[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]very week we take a brief look at all of the Kickstarter video game 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 : Samsara
What it is : Marcus wrote: “It’s always exciting to see great ideas devised during game jams come to life with full releases. Samsara was originally created for the Global Game Jam in 2015 but Skistad Studios knew they could make it into something more. The game focuses on a Buddhist monk who is going along the path toward enlightenment. Amazingly, they can even transform into each of the twelve animals from the Chinese Zodiac calendar which grants them new abilities as they traverse 2D platforming stages. Becoming an ox, rooster, or even dragon allows players to experience stages in different ways and solve puzzles. However, only four animals will be open for transformation per stage.“
Game : Violent Little Things
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Have you noticed how lately Kickstarter has been going through a bit of a lull period? It’s at times like this that I desperately click through every campaign multiple times, hoping that one will spontaneously wow me. One such campaign to get an excitable reaction form me is the one for Violent Little Things by Lorne Whiting. The concept seems pretty simple. You play as Novux, a Corsair mercenary tasked with simply receiving wreckage from an alien ship. Apparently, this ship is decked out with weird technology and creatures called Forgelings.“
Game : Harlem Renaissance
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Ever since secretly watching older cousins play Mortal Kombat II I’ve been a big fan of fighting games. Their colorful casts of characters, awesome special moves, and (typically) skill-based gameplay make them easy to play for hours on end. With that said, there are not many fighting games which attempt to position themselves as from a specific time period (other than the current day or future). Hastings Paradise brings us into a story where a young girl gets warped through time and discovers that someone is trying to stop historical icons from ever making their mark on history. Of course, it’s your goal to stop their plans from coming true.“
Game : DreamCage 28
What it is : Marcus wrote: “What’s with the name DreamCage 28? Well, the entire game world takes place within a surreal bird cage. Inside is a tiny town filled with residents, puzzles, and mystery. Players navigate the world with a point and click interface and collect objects to solve puzzles with as well as talk to the natives. Sure, that’s immensely typical of the adventure genre, but the visuals definitely stand out. The land inside this strange bird cage definitely manages to feel both recognizable and alien. Everything seems a bit rusted and ancient. If this Kickstarter raises enough funds we’ll get some backstory as to who owned the cage, the protagonist’s history, and the like.“
Game : Bowbarian
What it is : Marcus wrote: “A Kickstarter campaign by the name of Bowbarian just launched and, if you’re anything like me, you probably had the thought “what the heck is a bowbarian?” Well, after investigating the campaign I’m here to inform you! In the action game Bowbarian you play as a hulking man with loincloth named Bowbarian. Instead of fighting with more typical barbarian fare, this fellow lives up to his namesake with a bow and arrow. Well, sometimes the “arrows” might actually be swords, but that’s beside the point. This is a fast-paced arcade action game in the vein of Robotron 2084 but with a cartoony coat of paint.“
Game : Solar Crusaders
What it is : Marcus wrote: “One of the typical pitfalls of multiplayer games of this nature is that players will eventually stumble upon “dead” zones – areas where no players hang out or have even discovered. Solar Crusaders has a feature to ensure that NPC pirates, merchants, and the like will always be nearby even if no one else is. Throughout your exploration you’ll be able to colonize planets, amass riches, and hopefully create your own empire. Players can practice battles in single player mode or even host their own server for local co-op play, but the main experience is via the official online server. According to the campaign page, access to the server will be $5 per month.“
Game : Polyball
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Some levels will be pretty simple and ask for a quick race down a path while others expect more careful physics-based platforming. Although at first players will only be able to traverse levels one by one in the order they were designed, there’s also a marathon mode. This mode was designed specifically with speedrunners in mind and offers one continuous experience. Low-poly indie games are becoming more common and may eventually become as common as the longstanding pixel art trend. With that said, Studio Monolith have a great understanding of design. Polyball’s stage visuals are sparse, yet beautiful (at least from what they’ve shown so far!).“
Game : Vincent the Vampire
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Hey, do you remember a Kickstarter campaign from late last year named Vincent the Vampire? Despite looking like a fun new point and click adventure it unfortunately failed to reach its funding goal by a pretty large margin. Campaigns placed anytime around December seem to be much tougher propositions, though. Developer Intuit By Design have launched another Kickstarter to help give their game another chance at life. If you missed out on it the first time, the game tells the story of office worker Vincent. Upon realization that his life is meaingless and horrifically dull he decides to quit. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) right after this realization he is killed and turned into a vampire.“
