If you’re of the right age, chances are you remember being supremely jealous of Howard Phillips. He served as “Gamemaster” for Nintendo in the late 80s/early 90s, helping design many of the games that brought the company to fame. Of course, most adolescent minds interpreted that to mean he was paid to play video games, a position that is inarguably the coolest thing ever. He’s worn many hats in the industry since then, but his latest project – Gamemaster Howard’s Know-It-All – just might be his most ambitious.

Know-It-All is a trivia game with a heavy emphasis on education. While educational games have been more miss than hit in recent years, Phillips is taking a very unique approach with his, banking on teaching through repetition rather than the standard bombard-the-player-with-info tactic. And going by the available info, it seems a bold enough concept to work. Phillips believes there are enough knowledge junkies out there who will agree, and that’s why he’s turned to Kickstarter. He’s requesting the low price of $50,000 to develop the game (I promise you, that’s a very small amount to make a game with), and offering up all sorts of fantastic incentives and prizes for those who pitch in. But first, let’s talk about the game itself.


The action of Know-It-All takes place on a chart of sorts, where players can place tiles related to a certain subject – political gaffes, for example. Each tile has an image and audio cue associated with it, the idea being both of these things will work in tandem to help you remember certain things. It makes a good deal of sense, really: seeing and hearing something enough is bound to make it stick in your mind.

Know-It-All is linked with a pre-existing database of flash cards, so it will launch with a whole lot of content ready to go. Additionally, Phillips and co. are constructing their own card sets for the game – something backers will have a chance to shape. One possible topic teased on the Kickstarter page is “NES heroes”, which I think we can all agree needs to happen.

If the funding amount is reached, Phillips is also hoping to donate copies to schools as an educational tool for students. As someone who dearly misses the days of playing Oregon Trail in elementary school, I hope that comes to fruition. Think of the kids, you guys.


If you’re interested in the game enough to pitch in on the campaign, there are some pretty interesting rewards awaiting you. At $10, you’ll receive a copy of the game; at $30, you’ll gain voting rights for pack-in content, as well as your name in the credits. If your wallet is feeling particularly generous, backing at higher tiers will result in some fantastic physical rewards. The $100 price point features a high-quality print of an upcoming “The Game of My Life” comic (along with 5 copies of the game to distribute as you see fit). If you kick in $1,000, you’ll receive a “Howard & Know-It-All” NES cartridge, along with a smorgasbord of other items.

There are plenty of other items available at different price points, and I highly recommend going down the list over on the site’s Kickstarter. But really, the rewards pale in comparison to the feeling that comes with helping what could become a fantastic educational tool see the light of day.

Project Name: Gamemaster Howard’s Know-It-All
Platforms:  iPhone, iPad, and possibly an Android version if enough money is made
Funds Needed: $50,000
Funding Acquired (as of this writing): $6,501 
Days Left: 26


Kickstarter Picks is a series of features on Gamezebo that will profile Kickstarter projects in the world of video games. We’re doing this in the hopes of calling attention to interesting projects in need of funding, so please, if a game looks like something you’d want to play, don’t hesitate to lend it your support!