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Kickstarters Everyone is Talking About

Jen Graham-Macht January 30, 2018
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2018 is starting off with a bang. January is proving to be a hot month with tons of releases and announcements from game publishers. Renegade Game Studios has given us Altiplano this month. Plaid Hat Games has Stuffed Fables releasing February 1st. Iello’s Fairy Tiles is also slated to be a February release. The release schedule is ramping up quickly.

Publishers taking to Kickstarter in the new year are finding success and conversation in abundance. I receive announcements for great new Kickstarter campaigns daily. There are five games live on Kickstarter right now that also rank among the top ten trending items on the coveted BoardGameGeek Hotness list.

Nemesis (slot 3)
Publisher: Awaken Realms, Rebel
Current Backer Total: 21,721

Aliens, space travel, sweet looking miniatures! Makes me wonder if Ridley Scott plays board games and is backing this project. Awaken Realms’ five other projects including Lords of Hellas and This War of Mine (which made it onto several top games of 2017 lists in past month) make them no stranger to the crowdfunding platform. The Polish company’s most recent addition has blown past all of its previous pledge counts and funding levels. Nemesis’ components are the real star of the game, even though the miniatures are great. After all, that’s what Awaken Realms is known for. The card and tile system that integrate with semi-cooperative game play make Nemesis look and feel cinematic. Greatness comes at a cost here, because the entry point to get the core set of this game will run you $98 plus shipping.

UBOOT The Board Game (slot 5)
Publisher: Phalanx, PlayWay S.A.
Current Backer Total: 6,803

UBOOT has doubled the Kickstarter numbers the publishing company saw on its previous project Hannibal & Hamilcar, an award-winning two-player war game in the same price range. While both games follow a similar format in historical theme and price, Phalanx’s newest game has some big differences. UBOOT’s game board is a three dimensional scale model of a German U-boat from World War II. It’s played in real time with character choices akin to those found in Captain Sonar. The game also includes an app that brings the feeling of being on the U-boat to life for players. This game may have a niche audience, but it plays into the thing history buffs love most about their hobby: it recreates experience really well.

Tiny Epic Zombies (slot 6)
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Current Backer Total: 16,741

Gamelyn Games and Scott Almes may have discovered the alchemist’s recipe to turn anything into gold. Well, first they make it “Tiny” and then it turns to gold.  Gamelyn is looking to the classic zombie theme for their latest addition to the Tiny Epic gaming series. You may think zombies are way over done, but that hasn’t stopped their backer total from reaching the 13,000 mark in just four days. Even if this isn’t the game for you, definitely check out the trailer Garth Lee Vicker produced for Gamelyn. It’s fantastic!

HATE (slot 8)
Publisher: CMON Limited, Guillotine Games
Current Backer Total: 6,429

Cool Mini (CMON) has struck an uncommon chord in their latest collaboration with Guillotine Games. Like many of the games they fund on Kickstarter, HATE is graphically enticing and filled with gorgeously rendered miniatures. What is different (and has everyone up in a stir) is HATE’s subject matter and presentation video, which is the first thing that potential backers see on Kickstarter. Guillotine’s last project with CMON, Zombicide Green Horde, raised over $5,000,000. Hitting the million dollar club has been a fairly typical occurrence for CMON’s Kickstarter campaigns. We’ll see if this project makes the cut.

Western Legends (slot 9)
Publisher: Kolossal Games
Final Backer Total: 6,721

This is Kolossal Games’ first Kickstarter project. I’d say it is going pretty well for them. The now completed campaign raised in excess of $550,000. Kolossal’s campaign execution has been flawless with Western Legends. They’ve opened themselves up to plenty of interviews throughout the campaign and really let the stunning artwork shine across all of their PR work. Western Legends is an open world sandbox game where players work to build up some of the famous figures we love from the old stories into the legends they are today. Maybe they’ve found the big box western game we’ve all been waiting for.

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