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The Kickstarter thread


Are these things you did not know or had any trouble figuring out? What’s the charge here?

Most of your bullet-points are essentially you explaining not why SU&SD has undergone an editorial failure, but why you distrust social deduction games. And that’s fair enough, but it’s not an editorial failure. Quinns specifically discusses why he stopped playing The Resistance and what this game does to address that. They mention it’s a large group game, they mention all of these things. If you watch the whole review and do not understand that this is a strange, large-group game of bluffing and narrative that requires a lot of work from the Storyteller … I honestly don’t understand what you’re watching.

To be more clear, I mention the number of times they’ve recommended games outside of the hypothetical SU&SD editorial sweet spot because this “realistic editorial perspective” has plenty of room to breathlessly recommend games like Two Rooms and a Boom, Twilight Imperium, and other games that break some of the same alleged rules that Blood on the Clocktower breaks. This isn’t even remotely the first time SU&SD has recommended people check out or back a limited release or Kickstarter game it’s merely the first time they’ve wanted to and been able to also give it a full review treatment before doing so. And yet for some reason, all day in the comments and here people have been acting like this is a betrayal of long held values.

I don’t have an issue with your criticisms. I just think there’s a very vocal contingent community today that’s really taking things up to eleven and that really needs to take a step back.


I think you are correct in almost every way. I would nit pick a few points but it’s ultimately just that: nit picking.

I posted my thoughts because I had them and felt as though they were interesting enough to post. I agree that this review had brought a lot of drama to this forum but I think the discourse has revealed both positive and negative things to consider regarding the game, Kickstarter in general, and SUSD’s review.


If I’m totally honest, and I do not mean this as a direct criticism of anyone here or in the review comments, I have found the wave of negativity in reaction to the review to be something that drives me towards backing the game, rather than warning me off.

I’m not backing, at least not yet. Playing the game here on the forum will hopefully give me a clearer idea of how suitable the game is for me.

But there’s something that may just be the contrarian in me that almost knee jerks against what feels like a disproportionate or dogmatic response. Frankly, it’s quite a weird impulse.


I think the main criticism boils down to the discrepancy between this statement:
“On the other hand, Shut Up & Sit Down hasn’t yet recommended any games by designer Adam Kwapiński. On reflection, my advice is the same as always- don’t back this first Kickstarter. Wait and see if Nemesis is really that good, and if it is, order a copy during the inevitable second Kickstarter.”

and not even mentioning the risks of Kickstarter in this review.

I do agree with you that many of the more vocal critics should take a step back and tone it down a little.
To me it seems that in a way SUSD has unwittingly spawned a small army of zealots that want them to “stay true” above everything else. And I’m not talking about anyone here on the forum or in the comments that is engaging in a civil argument.


been reading this discussion for the last few days and now feel like I have something to contribute.
I think the claims that they were too subjective are a bit harsh. If you look at this video it’s clearly a well thought out thing. They mentioned that they were playing the game for months. During that period of time you have - even if you were hyped at first - moments of cold hearded objectiveness.

So my point is: them being really excited about the game is not so much them being hyped or failing to be real journalists. It’s them trying to convey their feelings about the game. We saw that before. Quinns was really enthusiastic in the Sherlock Holmes review, stressing and stressing again how good it is. The TI4 review was kind of like this (Quinns even did the math for us so we would at least get TI3). There is so much editorial work that goes into a review like this, I am sure they made up their minds.

BUT! But I think that with a game like this it’s super easy to have some kind of positive (or negative) feedback loop. Just look at that skyline, look at those numberous nice people! Wouldn’t it be nice to be playing in that environment? And clearly Quinns was drinking way too much, so shouldn’t we be talking about how much of an effect that had on the review? :upside_down_face:

Edit: the whole “beware of KS” thing…I don’t know, they talked so much about games you should back on KS (even a game they worked on themselves), I think they clearly have changed their minds. At this point it’s a lot of speculation discussing how production could fail but a word of warning would have been nice!


I think I’d have been much happier with the review if someone (Matt?) had said something like:

“On the other hand, this is a kickstarter from a group who’ve never done one before; at the time of writing they don’t have their fulfillment locked down; the components are something entirely new which may get delayed or not work right when it comes to mass production; and they’re talking about a possible app replacement for the Grimoire, which will be far less cool but a whole lot cheaper. So while we love this game, if the kickstarter has funded by the time this video comes out, you may want to think about waiting for retail.”

