You may remember I spoke about Tower of Samsara before its Kickstarter was released. My general verdict was that it looked pretty, but I was fairly unsure how popular it would be. To me the game sounded a little preachy, even though it was covering topics I find very interesting such as philosophy and karma. If I’m perfectly honest, I haven’t given the game much thought since then despite having made a mental note to check it out upon its release on Kickstarter. It isn’t doing well.
In fact, unless by writing this I end up causing another To Light: Ex Umbra incident, it doesn’t look like Tower of Samsara will make it. It has under 24 hours to raise 3/4 of its $42,000 goal and I don’t think even my criticism could save it at this stage. So what went wrong with this game? Well, I can see a few faults, but honestly I do think that Tower of Samsara is/was worth funding, but it is a niche game.
Reading through the Kickstarter again it is clear to see there is a huge focus on the story, but the gameplay mechanics get a lot less limelight. My usual complaint for Kickstarters is that the people behind them don’t give me enough information, but with Tower of Samsara I feel overloaded with information I don’t care about. I actually struggled to read through the Kickstarter, I kept getting bored around “The Hermetic Champion”, it reminded me of being in physics class and having no idea how to describe Boyle’s Law thus shrinking into my book to look busy.
In recent years I’ve started to wonder if ‘Video Game’ is a broad enough category to describe all that gaming entails. Games like Tower of Samsara definitely get pushed into a grey area in my mind alongside ‘The Graveyard’ and ‘Sunset’ where they seem to be more like experiences than actual games. Not hating in anyway, in fact it is something I love about the medium, it is rich and diverse and could be tapped into much better if more people were open-minded to ‘Gaming Experiences’.
However, when you define something as a game you are going to get push back if there isn’t enough focus on mechanics. Even in story-driven games like Final Fantasy or Ray Gigant, we still want to explore and fight. If Samsara returns to Kickstarter I think it will need to Hemmingway its Kickstarter page and be a lot more concise. Do you think I am being too harsh? Tell me down below.