Tag Archives: urbanization

Ups and Down of a Canadian Kickstarter Backer

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I’m still addicted to kickstarter. I love the quirky videos explaining the projects. I love the creativity being showcased. I love that for a small price you can help make the projects a reality, influence the design, and get early access to the finished product. Too bad the projects never seem to live up to the hype. Yet, for some explainable reason I keep backing more. The only cure for the inevitable letdown of the final product is to back a new project.

oops bicycle_portraits windowfarmcloud_ftp

18 months ago I backed my first kickstarter projects. One never got funded and the other two ran into problems shipping to Canada. The Bicycle Portraits books eventually arrived, but the project creators ended up spending as much on shipping as I paid them for the books. I had high hopes for windowfarms and it still looks like an excellent product, but they refuse to ship it to Canada. Apparently there are issues with the cost and concerns about moving agricultural products across the border. 18 months after they took my money ($118) they won’t answer emails, they refuse to give me a refund, and there’s no timeline if they’ll ever be able to ship windowfarms to Canada. Needless to say, I’m pissed off. The fourth project I backed cost me an unexpected $20 to get it through customs.

republique banner_saga eisenwald massive_chalice
I should probably stick to funding digital download games (like Republique and Banner Saga which are both close to shipping, and Massive Chalice which is currently raising funds). However, I’ve been tempted by a few fascinating board games. Urbanization was a huge disappointment, but Viticulture will arrive next next week and based on the positive experience I had with the campaign I also ordered Stonemaier Games 2nd project – Euphoria. Hopefully these games help redeem kickstarter for me or I might have to go cold turkey. There’s only so much abuse I can take from kickstarter.

urbanization viticulture euphoria

Board Game Reviews: King of Tokyo, Urbanization, and Race for the Galaxy

KingOfTokyoKing of Tokyo (BGG)
King of Tokyo is an awesome game. It’s easy to learn, quick to play, loads of fun, and has enough depth to make you want to play repeatedly. Up to 6 players can battle their super-monsters for control of Tokyo. It’s a quick game with lots of tense moments as your monster flirts with death and collects power-ups. I highly recommend this one for everyone’s game collection.

UrbanizationUrbanization (BGG)
I was an early-bird backer of Urbanization on Kickstarter. I loved the game idea – an urban planning board game – but it’s been a real disappointment. Some of the game play works well – the increasing price of land as it becomes scarce, the food system, and the population growth factors. But there are two aspects that feel awkward – giving the losing player a free point every round (which I would just remove) and the work order/factory system (which is fundamentally broken). I’ve played twice now, and neither time was very fun.

RaceForTheGalaxyRace for the Galaxy (BGG)
There’s a lot to like about Race for the Galaxy. The theme works well, it has deep strategy, and the mechanics are clever but simple. You spend your turns settling planets, developing buildings, producing resources, and collecting points. My one complaint is how isolated the players are. There’s a lot to keep track with your own cards, so you often ignore what’s going on around you, which makes the game seem less of a race and more of a bunch of disconnected journeys. If you want to try this game out, you can play against a computer AI – after 5 tries I’ve yet to win a game.

You can find all of my board game ratings on Board Game Geek.