I’m not saying that SU&SD are turning into UndeadViking (“This is the greatest game ever! Since yesterday when I said that about six other games!”) and I do love the enthusiasm; it’s just that I also like to see a bit more “is this rather expensive game right for you”.

(“For £80 in the UK, you could instead buy The Resistance with all its expansions, and Ultimate Werewolf, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf and its expansions. And you could have them all by the end of the week.”)


To me, the review seemed weird because of the real lack of jokes.

On the plus side No Puns got funded! Now we just need to get Elaine in the stretch goals!


Did they, though? They either talked about repeat printings on Kickstarter, where the risk of first-time publishers was gone, or expansions (their Monikers collabo).
Their stance on first time projects was pretty firm - until now.


Not to be that guy but… This.

It’s not been the same without Paul! :frowning: There was a lack of spark in this review. I watch SUSD for games I really couldn’t give two hoots about, here there was something lacking.

But, back on topic, Blood on the clocktower wouldn’t get played over here - not a big enough group - so I’ll have to pass. Would play at a con though.


I’m really looking forward to Kylie doing some solo reviews and developing her own style and voice. The more people bringing input to the process is good in my opinion.


For me, Sidereal Confluence was a good example of one of their niche reviews. They loved it, but made it abundantly clear that they’re the ideal target audience and it probably isn’t a game for most people. But Kylie’s said on the Reddit thread that theyve played with plenty of different people so maybe it is a bit more of an all rounder? Or a self selecting bias? Difficult to tell

For me this review was too much tell and not enough show. The ‘maybe you’re a washer woman’ etc bits sounded interesting but I didn’t get an impression of how that fits into an actual game. If the game’s up to 2 hours long I presume there’s some ebb and flow to the gameplay. I didn’t really get an impression of the game other than it’s like a deluxe werewolf but better.

Interesting to see how much flak this review has picked up pretty much everywhere I’ve looked. Its really hit a nerve in the community!


I think a few of us have been here long enough to trust that if they really really dig a game it’s got something to they’ll say it. their relatively lukewarm response to megahotness Root is a good example of this - the easy option was to join into the chorus but they didn’t and they backed it up. I think they conveyed enough about the feelings they experienced in the game to show how distinct it is from the resistances of the world and why this is a different enough layer to all of them. Yeah mechanically there was low detail but the broader mechanical things are the same as werewolf et al, the juicy meat is in the subtlety. I think the gave enough examples (bonding over being a grandma to a grandson for example and the woolly role of the conductor) that mean the emotions they mainly chatted about came from a genuine space.

The one thing I think really people should be cautious about is if they don’t really know shut up and sit down well at al. They’re definitely a an outgoing bunch and the game might have really struck a chord with their friends and kind of player. I’m okay with that because I know that but I think others may be blindsided (like if you’re the grandma - that role seemingly lives or dies depending on how much you put stock in the literal mechanic over the spirit of the role - I know my relationship with fog of love is poorer because points efficiency feels more comfortable). Maybe you can get enough from the fact they had a candles based party where everyone was having mini side parties - does your group feel or look like that?


To be fair, SUSD’s opinion of Root backed up the general feeling about the game. It wasn’t an infallible hotness praised from on high by any stretch.

These sorts of mild ‘controversies’ are always going to pop up from time to time. Curatorship is a political act, especially from a flagship journalist in a limited field. Just the way it is.


I think the review did what a good review does: it let me know whether I would like a board game, or not.

In this case, it looks like I would have lots of fun playing Blood on the Clocktower, but the price was offputting.

So I pitched it to a friend who plays a lot of social games at work. He raised it in our board game chat group and we’ll all end up pitching in a bit to buy it together. I think for anyone going in on a big, expensive game this is a nice solution, particularly one where you need 10 people to play.

Could the review have benefited with an extra line about the caution of backing board game kickstarters? Sure. And I think Quinn’s acknowledged that in the comments.

I also think in this case (and all cases) it’s a good thing to acknowledge everyone’s bias. There is no such thing as an unbiased opinion and that includes reviewers.

I have a bias against games that are long, heavy complexity, and are unforgiving. I’m going to be harsher when I play and judge them.

SU&SD have a bias for social games and games that make them laugh.

I acknowledge it and know to take it into account when they review something.

To make it all applicable to the Kickstarter thread again. I’m going to back it with some friends and I hope it turns out alright and meets the shipping goals. And like any boardgamer who hasn’t been living under a rock, I acknowledge the risk of Kickstarter. :wink:


I’m going back and forth - started off full pledge. I think I was thrown by the fact it was way under the possible 100 dollars. To the degree that the high postage didn’t put me off. With a few hours thought, that went against so I went down to a one pound pledge… and I keep going back and forth. I can’t decide. I’m going to see how the stretch goals develop, I think.


