For those who missed it, in 2020 Mythic Games teamed up with Red Hook Studios to create a miniatures saturated tabletop adaptation of the Darkest Dungeon franchise. Gathering over 30,000 backers which raised over $5 Million dollars, it is one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns and the most successful online campaign for any video game board game adaptation to date.
Darkest Dungeon is a blend of real time and turn based mechanics in a RPG with rouge-like elements. It takes a more psychological focus as one of the main mechanics is managing a party of adventures and maintaining viable stress levels as they cleanse an ancestral mansion and associated lands (and dungeons). Managing your characters metal well-being is just as important as their physical well being. With multiple character classes and various skill sets that can be upgraded, there is a lot of balancing that is needed for your party of adventurers in game.
With the success of the Kickstarter campaign, Mythic Games has extended the campaign, as it were, on Gamefound, where a lot of post-funding work is done between backers and developers. What I appreciate about Mythic Games, is that they are essentially keeping the pledge levels the same both in price and content as they were on Kickstarter, which many campaigns choose not to do in the name of 'exclusivity'.
The only difference between Pledge Levels on Gamefound and Kickstarter is that backers of the original campaign get a Minifig for free whereas it would cost Gamefound backers $15 for the same option. But, given the sheer amount of plastic and cardboard you get in the campaign, a character expansion isn't much to quibble over.
With Darkest Dungeon, you have to worry about your wallet's stress-levels.
While I enjoy games loaded with miniatures and cardboard, that often pushes the games price up a very steep slope, oftentimes in the inverse of the number of miniatures acquired. I can buy a bag of army men at the dollar store, but sometimes in these plastic-soaked Kickstarters mini-figs will cost between $5-$10 a figurine (or $15 in the case of Musketeer promo). Granted, many times you are getting more than just a figurine (for example, the Musketeer promo comes with 22 cards and tokens). But these games can be cost-prohibitive, and Darkest Dungeon does take the cake on this one:
While I do feel the cost equals the content in the case of Darkest Dungeon, to get all the content from the original campaign will cost you $330 (before shipping)! Just to get the base game is a more affordable $100. But this doesn't count for all the add-ons you can now get on Gamefound:
To get EVERYTHING for the Darkest Dungeon board game, a buyer will have to spend $330 for the Kickstarter Ancestral Bundle, then an additional $185 for the Gamefound Ancestral Bundle for add-ons and, if you missed the original campaign, an additional $15 for the Musketeer promo. Which brings us to $530! BEFORE SHIPPING. The Kickstarter had a rough estimate of $34 for the core game, so I can only imagine what the Ancestral Pledge (let alone all the extras you can buy on Gamefound) will add to that S&H cost.
Prospective players will have to be well above the poverty line to be able to afford the full and complete gaming experience for Darkest Dungeon, which I think is a negative in many aspects. While its not as black and white as "expensive critically received games vs. cheap Walmart games", oftentimes the latter see gamers thumb their collective noses at them, and, for some, the price for entry equals quality, or at least the perception thereof. But, as it stands, the most successful video game board game will cost playersin excess of half a grand to get all the content for this board game. The question is whether future adaptations will follow suit.
Regardless of the cost for EVERYTHING, many games will not want everything and Mythic Games has à la carte options so players can get what they want and, if players only want the base game, that will run around $100.