The term Casanova comes refers to a smooth talking charmer, usually a male. It comes from Giacomo Casanova, a smooth talking charmer and adventure in the 18th century who notoriously gambled most of his life, was no stranger to a woman’s bed, and partook in just about every profession available. Think along the lines of James Bond, or that douchebag you knew back in high school.
Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this article, and as you look over the Kickstarter page itself.
Cyberpunk Casanova is a visual novel set in the distant future. You take the role of Enzo Bryson, a playboy born with a silver spoon in his mouth who’s been cut off by his parents for 30 days. When those 30 days are up, Enzo will be given a choice. Join his parents company and take some responsibility, or lose his cash forever.
The game plays like any standard visual novel, with a few mini-games scattered in. These mini-games are required to raise your skills. Those skills are Athletic, which will be used for running away from danger and “other activities” as the page subtly points out, precision which will further help in these mini-games, and composure to better handle sticky situations.
Visual novels, particularly western ones, tend to throw in a lot of mini-games, usually in a slap-dash attempt at providing more gameplay. The trailer briefly shows the three mini-games on offer. One involves you shooting Roombas on conveyor belts with some robotic hand. The other two are confusing looking puzzle games. It’s pre-alpha footage, but needless to say, they don’t look particularly fun.
There is no pitch video, unfortunately. While usually a bad sign, there is at least a trailer near the top of the page. A pitch video would have been much better, because the trailer makes our main character, Enzo, look the biggest douche this side of Duke Nukem.
“Lately, I’ve met some interesting women,” he says with the smugness of a man who jacked up the price of a lifesaving medicine by 5,000%. “I’ve learned a few things. Some women are nothing but trouble,” he says as women line up to either throw themselves at him, threaten him or point a gun in his face. “Number two, some situations can get you killed.” Yes, thank you, Mr. Enzo.
Since this is a visual novel, there’s a big emphasis on dating, or courting as the page says. I have to give the developers credit, they aren’t dancing around the subject. Enzo isn’t looking for love no not today. They even flat-out say that the “courtable” women have problems, and in order to “progress” with them, you have to solve those problems, i.e. don’t bother building up a relationship, just open the pickle jar for them and they’ll take your pickle.
Other than that, there isn’t much to go on with this Kickstarter. The details are very slim, and scattershot throughout the page. I’m not really seeing how Enzo getting cut off connects with him looking for dates or going on adventures that require shooting people or running away from danger. It’s not very clear how the mini-games come into play either, or what they have to do with the rest of the game at all. There are a lot of elements on offer, but none of it really gels together in this pitch.
There isn’t a detailed breakdown of where the money will go either. There’s only mention of compensating artists, hiring another writer and possibly second programmer, and “dealing with the business and legal red tape associated with releasing a game.” What does that mean exactly? All I’m seeing right now is Vic Mackey complaining about all this red tape he has to deal with when all he’s trying to do is save lives, dammit!
I love the art Cyberpunk Casanova’s rocking. It’s got a colorful style; the characters look unique and interesting without being too ridiculous, and the backgrounds are all varied and nicely detailed. The trailer was full voiced, and there were even basic facial animations, though full voice acting will only come via stretch goal.
I’m inclined to look favorably upon Cyberpunk Casanova. The Kickstarter page definitely needs to go into more detail, and I’m not sold on the need for the mini-games. I complained about the smugness of Enzo, but there is a story reason for it, and we only got a short, out of context look at him. The art is looking great though and the characters seem interesting. The wonderfully named lead developers PRIME8PIMPIN and G4M3-H0P seem to know what they’re doing. This is the perfect example of Kickstarter campaign that could do really well if it just made a few changes.
Seeking $8,000 by March 15, Cyberpunk Casanova has raised $546 at the time of this writing. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one.
Track the progress of the Cyberpunk Casanova Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.