Every once in a while, a game will land on Kickstarter that really catches my attention.
This was certainly the case when I stumbled upon a new, and for a kid of the eighties, very exciting RPG title called, Kids on Bikes. Described as a rules-light, fast-paced storytelling game, that harks from a time when kids actually did uncover adventure and excitement riding off into the unknown corners of their little home towns, the game had me hooked right from the off.
As a huge fan of movies such as, The Goonies and Stand by Me, and as a kid who used to be out at dawn and in as twilight descended, pedalling fast beneath a streetlight’s glow, Kids on Bikes, seems to tap into something that was truly special. A bygone era…God I’m feeling old now.
The brainchild of celebrated game designers, Jon Gilmour and Doug Levandowski, Kids on Bikes brings plenty to the table. Offering familiar RPG tropes such as stats and skills, the strength of which is determined by the number of sides on the die used. The more sides on the die, the bigger the boom say the developers. But even on the smaller dice things can get serious, hit a max result and explode into some re-rolling shenanigans sure to weave some tales of derring-do and youthful bravery.
However, despite a cool theme and some easy on the grey matter rules, the real selling point from my own perspective is in the great opportunity for story-telling, and some inventive little touches. Such as, alongside creating characters, players also form the world they will inhabit. Then we have a co-controlled powered-up character that players will share the narrative over, such as using the mysterious powers to get out of difficult situations. Think Eleven in Stranger Things being controlled by the other guys.
Speaking of Stranger Things, Kids on Bikes timing is perfectly in tune with the current taste for the retro, for eighties adventure, for The Goonies, Explorers, Back to the Future, and all the great stuff that spilled from our screens thirty plus years ago. If this brand new RPG can capture just a little of the magic that made those films so special, players are in for a real treat.
With a beautifully stylish rulebook nearing completion, and a very sweet price point of $20 for the paperback version, or $35 for the hardcover, plus numerous unlocked stretch goals to add further flavour to the pot, Kids on Bikes is a Kickstarter well worth a look.
I’m already in, chain oiled, backpack slung, and wild adventure in my heart.
Check out Kids on Bikes for yourself right here.