What was the reason for creating this game?2022-04-03T18:12:06-04:00

My name is TJ Swing, I live in Ohio, am an avid hiker and a board game enthusiast.  I went on my first hike/backpack trip back in 2014 ago in the Great Smoky Mountains, and was hooked ever since.  Over the past decade I have backpacked in 8 different states including Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Bottom line, I love hiking and think about it more than a person should.

The problem was when I wasn’t hiking, there wasn’t really a way to capture that feeling of being out in the wild, overcoming challenges, and getting that sense of accomplishment.  I tried a few of the other hiking or backpacking themed games out there, and as good of a game as they may be, they really didn’t capture the true essence of a multi-day hiking trip.  I’m talking about the grind, the grit, the fear, the excitement, the stress, and the shear joy of completing a challenging hike.

So 4 years ago I began playing around with the idea of making my own, and here we are.

How is this different from other hiking-themed board games?2022-04-03T18:18:21-04:00

Hike It! is different in 2 major ways.

One is that it is not a linear – or straight line – to complete your hike.  The beauty of Hike It! is that you can determine your own route or adventure.  The game is dynamic and forces you to think about the trails and what path would suite you best based on your resources and the challenges ahead of you.  You will never have the same experience twice when playing this game (as in a real hike).

The second is the realism. You really have to manage your gear, water supply, and health properly, just like on a real multi-day backpacking trip.  These decisions will determine what kind of trek you have.  The game lets you decide to play is safe and pack heavy to overcome anything in your path (but move slower), or you can pack lighter to move farther and faster (but may not have all the supplies required for certain events or challenges you face).

Bottom line: this game is as close ass it gets to a real backpacking trip as a board game can offer.  This isn’t a worker placement game where you magically whisk your tokens across the map, nor is it a card game where you are just playing a hand to win,… you are moving your hiker across the map, mile-by-mile, grinding it out, overcoming obstacles, planning for weather, resupplying gear and water, and watching out for dangerous wildlife.  This game isn’t a stroll in the park, it’s an adventure in the deep backwoods.

Who is working on this game?2022-04-03T20:33:12-04:00

The game’s original idea, design and ruleset was mine (TJ Swing), but I have had the help of great talented people along the way to bring this game to where it is at today.  Ron Halliday joined the team back in 2020 and has made the biggest impact on the game experience.  Ron is a professional cartographer and a board game designer (Seven Bridges, Carnavalesco, Psych Machia, and more).  He helped completely redesign the playing board and turned it into a work of pure art, while also helping tighten up the game play and rules to help escalate the game’s strategy, balance and thematic realism.  Hike It! recently brought on Dina Ramse – a board game and Kickstarter marketing guru – to help with the final  6 months of the launch and the campaign.  Not to mention the dozens of friends and family that have supported us and even helped with some initial playtesting to get the game going.

Why is it launching on Kickstarter?2022-04-03T20:38:17-04:00

Kickstarter is a crowd-sourcing application that lets people ‘back’ a project before it is actually completed.  It is widely used for individuals who have no initial capitol or money to manufacture a game (or other project).  Most board game manufacturers require a minimum of 2,000 – 5,000 games to be produced – and this could cost tens of thousands of dollars to accomplish – completely out-of-pocket for the game designer.

When a game is crowd-sourced like this, the supporters usually get a pretty good discount or deal for investing early – meaning early investors pay much less than folks would once the game hits retail markets like Amazon or Walmart.  Plus in the case of Hike IT! the Kickstarter backers will be getting a deluxe version of the game with upgraded components that most probably wont be available if the game hits retail stores.  It’s kind of a win-win for everyone involved.

Will this product eventually be available in retail stores?2022-04-03T20:39:54-04:00

The answer to this question depends on the success of the Kickstarter campaign.  If the campaign only generates enough to cover the funding goal, then probably not.  But if the game receives much more investment than asked for, the game should be available across multiple retail channels some time after the backers get their copy of the game.

What are the dimensions of the board and box?2022-04-04T16:13:02-04:00

The board is a 30″ x 20″ 6-fold board and the box will be 10.5″x10.5″.

What mechanisms does Hike It! use?2022-04-04T16:15:30-04:00

Hike It! uses a blend of Set Collection, Action Points, Resource Management, Push Your Luck, Trading, and a potential dash of take that.

How is the replay value of the game?2022-04-04T16:18:19-04:00

Hike It! has so many options, decisions and paths to victory that that no two games are ever the same.  Each game offers its own unique challenges, weather forecast, packboard setup, waypoint locations, side hike goals, and available skill sets up for grabs.

Pre-Order Your Copy!

If you missed our Kickstarter campaign, you still have time for a Late Pledge (for a limited time).

  • 160+ Wooden Components
  • 244 Linen Finished Cards
  • Dual-Layered Player Boards
  • Double-Sided Game Board
  • Silkscreen Art on Meeples
  • Upgraded token bags
Get the Game Now!
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