Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk for September! We’re nearly ¾ of the way through this weird-ass year, and the desire for more escapism hasn’t abated. While we might *still* be gaming on Zoom, designers from all over the world are ready to serve up new twists. Whether it’s magical realist convenience stores, fantasy adventure insects, or just a nice blimp, Kickstarter (and a new upstart) have what you need to keep your mind off (waving hands) all of this.Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: September, 2021
Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk for August! Now, you might be looking down the headings and notice we only have seven games and an honorable mention. Well, that’s because, whether you know it or not, you got way more Kickstarter content this month than usual! Check out my preview of Dreampunk, which is still live for another ten days…really neat game using imagery cards to drive play through a dream world. Then you can read Seamus’s quickstart review of Avatar Legends, the new game from Magpie Games! That brings us up to nine, but you can count Avatar Legends twice if you also read the Meet the Party Seamus put together. Beyond those, though, all eight below are all worth checking out, and should help you ease the pain of missing this year’s
superspreader event GenCon.
A waterbender of the North who refuses to hide behind walls. A firebender who suffered a great tragedy but knows who is really to blame. A scion of great shipbuilders who would much rather create things that helped instead of harm. An outlaw earthbender who has carved a line in the stone and refuses to let any cross it to hurt those behind her. Can they save their part of the world? What stories will they tell? Let’s Meet the Party for the Avatar Legends Quickstart from Magpie Games!
Role-playing games can be a perfect venue for the surreal. Exploring a strange world that has its own incomprehensible rules is often better done in games, where players have the opportunity to poke, prod, and learn, rather than being stuck in an author’s or director’s interpretation. That said, most games that embrace surreality these days embrace a designer’s vision, and are still one possible experience in a world that could be a whole lot weirder. Enter Dreampunk, a game currently being funded on Kickstarter. Dreampunk is a game that borrows heavily from the mechanics of Belonging Outside Belonging and, by extension, Powered by the Apocalypse. What makes Dreampunk unique, though, is the use of card drawing mechanics not only to pace the game, but to develop the very reality of the setting.Continue reading The Independents: Dreampunk
Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk for July! Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of games being campaigned out there this summer. You may be wondering why I don’t have ten this month, if there were more than ten to choose from. Well, I see two potential reasons. First, even with the delays from COVID, we’re entering GenCon season. GenCon season means people worried about *selling* games are running to Kickstarter, producing dozens of campaigns with that two-character automatic disqualification: 5E. Don’t get me wrong, these games might be perfectly fine, but they aren’t original games, so they fall outside my criteria. Beyond that, a number of the games out in the Kickstarter aether this month were… well, not great. I’m going to tend to not cover games which use some of their precious campaign wordcount to tell me they “use a dice-rolling mechanic”. Oh brother. Fear not, though! These eight campaigns are worth reading. Are they worth spending your hard-earned cash? You’ll only know if you read past the jump.Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: July, 2021
Welcome to June! 2021 is heating up, at least if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, but in the RPG space it’s heating up all over! I had way more than 10 games to read this month, and several I had to check out less than 24 hours before this went live! Designers are wild out here! These ten games represent a potent intersection of design, marketing, and yes, hype, on Kickstarter, and there’s no better way to start your hot nerd summer than by checking them out.Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: June, 2021
Welcome back to Kickstarter Wonk! We’re all getting ready for vaccine summer, and it looks like the designers are too! We have another full ten-pack of Kickstarter campaigns here, including a number of first-timers who are putting forth really solid stuff. I’ve already put forth more money than I was planning to on several of the campaigns below, and I have a feeling after you read you may do the same. Keep a tight hold on your wallet, and let’s dive in.Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: May, 2021
Welcome back to Kickstarter Wonk! Oh it’s an exciting month, this month. Maybe it’s because of holdouts from ZineQuest, or maybe it’s because there’s a vaccine, but there’s actually a full, healthy crop of Kickstarter campaigns out there! We couldn’t even stop at 10; if you haven’t already, check out Seamus’s review of Tyler Crumrine’s Possible Worlds Kickstarter. And after you’re done with that, scroll through these 10 handpicked campaigns. The world is healing!Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: April, 2021
A light-hearted romance emulating dating sim video games/visual novels. Letter writing inspired by Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing. A bond between a pilot and their AI-linked mech. A theatre performance covering up a heist. Building super-powered characters and settings. Trying to find unused wishes in a world where everyone gets three, and you’ve already used yours. Sounds like an RPG anthology, right? Not quite. These are the six games, the six Possible Worlds, featured in Tyler Crumrine’s RPG subscription box.
Welcome back to March! There are a lot of games on Kickstarter this month, and Kickstarter Wonk is here to help. Now, Zinequest technically ended on Sunday, but there’s still a good crop of zines at the tail end of the event. I’ve picked out 35 more that are worth checking out if you have any of your Zinequest budget left. And, since it is March again, we’re picking up what we can for our full game selection. Five full-sized games are here and they’re picking up where ZineQuest left off, with both old hands and newcomers casting their projects out for us to peruse.Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: March, 2021