Sunday, December 4, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Kickstarter Post Part III: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

And now we move on to game 1-5 on my top 10 anticipated Kickstarters list! These are all games that I am HIGHLY interested in! Of the 5 games that will appear in this post, I actually have 3 of them coming whenever they are released! I’ll wait until we get to those specific games to say which! This is one of the first years that I’ve been so excited by the games coming out from Kickstarter. The quality is definitely getting higher overall…although there is still plenty of junk to weed through! My best advice to anyone who hasn’t gone the Kickstarter route is to do your research and make sure it is what you want. Watch the videos, see what other games the designers have done, see what other games the publisher has done, and see what other campaigns they have run. There are certain companies that I’ll never back one of their Kickstarters but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t get their game when it hits retail. It is just being aware that you may not get your game for a while and being okay with that. Just back it if you’re interested and sit back and wait till it hits your door. If you don’t constantly watch you’ll just get your game when you aren’t expecting it and it will be a pleasant surprise! Okay, enough of that, on to the meat of the post! If you haven’t seen them yet, feel free to check out my previous two Kickstarter posts at the links below.

Kickstarter 2016 Honorable Mentions

Kickstarter 2016 Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Alright, all caught up? Then let’s go ahead and move on to games 1-5 on the list! These are all games that will probably end up in my collection (3 already will be!) if not as soon as they are released then very quickly after. Enjoy the read!

#5 – Spirit Island (Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus)

Spirit Island is a co-operative, card-drafting, and hand-management game designed by R. Eric Reuss and will be published by Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus. This game was funded by 1,178 backers and made $84,176 during its run on Kickstarter a little over a year ago. The game has had some unfortunate delays and now they are hopeful that it will come out around March of 2017. This game just looks like a ton of fun! My wife and I really like a good co-operative game and this one appears to be right up that alley. You are actually playing a spirit on a small island which is being invaded by humans. They are coming onto the island and want to build their villages and towns and generally become somewhat like a plague upon the untouched beauty that existed before they appeared. You will be using a card-drafting mechanism along with managing your hand of cards in order to defeat the humans and send them packing. I really enjoy the idea of being the spirit and taking on the humans as they are the antagonist in this game. I also love the art and the card play that is involved in this game and will probably order it as soon as it hits retail.

#4 – Charterstone (Stonemaier Games)

Charterstone is an economic, city-building, worker-placement game with a Legacy-style element that is designed by Jamey Stegmaier and published by his company, Stonemaier Games. This game hasn’t yet had its Kickstarter run but it shouldn’t be too much longer before it drops. I know Stegmaier hasn’t quite decided whether to do the Kickstarter run or to just put it up as a pre-order. I’m keeping it on this list because all of his major releases have been Kickstarted so until told otherwise I assume that this one will be on there as well. This game finds its players in the role of a citizen who is charged by their Forever King to go out and colonize the surrounding areas. The players will compete against each other to make their charter the most prosperous of the up-to-six players (charters) that may play through the game. The game will start small and you will compete to construct buildings in the shared village. You will start with few action spaces but as you play more games stickers will be added to the board and it will get more complex throughout the actions. While you have few workers in the beginning, each play will add more to the game’s complexity and decision points. I unabashedly love the idea of Legacy games and so far the ones I’ve played (Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and SeaFall) I’ve really enjoyed. For these reasons this game hits number 4 on my list!

#3 – Unfair (Good Games Publishing)

Unfair is a card-drafting, hand-management, economic, theme-park-building game designed by Joel Finch and published by Good Games Publishing. This game was funded by 5,235 backers and made $284,846 during its run on Kickstarter in August/September of 2016. This game came somewhat out of nowhere and did very well during its campaign. They did a great job in drumming up excitement during Gen Con 2016 and the campaign was very well run. This game finds each player building up their own theme park in an attempt to gain the most visitors and thus the most points at the end of the game. The game is interesting in that it goes through two distinct stages, the first half of the game where the events are nice to players, and the second half of the game where they get progressively meaner. There is a slight take-that element that doesn’t really need to be used if the players don’t want but makes things interesting. This game really drew me in due to my great love of card games, hand management, tableau building and card-drafting. Also, the artwork is absolutely amazing! This game was and insta-back for me and I can’t wait until I get my copy and I know my wife and I will love it! The only part of this campaign that I thought was a misstep was in their original date. They figured it would be out in time for Christmas which I think really pulled in a lot of backers but that date was obviously not going to be hit. At this point they are probably about two months behind and will most likely start shipping in the middle of January to the beginning of February. I do wish that more companies would be more realistic about their dates, but to be honest I basically fund and forget until they come in.