Game : Specter U.M
What it is : Marcus wrote: “One thing that routinely frustrates me in the field of video games is how so few situate themselves in historical time periods. It seems more indies are willing to explore these timeframes, as is the case with Specter U.M by Lost Boys Ambassadors. The game is set in the United States during 1941 and focuses on a young boy who has just been gifted with a host of new abilities and technology thanks to a genius inventor. Being the video game that it is, you’ll then be able to use these new found items and abilities to explore the world.“
Game : Inside Pete
What it is : Marcus wrote: “One theme in sci-fi media that never seems to get old is the concept of shrinking down a cast of heroes super small so they can explore the human body. In Inside Pete, you and your crew are shrunk down to minuscule size to fit into a pill. Once taken by Pete, you are able to explore his insides in hopes of curing his many maladies. It sounds easy enough, but you’ll quickly discover that all the stuff going on within Pete is very violent, and far smarter than might be expected of cells.“
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Outward oscillates between more action-packed segments and self survival. For example, you’ll go out and engage in battles to complete quests but at the end of the day still have to eat and sleep somewhere. Quest implementation is also different from most games in that NPCs will not wait around forever. Instead, quests are given a time frame and if you’re not there when it occurs then it’s time to move onto the next. Survival, too, is given a more realistic edge. One example by the developers was that water needs to be boiled first to ensure what you collected is safe to drink. Finally, Outward is intended as a co-op experience (either locally or online).“
Game : Little Devil Inside
What it is : Marcus wrote: “It’s all thanks to the video which showcases an action RPG with survival elements and an attractive low-poly landscape. At least, that’s what the game appears to be. The video showcases sequences with our protagonist shooting at enemies from atop vehicles, as well as slicing off monster heads. On the other hand, it shows scenes where the character seeks shelter in a dangerous snowstorm. There’s also something about your college professor who is joining you on these journeys for some co-op action. Utilizing music from Vivaldi is a definite stroke of genius as it creates a much more impressive aura around Little Devil Inside.“
The Rest of the Campaigns :
Brave Insignia : A cute action-adventure RPG that’s even got a demo available.
Last-Wars : I’m thinking it’s a traditional style first person shooter, but its a little tough to tell given the grammar on the page.
Dark Orders Chapter One: Lost Hope : An RPG with an unfortunate screw-up on the $3.00 level.
What Kind Ball : A straight-forward puzzle ball game.
Stellar : A space shooter roguelike that’s got some potential.
Eventual Source : An RPG with nothing visual to share at the moment.
The 31st : A Halloween themed first person shooter with a humorous slant that looks promising.
Super Square Chaos : The third relaunch of this square themed action game.
Angel of Darkness : A JRPG with a $30k funding goal, and only a few sentences to show.
Trespass : $500k for a horror game with no video, screenshots, artwork, or real description.
Celestial Cleave : A colorful turn based strategy game that’s looking pretty slick.
Omni Point Online : An open-world MMORPG with a fair amount to show, but it’s got a long ways to go.
Colonial Conquest : For a game that’s scheduled to be released in May, they don’t really show much of the game itself.
Hero of Legends : The lack of footage or screenshots means it’s a little tough to tell what exactly this game is.
Gray Skies, Dark Waters : A third person adventure game with a promising premise, but not enough to show at the moment.
Myth of War : Pretty cool artwork lifted from elsewhere and flipped.
Champion’s Flight : A StarFox inspired racer that looks a bit rough, but could turn into something very cool.
Wolverun : There’s gameplay shown in the trailer, but it looks like it was put on ultra fast-forward for some reason.
Tau Ceti Strategic Command : A humble budget for this 2D space strategy game, too bad there’s nothing to look at.
Book of Mormon Heroes : There aren’t a ton of religious themed games out there, there’s even fewer Momon inspired 16bit JRPGs.
R.A.T.S. : A rat combat game with a lot to show off in exchange for its $20k funding goal.
Heat Race Pinball : A pretty nice looking pinball game with some snazzy effects.
Tower Unite : A casual social sim that seems just a little too close to Atom Universe.
Frizzy : A very N64 looking platformer.
Project Reborn: Gods Around Us : The cover image leads me to believe that the developer got confused on how to use Kickstarter.
Escape from Bio Station : A 3D puzzle platformer that could be interesting if it had a graphical overhaul.
Mercenary of Destiny : A top-down 16bit MMO. Don’t see those too often!
Rabbit Run : A $1,600,000 funding goal. One point six million.
That’s it for last week’s Kickstarter video game campaigns. Watch your wallets!