Whether you like it or not Kickstarter is a part of the board gaming industry, with just over 220 live board game related projects as I type this. In 2011 approx. $3M was pledged to board and card game related projects, a year on approx. $16M was pledged that’s a staggering 433% increase just in the space of a year! Now the majority of successfully funded Kickstarters go off without a hitch, but what about the ones that don’t? More to the point are there any repeat offenders?

Up until recently I have been blissfully unaware of just how many bodge jobs fly under the radar. This was until I read the comments of Wok Star 3rd Edition by Game Salute, a project that I had just backed.

Wok Star

One of the comments went like this…

“Wok Star is ready to go – we plan to send the final files to the printer within a week or two of the project’s close.”
LOL, we’ve heard that before. This is ridiculous. I vowed after the last Wok Star Kickstarter (and a bunch of other messes) that I would never back another Game Salute game again. And I will stay true to that. You expect us to pay more to get the product you SHOULD HAVE DELIVERED THE FIRST TIME? You sent out a game with a weak timer, bad ingredient tokens (that we all told you would be bad and the designer came in to bail you out by giving us all stickers), and a low-resolution printed board…and now you want us to pay to get an actual legit copy? I love this game…I love this designer. But I cannot see myself, at least for the foreseeable future, backing another Game Salute project.


It was like a bad soap opera, I had to know more, so I carried on reading the comments until I got to this one…


So I hyperlinked over to check it out and guess what?



Notice the date the project ended, October 4, 2013. You can imagine my surprise when I saw these comments…

Started shipments of the game? or not?

– June 22nd 2015


Too busy starting new kickstarter campaigns…

June 23rd 2015

I was gobsmacked. There were no other links in the comments to suggest that there had been any other issues with their Kickstarter projects, but curiosity had got the better of me and I like to read on the loo. So I decided to see how far the rabbit hole went. Then as if by some kind of dark magic, a link was put up on a board game Facebook group.

Here is the link


So the gist of it is, Game Salute screwed up again. They didn’t have enough funds from the 9-Shooter Quick Draw Kickstarter, to manufacture game boxes. I mean WTF!!!

Taking all this into consideration, I can see why the Wok Star 3rd edition campaign is going down the Swanee, which is a shame.

Are backers finally kicking back at bad Kickstarters? Should repeat offenders be banned from creating more projects or could there be a way to mitigate this from happening especially from the same person(s)?

I used Game Salute as an example, as it just happened to affect me, but do you know of any other repeat offenders? Well, now is the time to name and shame.

Please leave comments below if you have also experienced any shoddy Kickstarters.

  • sick of gamesalute

    1) the 3D printed ingredient tokens are what SHOULD have been in the 2nd edition of Wok Star
    2) Game Salute never delivered the Wok Star timer app promised in the 2nd edition Kickstarter. Game Salute blames Tim Fowers for this, although GAME SALUTE is the one whose name is listed as the Kickstarter creator, and thus Game Salute is responsible for fulfilling the Kickstarter
    3) Game Salute promised that the files were ready to send to the printer right after the 2nd edition funded – guess what, they weren’t sent then, it was months later
    4) Game Salute sent a terrible quality image file for the 2nd edition board, resulting in a blurry/grainy board – and to make sure this doesn’t happen on the 3rd edition they say they’ve hired a new person to check for things like that. Really? Did none of the old employees have eyeballs?

    • I know it’s really bad and ultimately that’s why I canceled my pledge. Game salute need to fulfil their existing funded projects before even thinking of doing anymore!

  • kookaburrito

    I love Tim Fowers and his games. I initially backed this 3rd edition but pulled out when i researched Game Salute a bit more… the comment sections go dark as soon as things get funded… so customers and their questions are left hanging for months. Michael, the “creator” of the campaign, lied and said he was a new employee to take heat off of himself for past projects, but going to BGG’s cautionary tale you can see Michael has been there for several years. I think people will probably get their games… I don’t think they are trying to fraud anybody… I just think it’s a poorly run company and their campaigns are riddled with headaches I don’t feel like participating in. I really hope that Tim gets the rights back so he can publish this himself.

    • Me too, I love Tim’s games and I really wanted to get this one, but like you I have pulled out from the Kickstarter.

  • Mark

    Game Salute is now a laughing stock in the board game industry. Tom Vasel dinged them live in a recent video. And read through this : https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/171113/game-salute-cautionary-tale

    • Someone just sent me that link, a second ago. I’m horrified that they are still in business, let alone doing more KS campaigns!

  • Someone just sent me that link, a second ago. I’m horrified that they are still in business, let alone doing more KS campaigns.

  • David Miles

    You think board games are bad, check out some of the failed miniatures kickstarters.

    • Which ones specifically?

      • David Miles

        CSM’s Tome of Horrors Complete I and II, and the Drake/Drake II kickstarters (can’t remember the company on that one). There are more if you dig a little, those are just off the top of my head. Fortunately, I didn’t get burned, but I know people who did.

        You can also dig up a lot of the failed ones on the Reaper Miniatures forums. There is a lot of discussion over there about it.

        • Reaper minis failed!!!! Wow really shocked at that one.

          • David Miles

            No, no. I was saying you can dig up a ton of failed miniatures kickstarters over on their forums. They have a forum dedicated to kickstarters.