Every week 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 :
Game : Striker Arena
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Striker Arena is described as a “tactical-action soccer game” so where does the tactical bit come in? It appears at times the game is played via turn-based controls. This makes sense as you’ll have two people hovering over a single iPad together. That doesn’t seem to leave too much room for simultaneously play. However, it appears certain actions will be performed in real time. When you have the ball, you take offensive action, but while the other player possesses it your controls switch over to defensive maneuvers.”
Game : Treasure Bird in Dreamland
What it is : Marcus wrote: ” …a 2D platformer with more of a focus on verticality. After all, you’re a bird which means you can fly! Giving too much flying freedom would take away the fun of platforming, though. The developers have combated this by making each wing flap equivalent to a double jump from other games. Instead of having infinite flying abilities you can only use six wing flaps before needing to rest. Six still seems like a pretty big number but we’ll see how it plays along with the level design.”
Game : Kraden’s Crypt
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Dungeon crawlers with roguelike elements are basically everywhere right now, both on PC and consoles. As such, you’ve got to do something special to get people to pay attention. Kraden’s Cryptattempts to break out of the pack with a few differences. For one, it has a cartoon-styled art style rather than focusing on pixel art like most. However, its most distinguishing characteristic is one you can’t see through pictures alone. In this game you control weapon attacks by clicking and dragging with your mouse. Most games (both in and out of the dungeon crawling world) utilize far simpler button presses to carry out attacks.”
Game : Seldon Crisis
What it is : Marcus wrote: “So what can you expect to do in Seldon Crisis? Well, everything apparently. Players in particular will be given control of the in-game economy, infrastructure, and politics. Of course, this is just the start. Players will be able to trade with others, engage in PVP, explore, customize spacecraft, join a faction, form alliances with other players, exploit/utilize discovered resources, and generally just enjoy exploring the expansive universe in a MMO environment. With all that said, this sounds like a very expensive project. Yet they are only asking for £250,000 (or $405,000-ish) for funding.”
Game : Extra Solar Season 2
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Extrasolar is an incredibly unique video game that launched earlier this year. It is a web-based experience where players remotely control a rover on an alien planet, taking pictures as you go. The goal is to document interesting land formations and even any forms of plant life. The first season is available to play for free and works on most any device with a web browser. Considering the first season left players on a bit of a cliffhanger, not getting to see Season 2 (and eventually Season 3) come to fruition would be a huge bummer.”
Game : DAVinCI Flight
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Back in my day, if a player wanted an interesting learning experience from video games they’d play something like The Oregon Trail or Math Blasters. Times have changed a lot since then it seems. Now there are upcoming titles like DAVinCI Flight which teach components of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) while still looking quite cool. This game is being created to allow players to design their own in-game planes, use them to complete missions, and finally use a 3D printer to bring those user-generated designs into the real world.”
What it is : Marcus wrote: “It’s weird to look back at gaming’s history and see how genres have ebbed and flowed in popularity. During the 90s it seemed like action/puzzle hybrids were the “in” thing. Although some games remained in Japan, such as Tetris Battle Gaiden, popular series such as Street Fighter got their own wildly popular offshoots like Puzzle Fighter. In these games two players would face off and try to clear their board of blocks, which would cause effects on the other player’s screen. Heroes Never Lose: Professor Puzzler’s Perplexing Ploy (or HNL: PPPP) is hoping to bring back that type of game.
Game : Death to Spies 3
What it is : Marcus wrote: “The Death to Spies PC series began in 2007. Two years later, the stealth game saw a sequel with Death to Spies: Moment of Truth. For a while it seemed that was the end as years passed without a new entry. Death to Spies 3 has finally shown up as a Kickstarter project. You play as Semion Strogov, a Soviet agent, who infiltrates and completes his tasks by any means necessary. Of course, it’s best to approach everything from a stealth perspective or you likely won’t last long.”
