Board game publisher Greater Than Games has taken to Backerkit to crowdfund its next Spirit Island expansion, and the campaign has raised over $500,000 / £440,000 just one day after launch. The campaign, which kicked off on October 18 says Spirit Island: Nature Incarnate will introduce eight new spirits, as well as a new adversary and a new Incarna mechanic.
However, minimal product info was shared at launch – with Greater Than Games promising key details in future updates. Despite the relatively tight-lipped description, the crowdfunding goal of $40,000 / £35,508.40 was reached in under 15 minutes.
The original Spirit Island casts players as spirits who use their elemental abilities to drive European invaders away from their island. Spirit Island already has three expansions – Branch & Claw, Jagged Earth, and Feather & Flame – each of which can also be bought as part of the campaign’s top three pledge levels. Note that Spirit Island: Nature Incarnate requires both the core game and the Jagged Earth expansion to play.
An all-in pledge includes card sleeves, foil spirit panels, and premium token packs along with these games, and this will set you back $470 / £417.60 (plus shipping). Conversely, the bare minimum pledge offers Nature Incarnate and foil spirit panels for $55 / £48.87. Horizons of Spirit Island, the lighter standalone game, is also available as an add-on for any pledge level at an extra $35 / £31.10. That is, unless you’re in the US, where Target still has exclusive distribution dibs.
Despite the campaign’s success so far, some fans online have shared criticism of the crowdfunder’s pricing. German board game fan and Redditor u/Maspital shared a breakdown of Nature Incarnate’s pledges on October 18. Assuming the retail price of the new expansion is €60 / £52.13 in Europe, Maspital estimates it would cost them €135 / £117.30 less to wait for the game’s retail release and buy all the existing expansions separately.
“I really, really love Spirit Island, but there is absolutely no reason why anyone (at least from Germany) should back this”, Maspital says on Reddit. “I can buy two or three more board games just from the difference in price! I understand stuff has gotten more expensive, but there is no value to be found here.”
Backerkit commenters have also pointed out inconsistencies between different pledge levels. User bxInifinte commented on the campaign page, saying “going from the basic bundle to basic and sleeves costs +$15; going from the token bundle to token bundle and sleeves costs +$35 – same exact quantity of sleeves, what gives?”
Greater Than Games has already shared an update on the Backerkit page that partly seems to address some pricing concerns. “There have been a number of questions about the costs and differences in pledge levels, asking about MSRP and campaign discounts”, says Greater Than Games. “Each pledge level (and related add-on bundle) is available with a notable discount vs the MSRP of each item in that bundle combined.”
“Due to some last-minute adjustments to the quantity of card sleeves in various bundles, the discount is not even across the board from level to level, but they each have a decent discount, with some ranging up to a very high discount — no one is getting short-changed, but some levels are getting even better rates. Our error, but in your favour!” “So, back at the level that contains the things you most want, rest assured in the knowledge that you’re getting a decent discount, no matter what.”
The update also explains the lack of detail on the game shared at launch. “There wasn’t a lot of detail about the spirits, powers, or anything on that main page! While we would love to have all of that information for you up front (as it’s already in our pocket waiting), the main page would simply be too long with all the information we’re excited to tell you”, says Greater Than Games. “Instead, we’re going to be bringing you a series of updates to this campaign, each going in depth on specific Spirits, interviews with the designer and the developers, and lots of information about Aspects, powers, and more!”