It is hard to follow your dreams due to circumstances.  Sometimes circumstances are what lead you to follow your dreams.  When Jason Maria lost his job, he decided that he would follow his dream of being a game designer and created the card game CLEVER, which is currently up on Kickstarter.

To secure funding, Jason launched a Kickstarter campaign that, in only 9 days, surpassed 100 percent of the total funding goal. CLEVER has now raised enough funding to allow the author to exhibit the game at this year’s GENCON and to “Kick It Forward,” taking 5 percent of the funds raised, making them available to other worthwhile projects seeking crowd funding. Jason hopes to secure another $3,000 in order to upgrade the current card stock to high quality plastic cards as his third and final stretch goal. The campaign can be found at http://kck.st/1iFy8uo and is slated to end on Saturday, January 11th.

A life-long gamer, Jason designed CLEVER to transcend typical, and often somewhat boring, “learning games.” Unlike one or two-dimensional mechanics found in most other games in the genre, CLEVER allows children to have fun while learning in five different ways, all within one game, using the same cards. Additionally, in a nod to the video games Jason played most of his life, CLEVER’s design encourages community involvement to devise new and ingenious ways to play the game. The most popular of these will be featured on the game’s official website and incorporated into future revisions.

“People enjoy games because they’re fun, pure and simple. Just because one labels a game educational, doesn’t give one license to remove the fun,” explains Jason Santa Maria. “This philosophy is reflected in every aspect of CLEVER’s design and is why I believe it has received such a positive response from kids and adults alike.”

While my son isn’t old enough to play games yet, I am always looking for something that will be easy for him to play as well as educational and fun when he is old enough.  The fact that you can play multiple games with the set gives it even more replayability, and it looks like a great way to teach numbers, letters, and colors.  The price is right, and it’s already fully funded, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not this will be made or not.  Check out the Kickstarter for more information.