Tabletop Games & Culture, Kickstarter

The Kickstarter Games that Excite & Inspire Us

Kickstarter games have become a $600-million-plus industry, with nearly 1,000 tabletop projects released on Kickstarter in 2016 alone. This summer, Firelight hopes to join their ranks.

We've spoken at length before on Kickstarter vs Indiegogo and why we chose the former for Firelight, but we never would have been inspired to go in this direction without the tremendous effort and passion of the thousands of projects before us.

Below is a list of the Kickstarter games past, present, and future that inspire us to work harder on Firelight every day.

Cards Against Humanity

The first card combination shown on the Cards Against Humanity Kickstarter page

The first card combination shown on the Cards Against Humanity Kickstarter page

This one goes without saying. The granddaddy of Kickstarter games, CAH began with a humble $4K goal and went on to create an empire. The game's crass humor and simple gameplay introduced thousands of new players to tabletop gaming, and it was one of many games responsible for introducing the wonders of gaming to a younger generation. Regardless of what you think of the game itself, its accomplishments are undeniably impressive.

Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game

Boss Monster cleverly utilizes video game style dungeon building mechanics in a card game

Boss Monster cleverly utilizes video game style dungeon building mechanics in a card game

When it comes to Kickstarter games that get the most use around our office, Boss Monster probably takes the cake. This cute and clever homage to 8-bit video games has each player build their own dungeons, attempting to attract (and subsequently murder) wayfaring adventurers. The simple concept belies a fun layer of strategy, and the game scales excellently at both the high and low ends of its player count. Plus, those 8-bit boss monsters are just adorable.

Dark Souls: The Board Game

A work-in-progress version of Dark Souls: The Board Game as shown on their Kickstarter page

A work-in-progress version of Dark Souls: The Board Game as shown on their Kickstarter page

This one just released, but Dark Souls: The Board Game has already become a favorite for its seamless interpretation of video game mechanics in tabletop form. This is something we hope to achieve in Firelight, as well - Eric has been working with AAA video games for a few years now, and took inspiration from sandbox video games when designing Firelight's Quest system. It's great to see other tabletop projects integrating video game mechanics in such a successful way.

Take the Gold

Take the Gold is a quick-play, pirate themed card game up on Kickstarter. Oh, did we mention the kittens and corgis?

Take the Gold is a quick-play, pirate themed card game up on Kickstarter. Oh, did we mention the kittens and corgis?

Take the Gold knows that everything is better with corgis. This quick-to-play card game sees players competing to collect gold, using cat pirates to steal and corgi officers to defend their haul. The Kickstarter campaign is live now, and features a cute, informative video that tells you everything you need to know about playing the game. The reward tiers feature the family-friendly artwork heavily, and numerous reviews should give you confidence when backing.

Back Take the Gold on Kickstarter here.

One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows

One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows on Kickstarter

One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows on Kickstarter

One Deck Dungeon is a great example of how to simplify traditional tabletop role-playing mechanics into something a little more palatable for new players. The game focuses a little more heavily on combat than on storytelling, but the mechanics are strong and the artwork oozes personality. Now an expansion is up on Kickstarter. Forest of Shadows adds brand-new twists and turns to the original formula, and can be played either separately or in combination with the classic cards.

Back One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows on Kickstarter here.

Barker's Row

Barker's Row is a carnival-themed tabletop game from the makers of New Salem

Barker's Row is a carnival-themed tabletop game from the makers of New Salem

Barker's Row has a great pedigree, and it shows in the game's polished artwork and unique concept. Players are cast as barkers in an otherworldly carnival, where they must compete to attract visitors to their show. The cards feature gorgeous artwork, and the Kickstarter itself makes clever use of GIFs to show off the gameplay in a dynamic way.

Back Barker's Row on Kickstarter here.

Lucidity: Six-Sided Nightmares

Lucidity: Six-Sided Nightmares will come to Kickstarter later in the year

Lucidity: Six-Sided Nightmares will come to Kickstarter later in the year

Lucidity is not yet up on Kickstarter, but what we've seen of this early game looks promising. A press-your-luck dice dice collection game, Lucidity makes good on its creepy concept. According to its BGG page, "at the end of each game, everybody is either a Nightmare... or has been eaten by one". The artwork is distinctive and colorful, which makes it stand out to us even further.