No, they really have recommended a lot of Kickstarters. They’ve pointed people to Kickstarters over and over again in the games news and on podcasts. They have also repeatedly mentioned reservations about kickstarters and risks of first-time publishers–these are not mutually exclusive things, but it is easy to hear one more strongly than the other and forget that they go together.

I agree they probably should have put a bit more emphasis on the uncertainty of the manufacturing side of things in particular, and I have a lot of reservations about the Kickstarter personally, but I also don’t feel like SU&SD has taken as clear and consistent a stance on Kickstarter games as that quote makes out. Quinns has a tendency to present things in a certain “official” sort of way that doesn’t always capture the full voice of the site, or even of Quinns. :stuck_out_tongue: He’s entirely capable of presenting something as site dogma when it’s really more of a wibbly site guideline that is often overridden by other site guidelines and impulses.

Some games cause them to emphasize the uncertainty of Kickstarter more than others. It’s not a hard and fast thing that comes up every single time. Maybe it should! But it doesn’t.

P.S. An unnecessary addendum

I decided to check my math on this one and walked back through Games News Kickstarter mentions back a ways into 2018. The most positively mentioned ones were from either established designs, established publishers or at least people with a Kickstarter or two under their belt. But with multiple Kickstarters mentioned most weeks, some of them outright recommendations others mere curios, plenty of games do get promoted without an airing of caution–I didn’t catch any Triple Threats like BotC, but there were even first-time Kickstarters that got mentioned (though not recommended) without caveat.

Not within my survey, but it was a while back that they wholeheartedly recommended Two Rooms and a Boom–another highly unusual social game’s first time Kickstarter they had played before recommending. I double checked and I didn’t see any Kickstarter caveats in the news post that suggested backing the game.

They link to The Metagame without caveat, and with favorable comparison to mega-hit Cards Against Humanity, in the same news post.


So, to discuss some other ongoing Kickstarters, here’s what I’m currently backing. None of this should be constituted as an actual endorsement unless noted, as I am speculating that they will be worth my money, not certain of it.

I already have several fantasy adventure coops, but the card based design and relatively light mechanics set this one apart for me, plus the art seems lovely (if running into some unfortunate gender representation at times). I’ve watched One Stop Coop Shop’s video playthrough of the previous Kilforth game and that solidified my interest, though that game is not currently available (the previous printing just arrived and sold out almost immediately, apparently). They’ve suggested pledging for it might be possible in Shadows’ pledge manager and I am hoping so.

Based on a) a boardgame I’ve never heard of and b) the extraordinarily lovely Legacy: Life Among the Ruins PBTA tabletop RPG. I’m confident this one will be worthwhile based on the latter heritage.

I think this one was previously mentioned, but I’m a sucker for a coop game with a great theme and “Venice during Carnival on the back of a giant undead leviathan w/ its hordes” seems like a pretty solid one, plus the first edition got great word of mouth and has been unavailable for yonks.


Continued, for further inboxing:

Yet another fantasy adventure coop, but a few things that convinced me I was interested: an unusual gothic/dark fantasy theming that smacks more of Dracula and Frankenstein than D&D (aside perhaps from the Ravenloft setting), including some interesting riffs on the source material (werewolves change because of consuming a mystical “moonstone”, for example); multiple layers of play including fast skirmishes, map-based adventuring and combat, and world map level travel w/ events, all laced with multiple branch storybook narrative; characters with multiple specialties to choose from. Cons: seems more dice-intensive than I would prefer. Looked fun from Youtube playthrough though.

TBH, it’s $20 and looks silly and I like Arc Dream. That’s about as deep as I go on this one.

I backed the first edition of this and it is really smart, interesting RPG design. I definitely want the new books.


Ah, that’s a bit refreshing, so I’ll also mention my current KS pledges.

The new Root Expansion:

I’m still not sure if Root will be sticking around in my collection… But I really like the sound of the new factions and really interested in the new deck. I’m also planning on picking up the update pack and the published form of the new automas.

Also, I’m a huge fan of the game Evolution so I’m excited about:

I think it might replace Evolution, which may be good because I’m very confused by the editions of Evolution; I have a second edition and I honestly don’t know what it is and isn’t compatible with, expansion-wise.