It’s time for another Kickstarter roundup! Here are a few Kickstarter projects that I think are worth checking out, though I didn’t have the opportunity to write full reviews of them. Most of these, as usual, are tabletop game projects, but I’ve got a handful of others as well.
I saw a prototype of Planetoid at Gen Con last year, and was intrigued by dual-layered board that lets you “drill” across the planetoid, looking for valuable resources. There are a few modes of gameplay, but I like the tension between digging blindly and revealing adjacent spaces (which your opponents can take). This campaign is almost over, so check it out soon! I’m impressed with the low cost on this one (but don’t forget to check shipping costs at the bottom of the campaign page).
Summit, a game of mountain climbing, is getting an expansion: Teams bridges the gap between competitive and cooperative modes, because you work with one teammate competing against the other teams. And if you missed the Yeti expansion the first time around, you’ll also have an opportunity to get that as well.
The Own Your Stigma enamel pins are a way to fight stigma about mental illness and mental health issues. Artist Liz Keller Kaneda has ADHD, anxiety, and depression, and has worked on various projects on the topic of mental health. These pins are a way for her (and others) to take ownership of mental health diagnoses, to show that it’s okay not to be neurotypical, to get treatment, to have a brain that works differently. There are a number of different pin types, and they’re beautiful representations of what it’s like to have these conditions.
I’ve been a fan of Tim Fowers’ games like Paperback, Burgle Bros., and Now Boarding, and I have to admit that Ryan Goldsberry’s artwork is one of the reasons the games draw me in. Now, you can display some of your favorite artwork from the games in the form of these enamel pins. Be sure to check the campaign page for the full list of pins—more are being added as stretch goals!
Root is an area control game with asymmetric factions—each player has their own unique set of rules, and gains control of territories and scores points in different ways. It was one of my favorite titles from 2018, and now there’s an expansion that brings in the Corvid Conspiracy, which puts spies into the hands of other players, and the Great Underground Duchy, which tunnels below the woods. For solo gamers, there’s also an add-on for new automated factions to replace any of the factions from the base game. Root won 2019’s SXSW Tabletop Game of the Year recently, and (as you can tell from the current funding level) it has a lot of fans.
Jeff Kornberg is the host of The Dragon’s Tomb, a YouTube channel where he teaches you how to play popular board games … sort of. His explanations are completely, hilariously incorrect—but done in a way that you actually could play the game following his tutorials if you wanted to. Some of my favorites include his tutorials of Sushi Go and Carcassonne. His tutorial about Cards Against Humanity pokes at that particular style of game (and its raunchy humor), and this Kickstarter campaign takes it a step further with his own parody of the game. Even if you don’t back the project, it’s worth checking out the Kickstarter page for a few laughs.
Nerd Words is an upcoming title from Genius Games, which has a focus on combining real real science with gameplay. In this game, players take turns giving clues, trying to get teams to guess the key word—the clues start with letters from the word itself, so that as more clues are given, more letters are revealed as well. But the clue-giver and the teams are also allowed to wager points on whether they’ll guess the word, which makes for a neat risk/reward effect. The words are all from basic science terms, but there are also add-on packs that include terms from space science, advanced biology, and medical science.