What I’m Backing: Airline by Around the Clock Games

And we’re back with more Kickstarter awesomeness! To start off this round, we have a card game. I’ve backed a game by Around the Clock Games before, so I checked this one out when I heard AtCG had started a new campaign. Airline the Card Game by Around the Clock Games seemed like a simple, fun card game that would travel well.

Stats*:

  • Goal: $1,000
  • Funding Status: fully funded, several stretch goals unlocked**
  • Total Backers: 50+
  • Interesting Stretch Goals: Expansions to the game.
  • When Did I Jump In: First backer. That’s the first time I had the privilege. ;D

This campaign is one of those steady campaigns. They don’t do any huge funding leaps, but neither do they creep. It’s a very laid back sort of project, which seems to match the creator’s attitude pretty well. I backed the creator’s first campaign and liked the function and simplicity of the game play. I can explain the rules faster than most people can read them. Also, the delivery time was exemplary. So, when he reached out to the backers of the first campaign to let them know about this second campaign, I was pretty sure I’d back the new one. I did (FIRST!), and it funded in a few short days.

At that point, the creator did something very interesting and I’m watching closely to see how it pans out**: he unlocked a significant amount of stretch goals to hopefully broaden the appeal of the game. I’m not sure if this is a good strategy, as there has not been any significant bump in funding, but I appreciate why he did it. And I also appreciate the chance to get game expansions.

Simple is really the watch word of this campaign, though. The design is simple, attractively so. The game play is simple to explain, which was an excellent selling point for me – I cannot handle games that are too long or complicated in explaining if I’m not physically handling the components or watching play. The goal is simple. And I love that. Sometimes, creators get stuck in a real MUCK trying to make a game flashy. But simple, compelling games are so much more the welcome in my closet because they can be played nearly any time and anywhere. I hope Airplane manages to be one of those games for me. Rest assured, it’ll be reviewed on the blog.

I do hope this funds slightly higher than it does right now because I don’t want the creator to lose money and I want him to make more games! The good news is that there’s about a week left in the campaign and, if it gets the traditional final week surge, everything will be gravy. 😀

*As of posting 10/8 at 12:00 Mountain Time.

**Referential notes, see both instances of use.

[><] & [::]

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What I’m Backing: Galaxy of Trian by CREATIVEMAKER LLC

Okay, so this is that new series I was talking about. Currently, I’m only backing five projects, so between now and next Wednesday, you’ll see the sum total of what I’m backing. For now.

Today’s feature is Galaxy of Trian. Basic stats* below:

  • Goal: $19,500
  • Funding Status: fully funded; nine stretch goals hit
  • Total Backers: 860+
  • Interesting Stretch Goals: SO. MANY. And they seem very manageable. The art is already done, they clearly have a plan.
  • When Did I Jump In: In the first couple days, about $2000 dollars before full funding.

And now, of course, why did I jump in?

As is often the case with games on Kickstarter, the pretty art was the first eye-catch. That will ALWAYS be a great way to get me to consider a project: LOOK GOOD. To pretend that art is not an influence in my game choosing would be a flat-out lie. So reason number one: the art is PRETTY. Also, the game components look GREAT. I love it when game pieces are objects, rather than the traditional punch-out tokens. I prefer some heft to my game components and this game rings that particular design preference bell.

Also: ALIENS. I see steampunk and historical games and magic games APLENTY on Kickstarter. And I love those games, as my backing history will surely tell you. But there is a distinct and tragic dearth of aliens. Galaxy of Trian filled that niche admirably. Look at all those pretty aliens.

One of my favorite parts of Galaxy of Trian is the build-your-own-board function. I like games that aren’t the same board, repeated over and over again. Whether it’s a different mix and match of cards/tiles to get a different full board for each game or a board that builds as the game progresses, I like the variety. It ups replay-ability by a lot, and that is a big part of what I look for in games I back on Kickstarter. Variable boards always make me look closer.

More on the variety front: there are several versions of the game available as backing rewards. There’s the Deluxe, Geek Set, and Team Play (Deluxe or Geek Set). What about a Basic? Well, there will be one up for sale, but all backers automatically get upgraded to a Deluxe game as an additional bonus for helping initially fund the game. I LOVE that. I’ve been happy to pay for Deluxe sets in other campaigns, but I appreciate the company choosing this way to recognize backer contributions. The Geek Set includes perks like the game signed by the authors, an expansion, etc. The Team Play options are getting two games of either the Deluxe or the Geek Set, which allows for an expanded version of play with 2vs2vs2 games. You can also get one of each style, if you so choose. There are also add-ons like t-shirts, if you’re into that sort of thing.

And now, stretch goals! Something I’ve seen happen more and more lately is that Kickstarter campaigns have stretch goals for both money beyond the original goal AND social media sharing. I was leery at first, but I’ve come to like this function. I like that backers are rewarded both for their money and their help promoting the project.  Currently, the project has reached six financial stretch goals (11 extra tiles added to the game, help cards, and a 5th playable alien race) and three social media stretch goals (three more extra tiles, spare parts, and a shiny logo). I’m personally really hoping we make the stretch goal that was announced last week: another playable race. But, that goal is still about $28,500 away. Then again, the project has been going like gang busters the entire time and we’re in the last week, which is traditionally one of the most profitable. If the first three weeks are any indication, we may well get there with time to spare.

Ultimately, I jumped in the game because I think I’ll enjoy it. I’ve looked at a lot of games on Kickstarter and it always hurts me a bit when I feel like a game that CLEARLY meets some of my base criteria (art, likely replay-ability, fun theme) just doesn’t strike me as something I’d enjoy. Thankfully, Galaxy of Trian seems to ring all sorts of my nerdy bells, and I can’t wait. And when it comes, you can be sure I’ll review it.

*As of posting time 9/16, 12:00 Mountain Time

[><] & [::]