#2 – Yokohama (Tasty Minstrel Games)

Yokohama is a route/network building, set collection, economic game designed by Hisashi Hayashi and published by Tasty Minstrel Games. This game was funded by 5,784 backers and made $431,143 during its run on Kickstarter this past July. This is a game that I really didn’t want to like for some weird reason. I honestly have no idea why! I fought backing this for the longest time but with all the videos, interviews, and reviews I was seeing I ended up really falling in love with the idea of this game. Finally I caved and backed and now it’s my number 2 anticipated Kickstarter game! This game finds players as a merchant in the Meiji era of Japanese history. This was a time of great growth for the small fishing village of Yokohama and you are trying to gain the most fame as the best merchant by building a store, growing sales channels and working with trade with other countries. This is done with a clever, almost Mancala-like mechanism where you use your worker to move across the board leaving smaller workers in their wake and gaining benefits. There is some set collection and card drafting at play as well with the options you’re given on the board. This game looks great, if not a little busy, and I am really looking forward to my copy!

#1 – Gloomhaven (Cephalofair Games)

Gloomhaven is an adventure, exploration, co-operative, hand-management, campaign-based game designed by Isaac Childres and published by his company Cephalofair Games. This game was funded by 4,904 backers and made $386,104 during its run in September of 2015. The one word that I can really use to explain this project is ambitious. This game is huge in every way and is like a love letter to a fantasy adventure. Isaac has obviously put his heart and soul into this game and thus far I think it absolutely shows in the updates of the Kickstarter page. This game finds players taking on the role of an adventurer who is going about the land for their own particular reasons. They will band together with other players to go on this epic adventure that has character growth, multiple paths, a changing world, and even character retirement! There are 17 total classes that one could end up being during this game! One thing that some people apparently don’t like (although many others seem to love) is the fact that in this game you grow your character to a certain level while working on their personal goals and when they hit that point they will actually retire. While some people don’t like this I think it is amazing! It is an ever growing world and then gives the players the opportunity to chose a new (and now more powerful since you can keep some of the experience) class and continue on your adventures. This is just one of the many great ideas he has in this game. The battle system is very clever as you’ll have cards (again, hand-management…one of my favorite mechanisms!) which you’ll play in order to defeat the monsters in your way. During a battle you’ll lay down two cards from your hand in which you’ll play either the upper benefit or the lower benefit. This gives so many different and rich options that can play out each battle. Also, the world changes! In a Legacy-style, this game will add stickers to the map as you journey and open up more questing options. I can’t wait for this game! Sadly, at the time of the campaign I was unable to back, but have since pre-ordered the game and look forward to its arrival. All of these reasons make this game my number one anticipated Kickstarter release!

Well my friends, there you have it, a shiny list of 5 games (and more if you read the previous posts!) from Kickstarter that I am highly excited about. What Kickstarter campaigns are you excited about? I’d love to know! Keep a look out as my next series will be mine and my wife’s top 10 (or more…haven’t decided yet) games! We’re looking forward to sharing them. As always, thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it and love when people are entertained by my posts. Until next time, game on!


  1. Thanks for mentioning Charterstone! I can confirm that there definitely won't be a pre-order or Kickstarter for it--it will just have a regular worldwide retail release sometime in 2017.

    1. Thanks for the info jamey! i rendered my list moot but very cool! ;-)

    2. plus it looks so cool i'm just gonna keep it on for posterity's sake! ;-)

  2. Ha ha...thanks Aaron. Though no hard feelings if you replace it with one of your honorable mentions. :)

    1. lol...thanks jamey! too much work i'm definitely getting charterstone feels right!