[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 : Tokyo Dark
What it is : Amanda wrote: “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.“
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Fans of the Metroidvania genre owe a great deal to Koji Igarashi. This video game designer played a large hand in what many consider to be the best of the best – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He spent dozens of years with Konami, but finally left the company in 2014 But what has he been working on since then? Well, most likely it’s the game Igarashi has revealed today on Kickstarter: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Although they could not take the name of “Castlevania”, it’s obvious by name alone where their inspiration lies. The game is an exploration-focused, action platformer with RPG elements, as one expects from the Metroidvania genre. Well, Igarashi has actually dubbed it an “Igavania” but that’s beside the point.“
Game : Oak Island
What it is : Amanda wrote: “It’s important to note that this isthe second attempt at funding this project by Visionaire Studio. I confess I was skeptical at first. While the graphics are of fairly good quality, and the premise seems interesting enough, the gameplay sounds rather typical of an adventure game. That might seem like an odd thing to nitpick over, but as mentioned, there seems to be a resurgence of point and click games as of late, and I suppose I’d like to start seeing more of them attempt to break the mold a bit. The Mystery of Oak Island is already promising many classic adventure game features, such as inventory puzzles and dialogue trees. Still, the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” comes to mind. Really, all Visionaire Studio has to do, is do it right.“
Game : Hero-U
What it is : Serena wrote: “Those who were on Kickstarter in 2012 should recognize the name Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Lori and Corey Cole are well known in the adventure game community for their work on Sierra On-Line’s Quest for Glory series and they’ve returned to Kickstarter to get funding to finish off the game. They know good storytelling and like to pun-ish players with bad jokes and it’ll show up in spades in Hero-U.“
Game : Das Tal
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Millions of players around the world love traditional MMORPGs. Millions of others also love arena PvP titles. So what would happen if you combined the two in a new game? Well, that’s what Fairytale Distillery are attempting with Das Tal. This game provides semi-randomly generated worlds which players will enter, settle in, and fight each other within. When you’re not hunkering down for a PvP fight you’re crafting your character to fit your play style and potentially building up fortifications with a team to try and succeed.“
Game : Hydraulic Empire
What it is : Marcus wrote: “The tower defense genre is pretty awesome, although some may find that it appears to stagnate fairly often. There’s only so many ideas one can inject into the genre, right? Developer Solitude Entertainment hopes to break out of the expected tower defense niche with Hydraulic Empire. Their game, while not entirely unique, puts the focus on mob interactions. What this means is that your different deployable classes interact with each other, as well as with enemies, in distinctive ways. Here’s an example of what this means: The Shifter support unit will readily sacrifice itself to shield/buff the Grunt tank unit. Of course, that’s just one example of many instances set to occur during gameplay.“
Game : Project Orion
What it is : Marcus wrote: “As you might expect, there are things like dynamically changing environments, damage modeling for realistic destruction, and a broad array of customization for ship pilots. To me, what really brings a cool aspect to Project Orion is the energy routing feature. Okay, it might not be brand new, but personally it is a great way to add more fast-paced action to strategy titles which can sometimes grow a bit stale. What this does is allow players to route power between different aspects of their ship as needed. So, for example, if you’re taking heavy damage you may want to max up shields. Or, maybe you’ll choose to go a risky route and turn shields off entirely to speed away.“
Game : Through the Woods
What it is : Amanda wrote: “Their campaign video is compelling, showing promising in-game footage as well as the all-too-familiar terrified guinea pigs. Beyond all that though, I think I most liked their approach to story. The basic premise of Through the Woods is this: mom has to find son out in the dark woods while there is some…thing out there with her. Since there is no HUD, Antagonist makes the clever use of voice over (in the past tense) to provide details about what’s happening.“
Game : DrawAndRace4
What it is : Marcus wrote: “So, what’s new about DrawAndRace4 and why is the iteration between versions so fast? I can’t speak to the latter point as I’m not the developer, but here’s what’s new: You can now access digital painting. It might seem odd but the previous versions actually didn’t allow for players to visually modify their art after uploading a scanned drawing onto the program. So if you want to go in and paint the track to make it suitably pretty after uploading you can do that. Alongside typical paint tools there’s also a texture painter (but note that you’ll have to import these textures yourself, as the game doesn’t come with them).“
