Games That Got Their Start on Kickstarter feat
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Games That Got Their Start on Kickstarter

Not all games have an easy journey to being made. Here are our favorites that have fans to thank for their existence.
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After Among Us took off a couple of years ago, I got really into indie gaming. So much so that I started backing video games, cards, tabletop games, and other projects on Kickstarter. But when I went through the thousands of successful game campaigns that I missed out on because I signed up days to years too late for the platform, I was shocked by how many popular games actually got their start on Kickstarter.

From Exploding Kittens to the upcoming tabletop Avatar Legends (which I thankfully backed on the last day), there’s no shortage of games that have managed to beat out some bigger-budget games. So, here are my favorite games that got their start with Kickstarter campaigns.

‘Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game’

Before I get into it – yes, I did back this, but I still haven’t played it. It’s still in the printing phase for backers, but some creators have already played quite a few games, and Magpie Games hosts one-shot events from time to time. And I absolutely love everything about it.

Avatar Legends combines the lore and world-building from Avatar: The Last Airbender with Dungeons and Dragons. You create your own characters, go on your own adventures in whatever era you choose, and can play as many campaigns and as long as you want.

‘Wasteland 2’

If you were ever a fan of Wasteland from the late 1980s, then you’re in for a treat with Wasteland 2. Released about 25 years after the original game, this sequel was created thanks to input and funding from fans.

Wasteland 2 is set a few years after the original game in a world where the United States was destroyed by a nuclear war. Players can play as one of the Desert Rangers as they set out to investigate the death of a fellow Ranger. The graphics (especially the settings) are so breathtaking despite being desolate.

‘Broken Age’

When I came across Broken Age, I genuinely didn’t know what to think of the graphics. But after playing for some time, I fell in love with it; it’s simple yet complex in a way that drew me in. The world needs more of this art style in games.

The game is broken into two parts, following Shay Volta and Vella Tartine. In the first part, both characters are in their respective worlds fighting each other unknowingly. In the second part, they have to work to get back to their own worlds, embracing the unknown and each other’s help.

‘Hollow Knight’

This game is so cute, and I don’t know why. It’s like the Edgar Allan Poe of gaming artwork. In every aspect of the game, from plot to music to characters, I couldn’t help being drawn in.

In Hollow Knight, you play as a knight exploring an underground kingdom. There are several NPCs in the game that are just as compelling as the world itself. And there’s a sequel on the way!

‘Monster Prom’

As someone with very cringe-worthy prom experiences that I wish I could push out of my mind, I was surprised to find I enjoyed Monster Prom so much. The game is a dating simulation full of different kinds of monsters. It also offers outstanding representation for the LGBTQ+ community.

No play-through is ever the same – it’s designed to be randomized as players “live” through six weeks prior to prom. Every decision made affects the outcome of the game. After Monster Prom, an expansion called Second Term was added, as well as a sequel game, Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp.

See related: Indie Games to Keep Your Eyes on This Year

‘The Banner Saga’

All three games in The Banner Saga trilogy were crowdfunded on Kickstarter. Talk about a strong fanbase! I was initially drawn to the first game because of the Norse inspirations in the world, lore, and character designs.

In the first game, you choose from 25 characters, and every choice matters. The second and third games pick up where the last left off, and you can get better at battle as you fight and explore your way through the world.

‘Divinity: Original Sin’

Divinity: Original Sin is the prequel to Divine Divinity. This game wasn’t entirely crowdfunded, but a large portion of the money for the game was. As if that wasn’t enough, fans of the franchise can create their own single- or multi-player games in the world and publish them online.

Divinity: Original Sin follows two Source Hunters (customized by the player) trying to eradicate the magic called the “Source” from their world. The game follows their journey across the world. Even better, there’s a sequel and a board game out, too, which were also on Kickstarter.

‘Praey for the Gods’

This game is one of the newer ones on the list, but I hope it gains as much popularity as the others. The graphics, plot, and character design in the game are extraordinary – sometimes even more compelling than some of my favorite big-name games.

Praey for the Gods is essentially a survival game that includes unique lore, unlike what I’ve seen in any other game. You start off trying to scavenge for food before taking off and trying to defeat “gods” to survive in the harsh world.

‘Moon Hunters’

When I first played Moon Hunters, I only gravitated to it because of the graphics I saw in the trailer. Other than that, I went in blind. And just like many others, my only gripe with this game is how short it is – I want more from it.

Moon Hunters takes place in Issaria and follows a non-linear story. Every choice you make affects what path your character will end up on and change the ending. The overarching plot is having to restore the world’s balance after magic disappears.

‘Underworld Ascendant’

Have you ever wanted to play as the Avatar? Well, with Underworld Ascendant, you can – kind of. In the game, you play as the Avatar, but your abilities don’t include manipulating all four elements; instead, you’re a human who found yourself in the Underworld.

Underworld Ascendant is a sequel to the Underworld games (Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds). It kind of reminds me of a human thrust into a dark Dungeons and Dragons world in a way – it’s so much fun.

See related: The Best Indie Games You Haven’t Played Yet

‘Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements’

While I’m not in love with the art style, I can’t get enough of the gameplay of this game. In 2013, the Kickstarter was started and gained the funding it needed. And it’s no surprise considering the creators also made Al Emmo, a game with some die-hard fans.

In Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements, D’arc is working to be the best academic and magical man he can be. His quest is to find three magical items across the land. You’ll see beautiful forests, gleaming lakes, and a scorching desert.

‘Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’

When looking into Kickstarter-backed games, I came across Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and immediately had to play it. It was, and still is, one of Kickstarter’s most successful video game campaigns, having raised over $5.5 million in 2015.

Ritual of the Night is one of three (with a fourth on the way) games from the Bloodstained franchise. Other than this game, there’s Curse of the Moon and its sequel already out, with a sequel to Ritual of the Moon in production.

In Ritual of the Night, you play as Miriam fighting demons to kill their summoner during the Industrial Revolution in England. The fighting and art style, as well as plot, were inspired by Castlevania.

‘Undertale’

I was drawn in by the graphics and art style, but I stayed for the story. If you like Mario & Luigi, then you’re going to love Undertale just as much as I did. And there’s a reason I mention that game; the creator wanted the game to play like a Mario game.

In Undertale, players play as a human child who falls into the monster’s underground world and must fight monsters to get to the Monster King’s castle. Every choice you make in battle – whether to spare, befriend, or kill monsters – affects which of the three endings you get.

‘Exploding Kittens’

I’ll be honest – I still don’t know how to properly play this game. But watching my friends play is just as fun because of how absurd it is. I first came across this game in college, and I’m sure if people were watching me trying to figure it out, they were having a good laugh.

Since I genuinely can’t explain the game and do it justice, how about I talk about the creator’s other games that are just as hilarious? There are several expansions for this game, plus Throw Throw Burrito, You’ve Got Crabs, and Mantis. And that’s just a few of them!

‘Cards Against Humanity’

Cards Against Humanity photo
Shutterstock | Antonio Batinic

I was genuinely surprised to find out that Cards Against Humanity was funded through Kickstarter to begin its journey. It became so popular that there are several different expansion packs, as well as themed recreations from other companies.

I’m sure we all know what Cards Against Humanity is, so I won’t waste time explaining it to you. Instead, I want to highlight my favorite expansion packs: “Family Edition” for when my mom wants to play, the “Nerd Bundle,” and the “College Pack.”