I’m currently spending my evening scouring Kickstarter for new games to overspend on. This is my ideal shopping strategy, as it costs nothing right now and is only a financial burden to Future Robin. Whatever, she can deal with it. She’s older and wiser and presumably richer than me. Besides, if the game isn’t funded then I get all the fun of purchasing something without having to follow through. The problem is that I am a sucker. I will play any game that strikes my fancy, and my fancy is easily struck. (Stricken?) Here are some games I have funded/purchased or am considering, and I honestly just need a grown up to tell me if I am making good choices.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that as a mostly straight white woman of a certain age I will buy pretty much anything with Jane Austen’s name slapped on it. I funded this game without reading anything about it because I want nothing more in life than to invite Mary Bennett to a dinner party and tell her to lighten up a bit. And also Mr. Darcy is there, and I honestly don’t know how the game is played but I believe you get to GOSSIP and SHUN SOCIAL CLIMBERS and say SUBTLE YET BRUTALLY CUTTING THINGS in a Judi Dench kind of way, and that is enough for me. Take my money and let me befriend Colonel Brandon please and thank you ever so.
Something something microbial evolution something something deep ocean, this seemed like a card based version of Flow, which is a video game I am terrible at but greatly enjoy. The game is from Australia, so the young man narrating the promotion video has an Australian accent. Ten seconds into him talking about being a tiny speck of life ascending in the depths of the vast ocean and I was sold.
This game is sold at Target and technically I did not buy it for myself, but I’m including it here anyway because this is the perfect storm of a. my hobbies, b. things I am nostalgic about, and c. things that control my severe anxiety, and it’s really unfair and predatory that this was advertised to me at all. Of all the games listed here today this is the only one I have actually received and played, and all I can say is if all my impulse game purchases are this good I’ll be just fine. You paint along with Bob Ross trying to see who can become the most chill, and it’s all happy little trees and pthallo blue and happy accidents. This is the game I was born to play.
I struggled with whether or not it would be appropriate to get this game, because I honestly can’t foresee a setting in which I could play it and not have some problematic shit go down. But the woman who designed it is Pakistani and made it specifically to raise awareness of this aspect of her culture and the impact it has on women, and I think it’s stupendously important to support marginalized voices in board gaming. Plus I really like the idea of a game where one is solely trying to make oneself utterly unappealing to men. So, purchased. I’ll just be wary of who I invite to evade matchmaking Aunties with me.
I am debating this right now, and I genuinely cannot tell if this looks like a game I will enjoy or if I just think the 3D mountain that is the game board looks exceptionally cool. The video doesn’t show any game play, but I honestly think the fun of moving little climbers up and down a cardboard mountain might be worth $75 even if the game is wonky. (This is why I am not to be trusted. It’s literally just a full minute of “look, it’s 3D!” and “oooh, it’s pretty tall for a board game” and I’m nodding enthusiastically and reaching for my wallet.) Is this worth it? Do I just miss rock climbing? Should I just trust that everyone else who funded it well past its initial goal probably knows more about games and is more sensible in general than me?
Basically just the board game of that one episode of Grey’s Anatomy where the plane crashed and all the most annoying side characters died. One reviewer said that she drew a card that demanded she abruptly throw her cards at the other players, and I appreciate that kind of dedication to chaos.
7.) Side Effects
I’m desperately torn on this one. On one hand, the art is GORGEOUS (as someone who cannot draw I am easily and deeply impressed by such things) and it looks like it might actually be an interesting way to approach stigma against mental health issues? BUT I cannot for the life of me tell if this is positive or exploitive representation, and who wants to be that jerk who accidentally stigmatizes/dismisses the legitimate health issues of a friend at game night? I already have issues with “madness/insanity” being casually thrown around as a game mechanic, (although I realized after backing it that Ravine uses it, oops), and adding a possible layer of “you shouldn’t take psych meds because they make you crazier” seems irresponsible at best, but maybe it’s more subversive than I’m giving it credit for? It’s already fully funded, is it wrong to get a copy and then just quietly never play it if it’s too insensitive?
That’s all at the moment (but the night is young). Tell me how brilliant or terrible my choices are. Advise me. How do you justify impulsive game purchases to yourself? What excellent gimmicks have I missed? Do you have a more sensible approach to game purchasing? What Kickstarter are you debating throwing all of your hard earned money at? Is there a Magic Schoolbus board game? Because I would buy the crap out of that game.