Game : Portalnauts
What it is : Marcus wrote: “If you agree with the idea that there’s always room for more 2D platformers then chances are you’re a fan of the genre. So hey, why not check out this upcoming addition to the platforming realm via Portalnauts? And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the game Portal, though it might actually utilize portals. You see, there’s a whole crew of heroes (pulled from different universes) working together. Each can be chosen and controlled by the player separately, and each comes with their own unique abilities. So far only four heroes and one villain have been revealed, but the expectation is many more are coming to Portalnauts.“
What it is : Marcus wrote: “So what can readers expect from ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium? About the same as each of Bitmap Books’ work. Basically every page will include gorgeous high resolution artwork from the games (screenshots, concept art, posters, etc). Although some may find this pixel art less endearing than the more defined Commodoare art, it definitely has its own charm. Of course, those who grew up with the ZX Spectrum will have the greatest appreciation for the book’s presentation. Written contributors include names from classic development teams such as Codemasters, Elite, and Ocean).“
Game : Umbra
What it is : Amanda wrote: “SolarFall Games has a big project on their hands with Umbra, the open world hack n’ slash game. The title has hit Kickstarter, seeking a whopping $225k in funds. To be perfectly honest, any project asking for more than $20k these days has me doubtful of a success, but Umbra could very well be different. It’s ambitious, it’s pretty, and it’s polished. More specifically, Umbra is seeking to provide many robust features, including an advanced crafting system, free character development (without class limitation), a large array of weapons and items, solo and multiplayer support, and the powerful Kythera AI system (of which Star Citizen also uses.)“
The Rest of the Campaigns :
Project Unification: The Post Nuclear Playground : A spiritual successor to the Elder Scrolls: Morrowind MOD Ashes of the Apocalypse.
Sethian : A unique, and interesting looking, language puzzle game.
Project Sketch Fighter : A tactical RPG / fighting game hybrid.
The Mysterious Island of Secrets : Another in a long line of “you’re stranded on an island, now you must survive” games that tend to show up.
Super Paperman : A cute looking Sonic style platformer with support for up to 4 players.
D_World : A campaign for a Unreal Engine 4 shooter that spends most of the page describing stretch goals.
Empires in Ruins : A turn-based strategy / tower defense game that’s worth another look.
Darkness Anomaly : Skip the slightly annoying Let’s Play YouTuber heavy funding video for this open world horror game and check out the teaser video instead, it’s intriguing!
Nightfall: Escape : Another first person horror game with some really dark lighting.
Ice Age : A building and survival game straight off an Apple IIe.
Wired Sheep : A visual novel with practically no information available, even though it’s implied that the game is far into production.
Louie Cooks : A curious Oculus Rift enabled game with mic support that certainly looks nice enough.
Recurrence MMO : An MMO with a £5,000 funding goal and some not-very-informative screenshots.
a Story of depression : The developer wants to share their experience with depression by making a game; they just want a computer and some software to make it happen.
Heroes of Shadow Guard : A really cool sounding Dungeon Master type game that’s hurt by some very rough artwork.
Debugger 3.16: My daily life as a debug function : An action puzzle game that aims to help people learn a bit about ones and zeroes.
Space Thinger : The page for this space shooter might be light on details, but the funding video shows plenty of gameplay, and there’s even a demo available.
Supernatural Tide : $120k so the developer can buy some computers and software.
Virtual Tourism : Yes, this guy is asking for $11,740,650 to make a virtual tourism program.
Providers : A relaunch of an earlier campaign for an open world RPG.
Grid Masters : A deathmatch style combat game that uses grids. The downloadable beta may help it make more sense.
Super Awesome : A platformer with some interesting ideas thats hurt by some rough graphics.
Whatever It Takes : A horror survival game with some big promises, and a hilarious gym takedown at the 3:05 point in the funding video.
7 Hells: Repentance : A turn based RPG that’s worth keeping an eye on.
Spearhead : Naval combat games don’t hit Kickstarter very often, so it’s disappointing that this one has so little to show.
Subterrestrial – To Challenge a God : A lovely looking RPG platformer that’s worth a look!
a-life : An open world RPG that’s making some big promises for such a small funding goal.
Zombie Bowling Squad : Funding for a Facebook port of a 2009 iOS zombie themed bowling game.
That’s it for last week’s Kickstarter video game campaigns. Watch your wallets!