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.