basically on time too, so that was a bonus!


Iliad: Heroes of Troy – Escape Velocity Games

Funded 16th September 2016
Expected Delivery: March 2017
Cost: $21

Greek mythology/history game with combo building cards, nice artwork and cheap price. That’s all there really is to this one, in honesty. At the price it’s either a bargain or a worthwhile risk.

Latest updates…. Well, there haven’t been many in honesty. However, it’s on target from what I understand, so here’s hoping for a spring 2017 arrival.


Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove – Certifiable Studios

Funded 6th October 2016
Expected Delivery: January 2017
Cost: $35

This had one of the best project pages in years. It featured many jokes at its own expense, many nods to Kickstarter tropes and stereotypes and alongside it a valid seeming game with some awesome art work and production quality.

It is a bit delayed against its expected delivery date, but not by a mile. I’d expect it to arrive around March or April at worst, with any luck. Either way, it will hopefully be fun to play and if not I’ll be creating a montage of the cards in a big frame to stick on my office wall. The art is THAT GOOD.


The Pioneers Program – GCT Games

Funded 30 October 2016
Expected Delivery: March 2017
Cost: £20

This one I jumped onto on the very last day. I saw Joel had backed it and hadn’t heard of it to that point, even though I follow the BGG geeklist designed to keep me fully abreast of all new Kickstarter projects!

After taking a look I knew I had to back it. A UK project, artwork by The Mico (see various projects on this post) and a post-apocalyptic theme. I’m in!


Valeria: Card Kingdoms: Flames and Frost – Daily Magic Games

Funded 4th November 2016
Expected Delivery: August 2017
Cost: $33

Big box expansion for Valeria: Card Kingdoms – aka Machi Koro Killer. No doubts for me, this was an instant back. More of the fab Mico artwork, more cards to add to the combos on the game, more stuff to put in the base game box to pad out that available space. Awesome.

Daily Magic haven’t given many updates on it lately, but that’s understandable given it only ended a little over a month ago and has until August next year to complete!


Well, that’s it for my 2016 Kickstarters. A few predictable ones, not many big hitters compared to other folks and plenty of games featuring artwork from The Mico (that’ll be an ongoing theme next year too, no doubt) and no less than three Valeria projects. I hear on the jungle drums that there’s another Valeria game incoming soon too, so expect to see more of those in next year’s update.

Out of all the projects listed above the one I am looking forward to the most is Planetarium. Having already played a digital version I’m fully expecting to really enjoy the physical copy. Not least because of the stunning artwork. I’m calling it now, that’ll be my favourite artwork of 2017!

What were your top Kickstarters for 2016 and what are you most looking forward to from your backs this year? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or comment on our BGG Guild!