On the first day of its campaign, Tokyo Dark was a success with backers and nailed its $33,000 funding goal. This 2D mystery point-and click adventure game is the latest from the Square Enix Collective, a platform that has certain similarities to Steam’s Greenlight in that gamers can vote on games that are pitched to them within a 28 day period. The key difference from Greenlight is that if a game project passes this process, Square Enix will then aid the developers in assessing their work and promoting its crowdfunding campaign. Other titles that have successfully been aided through Kickstarter include Moon Hunters, Black the Fall, and Goetia.

Tokyo Dark Gameplay

Tokyo Dark’s design seems tight, the gameplay elements intriguing, and the production value definitely looks good. The basic premise of the game is that a female detective’s partner has gone missing, and what at first appears to be a straightforward case quickly becomes complicated and nightmarish. Cue multiple story choices, non-linear puzzle solving, and a deep branching narrative. There are also 10 possible endings. When discussing videogame inspirations, Cherrymochi invoke the names Clock Tower, Heavy Rain, Shenmue, and The Blackwell Legacy. For visual novels, they bring up Higurashi When They Cry, and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows.

Tokyo Dark Menu Preview

Basically they hit all of my geek buttons with little effort.

Tokyo Dark has a lot of things going for it. It crushed its funding goal quicker than the Flash. It has the backing of a powerful game giant. It’s even already greenlit on Steam. One thing to keep in mind is that Cherrymochi are a young and small developer, and that might be enough to take a calming breath. Still, Square Enix’s support is nothing to turn your nose up at!

Track the progress of the Tokyo Dark Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.

Amanda French
Amanda French first cut her gaming teeth by playing such classics as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Mario World at the ripe age of four. From there spawned a lifelong love of video games, particularly narrative heavy adventures and open world games. A creative writing graduate of Full Sail University, Amanda writes fiction novels in her spare time. You can find her work at the Independent Author Network under the pseudonym, Illise Montoya. Amanda’s all-time favorite games include Dragon Age: Origins, Fallout 2, and Tekken 5. She lives on the California coast with her husband and young baby son.
Amanda French
  • I became aware of this one after Square Enix messaged me about it for Kickstart Ventures and I couldn’t back fast enough. I like the looks of this game and was blown away by the support in the first day.

    • Yeeeah…I pretty much had to back this one. What I’m really looking forward to are the various decisions that can affect your characters stats (like sanity), and also the non-linear puzzles. I looove non-linear puzzles. 🙂

      • As long as the puzzles don’t fall into the category of “moon logic” I’m usually fine with however they’re handled. Linear or non-linear. But, what sold me was the sanity effect and the fact that you’ll have to live with the consequences of your actions. That’s something that’s always appealed to me in games.

        • Yeah, I hate it when an adventure game’s line of logic for a puzzle is hard to follow, even for a gag. I sort of tolerated it in older titles like the Curse of Monkey Island and The Longest Journey, but less so with newer games.

          I think it’s just the ability to express myself and go about solutions in the manner that I feel like (or how I imagine the character doing it) that really appeals to me. In Fallout and Elder Scrolls’ games I’d get a kick out of finding as many ways to do a single mission as possible. It really helps replay value, because then you can go back and see what the other solution path is like.

    • Dawnyaaa

      Actually, i didn’t back this one. I also don’t understand why it has such tremendous support from day one. Maybe the Square Enix effect. But, i don’t see anything worth of this unbeiberable support. When, i see Outland 17..struggling and probably not getting funded..or Vincent the vampire if we take on a adventure game. I just don’t see what this game has.

      The sanity stuff while being a nice add, isn’t news either. I can only see 2 reasons, SE effect and the fact that it comes from Japan. Everything coming from Asia (Japan, South Korea..) is like automatically funded be it bad or good project.

      I am not saying it is a bad project, but it got me confused.

      • That’s the thing. Kickstarters don’t always follow the same rules. If you have a big name surrounding the project, in this case Square Enix, you’re bound to get a lot of attention. A more indie project like Vincent the Vampire will most likely only get fans of horror and adventure games. Those are more niche of a niche.

        • Dawnyaaa

          Well, i guess one of the reason i wasn’t attracted by this is because i
          own Darkest Dungeon (backed it) and the “sanity stuff” is playing a huge
          role in it. It is quite a recent title.

          Besides, i don’t have the same opinion about SE for me Square Enix is related to all the last FF they screwed up. Square was a name i would have backed for blindly.

          Square Enix..? Not so. It is not a big name for me, rather it is a huge disappointment.

      • Kilvoctu

        For me, “sanity stuff” is the primary influence for my support. It’s been a decade or longer since I’ve played a good game designed around managing the player character’s decaying psychological state, with a suitable narrative (titles like Haunting Ground and of course, Eternal Darkness). It’s not just games, either. I enjoy anything moreso when one or more of the main characters are unhinged, whether it’s in books, movies, visual novels, etc.

        Additionally, the aesthetic is oddly endearing. I don’t mean like, “woo, Japanese anime art (^・ω・^ )!!” She doesn’t have to be this cool, hyper-sexualized, hero personality. She’s that “ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances”.
        And I have to give it to the artist for conveying so much in just Tokyo Dark’s title art and the player character’s design. That is certainly very eye-catching. As soon as I saw that image of Ito, bound and appearing disturbed and exhausted, I knew what type of game it was.

        That said, the crazy popularity of the crowdfunding was very surprising. Got to be majorly attributed to Square Enix. I caught wind of Tokyo Dark when it was featured on Siliconera and there was quite a popularity surge following the feature on SE Collective.

        • Those were some of my major reasons too, Kilvoctu. Certainly the Square Enix and Japanamania effect plays a part, but personally I was more interested in the non-linear possibilities and the effect your choices could have on things like sanity. The last game I played that made sanity a major element of gameplay was Indigo Prophecy back when it first came out. I am always disappointed by the lack of games that make use of such an interesting and dynamic element.

  • Sean

    I really want to back this one as it looks really promising……but I already backed Elsinore and two other projects back in March so I’m feeling very “backed out” right now. :/

    It seems to be doing well money wise at least.

    • I am kind of at my backing limit after this one and Starlight Vega, so I know what you mean. I wanted to back The Mystery of Oak Island too, but currently lack the funds. Keep an eye out though! They might have options for people to support the project after the campaign is through.