The original premise of Ancient Axes was that you find an unfinished story where monsters were able to run wild. To save the story, you add stickers of the heroes to fight said monsters. The game’s idea was simple, but charming, and reminiscent of playing with stickers and coloring books as a kid. Along with the simplicity of the premise and style was a very modest budget of $130. Reportedly, this was to pay for a Scirra Construct 2 license, Kickstarter fees, and a double cheeseburger. However, updates stopped appearing regularly back at the beginning of 2015. In April, backers got a look at the new direction the game would be moving in. Since then, updates seem to be happening on a monthly basis.
Continuing the project meant a lot of changes, such as the transition to the Unity engine. Planet Io Entertainment also decided to change the game from 2D to 3D. Unfortunately this meant a change in art style from the paper book and sticker style to something more like Minecraft, with characters, enemies, and environments composed of lots of cubes. I might be a little biased, since I could never really get into the aesthetic of Minecraft, but I feel like the new direction of the game causes it to lose a lot of its charm. I also have no idea how the team plans to incorporate the original story. Using stickers to add heroes into an unfinished book wouldn’t work with the new style. Which is sad, since that premise seemed wonderfully creative and nostalgic.
With all that said, there’s a lot of progress being made. The latest update introduced a new class: the warrior brothers. This let’s you control two heroes at once to shoot arrows in front and behind you. According to the update, the next update should come with a playable build, so that’s something for backers to look forward to.
While I’m sad that the cute premise and art won’t go into the final game, I’m interested to see how Ancient Axes developes.