5 Kickstarters You Should Know
It can be daunting to go through Kickstarter and find the projects that deserve your attention. The list below may not have any surprises in it (and omits Xenonauts, which I wrote about just a few days ago, but is still totally worth backing), but it does include 5 projects that I think will produce something worth your while. Will they? Only time will tell, but if we do not support the daring then can’t complain when we only get mediocrity in return. As always, in no particular order:
What is it? A core game for the iOS platforms (iPhone, iPod, iPad) featuring four to six hours of “stealth survival gameplay.” The original vision has now been expanded to include PC and Mac versions, so it is no longer limited to iPhones.
Why should you care? The concept visuals are stunning. Just stunning. I believe that iOS is the future of portable gaming (you know, if they would add a gamepad), so an attempt to make a real game with a real story on the devices by a group of designers with great pedigrees sounds like something worth supporting. With only a few hours left until closing time on the Kickstarter, your chance to back the project is quickly coming to a close. The Kickstarter ends May 11, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
What is it? Ogre is a board game that was originally published in 1977 and is being revitalized by Steven Jackson Games, its publisher. A display of asymmetric game design, Ogre pits a single monstrous tank against an army.
Why should you care? The game has been out of print for over a decade now and is largely considered a wargaming classic. It has already crushed its goal by over $500,000, but I wouldn’t expect the game to stay in print or available too long after its release. It is expensive ($100 a copy) and likely to sell fast, in my estimation, so giving on Kickstarter is the best way to ensure that you get a copy. A friend to play it with you? That I can’t help with. It closesly very soon, and your chance to Kickstart Ogre will go away on May 11, 2012, at 2:10 pm ET.
What is it? This one is interesting. Basically, the fine folks over at Paizo Games, publishers of the Pathfinder RPG, would like to make an MMO. However, this is not a Kickstarter for the MMO. Instead, Paizo is giving backers a sourebook about a location called Thornkeep, which will be in the MMO. Paizo will then use the money to create a tech demo for its MMO that it can take to investors.
Why should you care? I’m not usually interested in MMOs, since it seems most have become content to just knock off World of Warcraft. Pathfinder Online promises something interesting enough that I would like to see it happen: A big budget fantasy sandbox MMO with a player run economy. I know there are smaller versions of games with that idea out there, but I would like to see what someone with a large budget and professionals could do if allowed to take a crack at it. Something of a fantasy EVE Online, I would think. That vision alone is worth supporting. The Kickstarter ends June 8, 2012, at 7:08 pm ET.
What is it? It can’t be all about games can it? The Graphic Textbook is a 144 textbook aimed at grades 3 through 6 covering core curriculum meant to show educators that a visual based textbook (read: Comic book) can educate children and encourage them to read.
Why should you care? Don’t you wish that you could’ve learned from comic books? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to keep kids more engaged by their homework while learning the basic skills and knowledge that they will need to succeed later in life and in school? Sounds pretty worthwhile to me. The Kickstarter ends May 17, 2012, at 8:00 pm ET.
What is it? A hard-copy Nintendo DS game that was approved and ready to go when the designer realized he might lose his jacket over printing it up. You control three diamond agents against your friend (it does require two players) and try to bribe and buy your way to bringing the most diamonds home. A weird, esoteric game idea with a minimal art style, Diamond Trust of London is very much a board game at heart. You act in secret, but sometimes your opponent can learn information about your activities without you knowning (since they are on a different DS).
Why should you care? Because it is a really neat idea. I admit the theme will be off-putting for some, but the idea of a strategy game where each player has imperfect information and a reasonable fear that his opponent might learn his current strategy without him knowing sounds fascinating. There is an AI included for practice, but the game is meant to be played by two and can be played with only one cartridge through download play. A copy of the game costs $35 and the Kickstarter runs until May 26, 2012, at 6:00 pm ET.