Imagine climbing a mountain with your friends and family without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. This is the experience that Corvallis game developer Corey Wright aimed to create with his newly released board game Mountaineers.
A mountain climbing themed, three-dimensional board game, Mountaineers was released by Corvallis board game start-up Massif Games, and funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $145,000 with the support of 1,686 backers. According to Kickstarter’s sort function, Mountaineers appears to be the biggest Corvallis-based campaign to date.
“Kickstarter is great because it allows you to gauge market interest and not necessarily put down a lot of your own capital,” said Wright. The Kickstarter backers received pre-ordered copies of Mountaineers once it was manufactured and released.
As an amateur mountain climber,
Wright said he first came up with the idea over four years ago, while on a three-month backpacking trip in the French and Swiss Alps with his wife.
“We both enjoy board games like Settlers of Catan,” he said. “As we were hiking, I decided that I wanted to create a game where you create a different map every time but in the form of a mountain you would climb.”
During the development process, Wright tested homemade prototypes with friends for over a year and a half. “Basically, I forced my friends to play it and they told me how horrible it was,” he said. “Then I went back and improved it and repeated that process about a hundred times… Each time it got better until it felt like a real game.”
Since its release, people from 53 different countries have bought the game. In addition to English, Mountaineers is available in German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese. Wright said customers helped translate the game into their own languages.
“There is a stereotype that mountain climbing is typically a rich, white person’s sport,” he said.
With Mountaineers, Wright wanted to show the more inclusive side of the climbing world. The game illustrations include male and female climbers of different ethnicities, and character names from around the world. Additionally, accurate climbing terminology is used to enhance the sense of an authentic adventure.
Mountaineers is suitable for 1-6 players, aged 10 and up. The three-dimensional, spinning game board stands 18 inches tall when set up. Players can work through hundreds of different mountain combinations for a different experience every time.
Massif Games, LLC is registered as a benefit corporation in the state of Oregon. They are dedicated to supporting wilderness preservation and to fighting human trafficking.