It can be hard to stay on top of all the video and board games that come out every week. There’s projects that always slip through the cracks, amongst all the AAA giants and higher profile indies. But a lot of the really cool stuff that diverts from the mainstream can still be found on Kickstarter.
The best part about Kickstarter is just how different the projects are on the platform.
AAA publishers would be hesitant to fund a game with a name like Exploding Kittens, but through the support of the gaming community it rose to become one of the best (and most fun) card games around. You’ll always get duds like the failed OUYA video game console or Mighty No. 9, but Kickstarter is still a great platform for finding new and interesting indie games, as well as nifty board game ideas.
As production costs deepen, many board game publishers are also turning to the platform as a means to gauge interest and ensure a set audience when a game releases.
It means you’ll get AAA-type games like The Umbrella Academy card game launching on the crowdfunded platform before a retail release. If you’re a collector, you’ll be able to nab steep discounts by backing it on Kickstarter and you’ll usually get exclusive components like new cards, fancy tokens or special characters.
In Australia, board games also tend to be fairly expensive at retail, but you can actually save money (and get games earlier) by going straight to the source. It means you’ll know about all the best and most exciting projects before anyone else.
To browse Kickstarter’s hearty lineup, you’ll need to navigate a relatively confusing search system. The easiest way is to head here and browse new Discover titles, but if you want to navigate for yourself, follow these steps:
- Head to Kickstarter
- Select ‘Discover’ in the far left corner
- Scroll down until you reach the ‘Categories’ section
- Select ‘Games’, then ‘All Games Projects’
- Sort by ‘Popularity’ or ‘Magic’
This will give you an overview of the latest and most exciting gaming projects to receive support, with the ‘most funded’ games normally hitting the top of the Discover tab. Scroll the first few pages and you’ll usually find a colourful array of fantastic projects not available on the mainstream market. Here, you can grab special handmade dice, dungeon and terrain builders for D&D sessions, great-looking RPGs and plenty of other novel ideas.
Personally, I’m a bit of a fiend for Kickstarter and I’ve backed a bunch of super cool board games via the Discover function. These include games about inviting surrealists to dinner, escaping an underground cavern that slowly reveals itself via game tiles and a pop-up book board game that looks incredible. If you back a few projects, Kickstarter can also recommend you specific things you might like via email alerts so you don’t have to check back every few weeks.
Yes, Kickstarter can be a massive risk and you’ll need to place faith in the developers behind the projects. But horror stories are quite rare, and the rewards of trust are usually great. Even if you have to wait a few extra months for your project to arrive (and 2020 has played havoc on a lot of recent games) the results are nearly always worthwhile.
Consider going on a Kickstarter Discover romp if you’re looking for next big gaming adventure. You might find exactly what you’re looking for.