Day 2 – Kickstarted Game Most Pleased I Backed
I haven’t been burned by a Kickstarter (yet), but the list of Kickstarter successes I’m glad I backed is long and includes a lot of excellent game-related stuff. Some I expected to be good (Fate Core), others were real surprises. I’m only thinking about those that have arrived, that I’ve had time to take a look at—I got my Numenera reliquary box last weekend and haven’t had time to pick it over yet (it’s still in shrink!), and only got Feng Shui 2 a short bit before that.
Most Pleased Overall: Shadows of Esteren. Take The Name of the Rose, drop it in a Celtic-inspired, very low-fantasy, low-magic dark ages setting, and place unknown terrors lurking around the fringe of society. That’s Esteren. This was one that a friend of mine found and fell in love with, and spread the news on Facebook. As soon as I saw it I was hooked. The end-product is incredible: it has high-quality, top-shelf production values; the rules are simple but dynamic, and really evoke the gritty setting and psychological horror. I continued to be impressed with their next two Kickstarters, which is why I’d give it the nod over so many other awesome campaigns.
Adventure: Razor Coast. Massive campaign setting and build-a-campaign volume, in a slick pirates-and-jungle setting. There’s an awful lot to that volume, and as much as I like the few other adventures I backed, I think its more flexible and modular setup is what sets it apart.
Electronic Game: Project Eternity, hands down. Take the old Infinity Engine/Black Isle Studios games, add two decades of design and storytelling experience, and you have one of the best CRPGs on the market. Runner up: Darkest Dungeon, which is as entertainingly brutal as I’d hoped.
Accessory/non-game but game-related product: Reaper’s Bones I was awesome. I was in withdrawal the day after it ended; refreshing the main page didn’t reveal ten cool new things I wanted to buy. There was a delay in shipping, but I always expect delays with Kickstarters, and to be honest their Bones I production run snowballed into several million figures than expected. I got my figs three months later than I was supposed to, but that was a month before I expected to actually get them, so it all comes out in the wash. Especially because I’ve only painted a tiny fraction of them. Runner up: Designers & Dragons, which just snagged a well-deserved ENnie.