Every week (starting now at least) we take a brief look at all of the Kickstarter campaigns that launched in the previous week. This isn’t to say that all of these projects are worth your hard earned cash, but with any luck having all of them in one place will make it easier to educate yourself on the projects you’d like to back, and which ones to run from. You’ll find two types of campaigns listed, “featured” and “the rest“. Featured campaigns are those that contain a significant amount of game information, are from known developers, or are significant in some other way. The rest of the games are usually smaller campaigns that are lacking in information, are from unknowns, have unanswered questions, or have not yet stood out for one reason or another.
Featured Campaigns :
In order of launch date.
Game : Comatose
What it is : A first person psychological horror game that promises to be more than just a series of jump scares. It features some above average graphics, immersive sound, and a story that is reminiscent of the horror classic Sanitarium. The campaign is struggling out of the gate though, and needs to have some fantastic days if it’s going to be successful.
Goal : $20,000
Game : Albino Lullaby
What is it : A first person horror game with some of the most bothersome graphic design I’ve seen in a while. Seriously, what’s happening in that title screen? The game itself is a first person horror adventure game.. and, yeah, there’s plenty of those out there. However, Albino Lullaby is a bit unique in that it’s got some seriously off the wall world design, is designed with VR in mind, and is being brought to us courtesy of a team of industry vets.
Goal : $25,000
Game : Caverns of Travencore
What is it : Think Gauntlet gone roguelike in a procedurally generated world. There’s a number of RPG elements added in to help give things some additional depth, 4 player co-op (as you would expect), over two dozen enemy types, and some pixel graphics that look to fit in very nicely. Having raised only $215 of its $18k goal as of this writing, Travencore has a long ways to go if we’re going to playing this one any time soon.
Goal : $18,000
What is it : A beautiful platformer featuring an edgy Little Red Riding Hood. If it sounds a little too American McGee for you, take a look at some of the gameplay footage before moving on to the next project. The Kickstarter campaign isn’t to fund the game itself, but rather a number of gameplay and technical improvements. From the sounds of it we’ll be seeing Woolfe at some point regardless of the campaigns success, but funding will make it that much better.
Goal : $50,000
Game : A Rite From The Stars
What is it : A classic style adventure game in which the protagonist has a leaf on his face. You’ve seen stranger things before. The developers cite adventure classics such as Day of the Tentacle, Broken Sword, and Gabriel Knight as inspiration; and while it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll earn such comparisons from gamers, the game does seem to be progressing along nicely.
Goal : $40,000
Game : Fallen
What is it : I feel the developers description here is important. It starts “Turn-based tactical combat and strategy game set in a rich post-apocalyptic world paying homage to classics like X-COM and Fallout.” This is the part where thousands of gamers max out credit cards to make this happen. While the campaign has started off decently, it’s not the runaway success you’d imagine. Why? For my money it’s the bright and cartoonish graphic design, something that doesn’t come to mind when I think of X-COM and Fallout. However, this is still a campaign to watch given the concept and the amount of work already put into the game.
Goal : $75,000
Game : Hive Jump
What is it : After a failed campaign earlier this year it seemed as though this insane looking multiplayer platfomer/shooter might not happen. Thankfully the gang at Graphite Lab aren’t a bunch of quitters. The new campaign shows off tons of appealing gameplay, several screenshots, and has the developers engaging with backers a regularly. The danger here is that those simply glancing at the project could see it as yet another Terraria clone, rather than the Starship Troopers / Contra mashup it appears to be.
Goal : $50,000
Game : Umdlalo
What is it : This campaign was actually just cancelled, but I’m including it because it’s significant for a number of reasons. It’s a big project in both scope and budget with an appealing set of features thats set in a game world never before brought to life. However, although the team was comprised of a number of industry vets the Kickstarter itsself completely flopped out of the gate. The reason for that flop is still unclear, but hopefully we’ll see the developers get their stuff together and relaunch after some much needed research.
Goal : $575,000
Game : Hard West
What is it : X-COM in the old west. Boom. *Drops Mic*. That’s what you’d expect the developers at Creative Forge to have done on their campaign page, unfortunately it’s not that simple. Some early campaign stumbles, and questions surrounding the developers have dogged the game since the start of the campaign; but things seem to be going much smoother now. The developers have kept open communication channels and have been acting on feedback from backers. As of this writing the campaign is just shy of %50 to its funding goal.
Goal : $70,000
What is it : A small Monkey Island inspired adventure game from a man with experience in the series. The artwork looks amazing (which is expected given the guys working on it), the concept is suprisingly unique, and the campaign goal is low. However, there’s concern about game length, that low campaign goal, and the fact that great art doesn’t equal great gameplay. The campaign doesn’t look like it’ll be smashing any records, but it’ll definitely be meeting its funding goal in the two months that the it’s active.
