For the fun of it, I check Kickstarters new board games every day, actually a few times every day. I like to see the new projects that are coming out and the trends in the gaming industry. The video games and decks of cards are also up there, but I mainly look at board games.
Now, pretty often there are games that I’ll save to decide if I want to back them later. It could be because with how we budget I don’t have the funds to back it right now without borrowing against future budget, or it could be because I’m not sure how interesting the game actually looks but it has an interesting theme or cool miniatures. I’ll come back to them when there are 48 hours left, Kickstarter sends out a notification, and the vast majority of the time I won’t back them. I think only once have a backed a game in the last 48 hours.
However, there are a ton of games that come out on Kickstarter every day. There’s a reason I check multiple times per day, it’s because there will most likely be three new games once we hit noon that weren’t there in the morning, another three in the evening, and five or so over night. So the real question is, how does one not go broke with all the really fun looking games coming out?
There are a few things I consider when looking at kickstarter games:
- How unique is the game?
- Does it fit my interests for theme?
- Does it fit my style of game I like to play?
- Will it hit the mass market?
How Unique Is the Game?
This one is first because it’s the most subjective and others can outweigh and override the decision about a not that unique game down the line. But if the game looks like it’s just stealing from another game or seems like someone jammed two games together that I already have, do I need the game? I know, I don’t need any game, but you know what I mean. There have been a lot of dungeon crawl type of games, for example, that have come out, do I need more than a couple of dungeon crawl games in my collection, and do I play the ones I have already? Or if a game says it innovates upon a game I already like, do I need that new game if I’m enjoying the old game?
Does it Fit My Interests for Theme?
This one is also subjective, but going to be more cut and dry for you as a person. If the game is a Lovecraft Horror game and you don’t like Lovecraft or horror, it’s fine to skip over that game even though it looks cool. Or maybe you love Lovecraft and horror, in that case, look at the project and see if it is going to match your style of game you like to play. But more on that in a second, just remember that because something looks cool or looks like it would be fun, but the theme is boring to you, you don’t have to buy it. Save your money for a game that you know you’re going to like the theme of it. There are a number of highly rated games that I don’t think I’ll ever own, and some that I’ve gotten rid of because the them of the game is boring to me.
Does it Fit My Style of Game I Like to Play?
I mentioned it above, but if the game is a dungeon crawler with a lot of dice and you don’t like the randomness of dice, but you like dungeon crawlers, that game might not be for you. If you want a game with a lot of confrontation and it doesn’t have it in the game, it might not be for you. I know I sound like a broken record, but before you put your hard earned money into a game, make sure that you will like it. Like above, there are a number of highly rated games on Board Game Geek that don’t interest me at all because of the mechanics of the game.
Will It Hit the Mass Market?
Now, this one is the biggest of them all. If the game is not just going to be on kickstarter, you have more time to decide. For example, Gloomhaven might have been slightly cheaper on Kickstarter and there might have been some added content for it, but you can buy Gloomhaven in your local game stores. This is one of the toughest areas though, beause of the Kickstarter exclusive content, it might seem like you’re getting less of a game if you don’t back it on Kickstarter. Let me say that if a company thinks it’s cool for them give you half a game with the other half meaning you have to get an add-on or kickstarter exclusive, I wouldn’t work with that creator. The game should be complete and ready to play without anything extra and still a ton of fun. So with that in mind, if it hits the mass market and you can get it at your local game store or better yet you can play a demo copy at your local game store and then buy it, that’s better for you because you can truly see if you like the theme and game play.
Now, I mention FOMO, and fear of missing out is huge when it comes to kickstarters. Sometimes the company won’t say explicitly that it is coming to game shops, but most of the time it’s fairly obvious if they aren’t because they will say that. If you don’t see that, you can assume it’ll come to a game shop. The bigger reason for FOMO on Kickstarters is that there is something that is Kickstarter exclusive. Sometimes you’ll see custom dice or minis that you can add on instead of just cardboard cutouts or meeples. I’m not going to pretend like those aren’t tough to pass on sometimes. And I got a Ghostbusters game, which is fun, because it has a million figures in it and I like Ghostbusters, I didn’t know a ton about the mechanics.
I don’t have a great suggestion for FOMO and about how to avoid it with Kickstarter board games. The best I can suggest is that you set a budget and stick to it. That’s what I do with board games in general. I know what money I have to spend and I can choose what I spend it up, but once I’ve hit that amount, I stop. It can be tough, because there’s always a new shiny game coming out. Another thing that might help is remembering that you aren’t going to get the game for a long time, most likely. Board games generally take about 8 months to a year to fulfill on Kickstarter. Now, some do go faster than that, but that tends to be larger companies that are just funding a first wave of printing, versus still wrapping up prototyping and rules. So by the time the game comes, you might not care anymore.
So this begs a few questions:
What games have you backed on Kickstarter?
How do you cope with FOMO when it comes to Kickstarter or other new board games?
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