Unknown Realm: The Siege Perilous is a single player medieval fantasy RPG raising funds over on Kickstarter. Unlike many retro-styled Kickstarter projects, Stirring Dragon Games wasn’t satisfied with just achieving a classic look. They wanted to create a true 8-bit game.

“We believe that in order to capture the magic of the classic 8-bit RPG we had to return to the same constraints under which they were born.”

In order to restrict themselves exclusively to 8-bit they developed Unknown Realm on the Commodore 64. Placing such drastic limits on what the system could handle forced the team to be more creative during development.

“Designing in 8-bit forces us to focus exclusively on creating fun gameplay rather than non-essential features.”

The result was an open world full of secret locations, reactive landscapes, traveling NPCs, and quirky mini-games. Despite aiming for low-fidelity charm, Unknown Realm also dabbles with a few modern sensibilities. Event-triggered cut-scenes, auto-mapping, and an in-game journal improve the gameplay of the otherwise completely classic experience.

Getting The Goodies

Of course, any 8-bit campaign worth its salt wouldn’t be caught dead without an impressive list of physical rewards. Beginning with a commemorative bookmark and working up to the custom C64 game cartridge, there is a little something for collectors of every level. If, for some reason, you’re not nerd enough to have a Commodore 64 still kicking around, the game is also being developed for Windows and Mac.

The campaign is already well on its way towards its $65,536 funding goal. Boasting 16Mbits of content, Unknown Realm is already the largest 8-bit RPG to ever be made on a cartridge, according to its developers. If you’ve been yearning for the golden days of RPGs this is definitely a project worth looking into.

Joanna Mueller

Joanna Mueller

Editor-in-Chief at Cliqist: Indie Gaming
Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Fortnite books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games as Cliqist's EIC.
Joanna Mueller


Freelance Content Creator who's more than a bit nerdy. (She/Her) Commissions available, DM for details.
Joanna Mueller