Chip Theory Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Too Many Bones: Undertow on October 17th, and as of the writing of this post, the campaign has already surpassed $450,000 in pledges. That’s 900% of the original $50,000 funding goal, and there’s 19 days left in the campaign. That’s also nearly double the amount which the Kickstarter for the original Too Many Bones base game pulled in throughout its entire campaign. Not bad, Chip Theory, not bad.
For the uninitiated, Chip Theory Games is an independent board game developer based out of Minnesota which have made a name for themselves through several well-received titles, all of which utilize high quality custom components. Chip Theory’s uncompromising attitude towards the materials of their games has already built quite a cult following in the tabletop world, and they maintain this business model by selling almost exclusively through their own retail store and through Kickstarter campaigns.
Unfortunately, this self-enforced standard of quality also means that price can be a bit of a prohibitive factor for some of the more thrifty gamers out there. This is certainly the case for Too Many Bones, a tactics and combat heavy “dice builder RPG”, which requires an investment of at least $125 for the base game, and that price can climb above $200 as various expansions and extras are added to the cart. Too Many Bones is a great game, and one of the better tactical RPGs out there, but not every gamer can swing that kind of price tag.
Enter Too Many Bones: Undertow, a standalone expansion to the original Too Many Bones, which is a bit more lean on the amount of components since it’s designed for one to two players, and so costs much less. Thus, the thrust of the game is twofold: give Too Many Bones fans more of what they want, and give tabletop gamers with thin wallets a chance to get in on the experience.
Undertow can be played with more than the advertised player count (up to four, as with the original Too Many Bones), but Chip Theory can’t market it that way since Undertow itself only comes with the components necessary for up to two players. However, characters can be added and mixed and matched between the two Too Many Bones games, so it can be enjoyed both as a standalone experience and as an extension of, and addition to, the original game.
If you’re interested in checking out the Too Many Bones world, and I assert that you should be, head on over to Kickstarter and get in on the action. The base pledge is $68, but the game will most likely MSRP for around $85 after the campaign.