Game : Phantasmal
What it is : Marcus wrote: “In Phantasmal the protagonist is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from PTSD. He works at a college as a janitor when one night the power goes out. Unfortunately, as you go to investigate things seem to suddenly become deadly. Players can find weapons to fend off creepy creatures but this is not meant to be the main way of playing. That means resources are all limited and weapons themselves break after enough usage. Instead of engaging enemies, you’ll want to stealthily avoid many encounters. In anAmnesia: The Dark Descent-esque twist, even looking at monsters long enough will degrade your sanity.”
Game : Kodoku Chronicles
What it is : Marcus wrote: “For the uninitiated, Kodoku is a horror tale that weaves Japanese folklore along with H.P. Lovecraft goodness. Unfortunately, not much has even been revealed about the main game as of yet. From what I can glean through the Kickstarter page, Kodoku Chronicles begins when the protagonist lands on Kodoku Island. Once there, they’ll encounter dangerous circumstances and inhabitants. Despite being a visual novel, there will be a battle system. Players will have to cast spells against enemies in a turn-based fashion. Beyond that you’ll also be able to strengthen relationships with other characters which in turn benefit you during battles.”
What it is : We’ve covered the previous Pinball Arcade Kickstarters in depth before; they’re all fantastic digital representations of classic pinball machines. Each one isn’t just thrown together, no, they’re painstakingly put together in a way that recreates that pinball experience; as well as it can be done without an actual pinball machine at least. The latest Pinball Arcade project is so that the developers can get the licensing rights to bring fans the classic Addams Family table. While the $97,000 goal might seem high just to make a pinball game, you might want to bring that up with the rights holders.
Game : Grimoire
What it is : A multiplayer FPS in the MOBA vein of gaming that’s so popular these days. Players hop online and control wizards as they combat a variety of dark forces in a convincing looking medieval world. There’s a variety of spell classes to choose from (fire, lightning, ice, earth, and nature), and each results in some spectacular effects. Add in the fact that you’ll have other players on the battlefield and a game of Grimoire could turn out to be a dangerously colorful affair.
The Rest of the Campaigns :
Zed Defence : A side scrolling tower defense game with zombies.
Exit Humanity : An extremely dark side scroller that has some potential. Did I mention that it’s extremely dark?
The Final Frontier : A top down interstellar strategy game that features a number of interesting ideas; it’s unfortunate none of the game is really shown off though.
Epoch : A real time strategy game that teaches programming. The “game to learn programming” genre is a busy one, so a new campaign that’s so lacking in info doesn’t have much of a chance.
Game Grumps Visual Novel : A fine example of Kickstarters need to do at least a little work in vetting projects.
Mascot RPG : Another fine example of absolutely no effort being put into a campaign; other than to search the Internet for a cover image to steal.
Augapora Unreal : Turn your headphones down before watching the funding video, you’ll thank me.
Life Jar : A turn based tactical combat game that could actually be very interesting; it’s in dire need of a new campaign though.
The Demon Within : The developer has obviously put a lot of thought into the project, but backers need to see some of the work as well before backing; even with only a $5,000 target.
Footprints : An interesting concept with a bad Kickstarter campaign. Unfortunate.
Virtual Dallas Texas : It is exactly what the title says it is, gotta respect that.
Dread: Shoot ‘Em Up : An old school inspired first person shooter with a strange mix of art styles.
Project Crossfire : A campaign that’s interesting in that while it explains the game concept, it doesn’t tell you what kind of game it actually is.
Feral : An open world cat simulator that sounds very interesting, but never really addresses what unique elements being a cat brings to the game.
Black Hat Oculus : A cyberspace themed stealth game that you play with the Oculus Rift.
Unknown Tomb : A slick looking action adventure game with a campaign that leaves some questions lingering.
Clemente : A game about STD education that aims to be a laugh-a-minute.
The Haunted Video Game : This project was on Kickstarter last December. Since then the only thing that seems to have changed was that the funding goal was raised $10,000.
Town of Salem : A followup campaign to the successful Town of Salem campaign; this time so that the developers can add additional features.
Driven Bats : A top down action game that may or may not violate some someone else’s IP.
Go Kinok! Go! : A side scrolling platformer with some lovely colorful graphics.
That’s it for last week. Watch your wallets!
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