Goal : $40,000
Game : Kona
What is it : A first person survival adventure with stylized graphics set in a dangerous snowbound environment. No, it’s not The Long Dark, but you’d be forgiven for confusing it with last years Kickstart sensation. Kona is unique in that you can actually play a brief demo of it before deciding whether to back it. It remains to be seen if Kona can make a name for itself at this point though, the campaign is off to a fairly shaky start and is in need of some positive buzz.
Goal : $40,000
Game : The Sun Also Rises
What is it : When I first saw the video I couldn’t help being reminded of Interstate ’76; the graphics are a dead ringer for the classic 90’s car game. However, after I finished admiring lead developer Ty Underwoods hair, I realized that this wasn’t a tale of highly stylized retro car combat, but rather a highly stylized adventure game that’s sure to be more than just a little depressing. Instead of pondering weapon upgrades and jamming to some funk music, players will be left thinking about the futility of war as they spiral into a depressive state about how hopeless everything is. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, challenging players in ways they’ve never been challenged before should be a fresh experience.
Goal : $15,000
What is it : A kart racer featuring a cornucopia of indie game stars; including characters from Read Only Memories, First of Awesome, Whispering Willows, and many more. Interesting that so many of the games represented are Kickstarter funded projects. It remains to be whether a kart racer not staring Mario can grab peoples’ attention, but the developer, Paul Hamilton, isn’t giving up. The previous campaign for Super World Karts came painfully close to suceeding, so fingers crossed for this newest one.
Goal : $16,000
Game : Station
What is it : A retro looking side-view adventure game that traps players in an under water mining facility when things go predictably wrong. The team at Design Engine promise a non-linear gameplay experience filled with challenging puzzles, a fleshed out world, and choices that matter. The danger at this point is that while the pixel graphics are still beloved by many, the art in Station is closer to late 80’s PC than it is the early/mid 90’s console art that’s in vogue.
Goal : $33,000
Game : Zone 416
What is it : When I first saw Zone 416 I wrote it off as nothing more than a Rebuild clone. Survive a zombie apocalypse by finding survivors, building your base, and gathering supplies. However, it would appear as though I might be wrong. While Rebuild can at times seem like a mobile game at its heart, Zone 416 seems more like a hard-core 4X strategy game made for the PC. It’s a shame the campaign isn’t taking off; maybe if they take some screenshots from the gameplay heavy Kickstarter video onto the campaign page so people can better see what they’re backing.
Goal : $25,000
The Rest of the Campaigns :
In order of launch date.
Extinction : A big budget dream project with some great post apocalyptic concept art but not enough game to warranty the $220,000 asking price.
Lords of Steel: AI Wars : A turn-based strategy game for iOS and Android tablets that features mechs that players can customize and tweak to their hearts content.
Super Jungle Scout : An educational browser game that allows players to explore jungle environments while learning about animals of their world.
Online Morse Code Interactive Learning Game : Learn the brain bending communication method that is Morse Code through an online tool; pretty straightforward.
From Rags to Riches : The fourth attempted from a group of friends looking to make their first game; a stratgy game about working your way up in the world in this case.
The Bone Priest : Contrary to what the title implies, this isn’t a comedic satire; instead it’s a medieval horror survival game.
Zepto Racer III : A customizable car combat game from the developer of several mobile racing games.
Drew and the Floating Labyrinth : A 3D puzzle platformer with some uniquely low-fi hand-drawn graphics.
Alasdair’s Quest : A top down retro RPG inspired by Zelda, Dragon Warrior, and Final Fantasy.
Zombie Bunnies : You’re a Rambo inspired turtle that must kill an islands worth of zombie bunnies; simple as that.
Super Galaxy Squadron : A pixelized top down shooter from a developer who states all game profits will go to the Child’s Play Charity.
The Caretaker : A 3rd person action adventure game about a guy working in a cemetery.
Acky’s Reloaded : An update to a Breakout style game released about 10 years ago; back when Breakout clones and match 3 games comprised a majority of indie game releases.
Just Another Bug Hunt? : A decent looking side scrolling pixel infused action platformer.
Steve’s Vengeance : A 3rd person hack and slash game from developers that ask you to go to YouTube to actually see it.
Bears Can’t Drift : A kart racer with some pleasantly bright and blocky graphics, and some interesting looking tracks.
Metal Mouth : An edgy take on the classic Feeding Frenzy aquarium formula.
Eternal Step : An endless roguelike with a great looking gameplay video, but a complete lack of screenshots on the campaign page.
GunWorld : “A love letter to 8-bit gaming”
Thomas The Tank Engine RPG : To quote the developer “Damn I didn’t actually think this’d get accepted. LETS DO THIS !!!”
Procedra : A procedurally generated (get it?!) platformer that emphasizes co-op play.
Tetropolis : The opening line on the campaign page says it all, “Tetropolis merges elements from Metroid and Tetris to create an entirely unique game, a Tetroidvania.”
That’s it for last week! There’s lots to choose from; just watch your wallets.
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