[Update – 9/19/16] The day after this article was published I got an email from developer Oscar Celestini. He wanted to let me know that he had revamped the Kickstarter with loads of information about Mastema Out of Hell’s development. In addition to a story synopsis and more fleshed out descriptions, he also updated with a full explanation of how the funds will be spent and the level of completion for different aspects of the game. Basically, it’s a whole new campaign at this point and one that potential backers who were turned off by the initial lack of information should take another look at.
Original story below.
I feel like I’ve never fully appreciated the love some gamers have for early 90’s platformers. Sure the 16bit pixel art has an interesting aesthetic, but graphics and gameplay have come so far since then. This is why I always find it interesting when new campaigns pop up for games that try to emulate the look and feel of early gaming conquests. Unfortunately, I don’t always get much of an explanation, or in Mastema Out Of Hell’s case, any.
Designed as an old school style platformer, Mastema Out of Hell boasts being easy to play, but hard to complete. Well, that sums up my childhood with older games nicely. Still, I get that some people like their games impossibly difficult and dripping with nostalgia. The Kickstarter page promises monsters, traps, hard bosses, and bonus items to collect. And, that’s it.
I’m not being flippant here, but there isn’t any additional information about the game. Nothing about the story, music, or gameplay. Just a few lines that confirm that, yes, it really is a 16bit platformer and then a handful of screenshots.
A small team in Italy is developing Mastema. As such, it’s possible they don’t have anyone confident or fluent enough to fill in the campaign’s missing details. Which, I get it, foreign languages are hard and English is ridiculous, but if you’re going to run a funding campaign you really need to give as much information as possible. A brief trailer and some still images doesn’t really inspire confidence in potential backers.
According to the ‘risks and challenges’ section, Mastema is already 50% completed. This may very well be true, but the developer doesn’t elaborate about what is already done or what still needs to be finished.
With more than a month to go, it doesn’t seem likely that Mastema Out of Hell will meet its $3,370 funding goal without some intervention. There are just too many other projects that bring more to their campaigns.