Arcade shoot ’em Hyper Sentinel first hit Kickstarter in mid-2016 but despite a promising campaign it ultimately failed. However the development team actively asked supporters what they could have done better and have now bounced back with a new campaign featuring a whole raft of improvements. Aside from slashing the pledge goal in half, there are also improved graphics, new power-ups and a whole raft of bonus rewards. It’s certainly worth a second look.
Things have certainly got off to a better start. After only a few days the second campaign for Hyper Sentinel has almost surpassed the first attempt already and is 75% funded. And seeing as the how target is now a quite conservative £15,000 ($18,620) it shouldn’t be long until full funding is secured. It’s also worth noting that industry stalwarts Andrew and Rob Hewson continue to be supporting creator Jonathan Port with the Kickstarter itself.
The scaling back of the target may imply a scaling back of ambition for Hyper Sentinel , but that’s definitely not the case. PS4, Xbox One, android and Mac versions are already confirmed. (They were just stretch goals the first time round). Visually it looks even better this time round, and it wasn’t exactly bad-looking originally. Despite a retro style, it looks great with crisp 4K graphics that zip along at 60 frames per second.
More importantly the demo is this time available on PC as well as iOS devices. So this time around I’ve actually been able to try it out, and am glad I did. Being able to experience Hyper Sentinel provides a far better understanding of the ‘flip’ feature, allowing you to reverse direction and fly back the way you came. I massively enjoyed the three-level demo, although found that while playing with a Xbox controller it was too easy to accidentally flip your ship. (I ended up reverting to keyboard controls instead). Potential backers should also note that the top 10 scorers on the demo will be immortalized in a ‘Hall of Fame’ in the finished game. Considering my first attempt saw me ranked 11th this might not be as hard as it sounds!
Let’s Get Physical
The final major improvement for this second Hyper Sentinel campaign are the generous rewards. Most pledge levels include a copy of the game on console/PC/Mac as well as a mobile version, plus an MP3 album, 4K artwork and a mention in the credits. In addition backers will also get an e-book version of Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers by esteemed 1980s developer Tim Henson. The book was actually a successful Kickstarter back in 2013 and is a great bonus. On top of that it can also be upgraded to a signed hard copy by over-pledging an extra £10.
That brings me onto other physical rewards. I’m not usually a fan of these for video game projects as they often end up being distractions for creators . But here they include original editions of some classic 80s games – again signed by Andrew Hewson himself. Plus there’s the limited edition USB drive packed with extras that comes housed in a cassette case. Even though I’m fully aware I don’t need this, I REALLY want one.
The various rewards available will certainly appeal to the more mature gamers. But Hyper Sentinel itself is good enough to attract gamers young and old. The campaign looks to be well on it’s way to success, and with the team behind it I can’t see much going wrong. My only concern is the upcoming July 2017 release date which seems overly optimistic. After all, Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers was delayed by by almost two years…