After almost 5 years, the guy behind Super Mario Bros. Crossover has finally brought his crowdfunded 2D retro platformer to Steam Greenlight. The project, which has changed names more times than a celebrity pop star, is once again going under a new moniker. It’s an unnecessary bit of confusion on top of an already rather shaky development cycle.
To get everyone up to speed, Jay Pavlina formed Exploding Rabbit when he released Super Mario Bros. Crossover. This was a fan recreation of the original Super Mario Bros. that incorporated characters from other classic franchises.
Deciding to build a full game on this concept, Pavlina took to Kickstarter where he raised $53,509 with the help of 1,853 backers. Development on the game didn’t go as planned (we’ve covered it extensively in the past if you’re interested). This lead to many backers demanding refunds as the project continuously changed names, lost team members, and got put on hold.
What’s In A Name?
Back in November 2016 Exploding Rabbit posted a Kickstarter update, changing the project’s name yet again and promising an upcoming release on Steam Early Access. Well, the big release has finally arrived, sort of.
A recent update was posted to promote a Steam Greenlight campaign for the newest iteration of Super Retro Squad, now called Glitch Strikers. As this wasn’t confusing enough, the game is also being released in pieces. Each gameworld will serve as it’s own stand-alone experience. The first game will be a Mario Bros. clone called, Hyper Manni Pals.
On the Greenlight page, Exploding Rabbits elaborated on the new release structure. “We still want to do a story mode that combines many games into one experience, but we know that if we start with a gigantic goal initially we will fail again. Instead, we will build things bit by bit with individual games, and we will hopefully make a combined experience in the future.”
Exploding Rabbit has promised backers access to Hyper Manni Pals and future DLC “games” as they become available. Which is good, but might prove to be too little too late. Especially for backers who are still waiting for their promised refunds from back in 2014. In the Steam FAQ announcement, Exploding Rabbit addressed this concern. The post stated that those who still wanted a refund could contact them after the game was making a profit on early access. Assuring backers, “We will work it out.”
It’s worth noting that Glitch Strikers still has to pass muster on Greenlight before an Early Access releases will become possible. If it is unable to secure enough votes, Exploding Rabbits has said they will wait and resubmit the project (with required fee) as a Steam Direct release once that becomes available. So, if you’re still hoping for a refund, you may want to temper your enthusiasm. Super Retro Squad still has a long journey ahead of it.