It’s Sunday, which means that in addition to eating nothing but donuts all day it’s time to check out the Kickstarter video game campaigns that launched last week. This isn’t to say that all the campaigns are worth your money, in fact, many of them aren’t worth more than a disapproving head shake, but it’s still fun. Maybe.
Featured campaigns are those that contain a significant amount of game information, are from known developers, or are otherwise worth your time. The Rest are those that lack information, look sketchy, or are a waste of 1’s and 0’s.
By most standards this is not an entry that would warrant a second look. The campaign is kind of a mess, there’s very little info available about whoever it is making the game, and a look at the developer’s website is a window into the soul of someone doing the minimum to make sure their game has a web presence. The gameplay footage looks crazy fun in it’s own way though. Combined with a low risk funding goal and you’ve got a project worth risking a few bucks on.
In our coverage Nic wrote : “There’s game music that feels half-hearted; there because it’s expected. Then, there’s music that is so wonderfully evocative of a certain era in gaming – so spirited and vital – that it transports you to somewhere special. Listening to Eden’s Last Sunrise‘s bright, swelling strings and spurring orchestral flourishes, I am suddenly eleven years old again, and faking illness to play Suikoden II in bed all day. Oh, and as it turns out, there’s a pretty great demo to go with all these nice noises too.”
In our coverage Joanna wrote : “WWII First person shooters are a dime a dozen on Kickstarter, but oddly flight sims (particularly those who ever release) are a rarer bird. The devs at Atomic Jelly decided this could not stand. With help from Polish publisher, Movie Games, they set out to create a realistic aerial combat simulator. One that would let players live out the life of an RAF pilot during the Battle of Britain. The result is a Kickstarter campaign for their new project, 303 Squadron: Battle of Britain. Here they plan to let players take to the skies for some history-inspired action.”
There have been a lot of language learning games on Kickstarter over the years, it’s a whole thing. How does Lingotopia stand apart from that crowded pack? Besides being graphically unique, the game appears to forgo clumsy RPG systems and an overly complex backstory in favor of a much more approachable ‘lost in a strange city’ shtick. A clearly stated funding objective, robust playable demo, and a developer with some real cred (he helped make Slayaway Camp!) make this an easy one to recommend.
Visual novels aren’t the biggest money earners on Kickstarter, but what they lack in earning power they more than make up for in quantity. Even in the dead of Kickstarter winter there’s at least a few creators looking for backers. This means that we tend to see the same names popping up again and again. While some have radioactive reputations, others have garnered considerable respect through years of creating positive experiences for their backers; this includes Ithaqua Labs. The team is back on Kickstarter for the fifth time, this time with a follow-up to their well received horror comedy Perceptions of the Dead. After you check out the original for free on Steam consider backing the sequel on Kickstarter, the team is an easy bet.
Everyone know that game journalists write about games because they’re not talented enough to actually make their own. Hell, most of us can barely word good, much less create a compelling entertainment product. Enter NESmaker from the folks behind the amazing The New 8-Bit Heroes documentary. NESmaker is a tool that lets us luddites make our very own games so we can stop wasting our time with writing and start fulfilling our Phil Fish fantasies. Our very own Joanna Mueller was impressed with it at PAX South and will have some words strewn together about it soon.
The Rest :
Wild Mage | Phantom Twilight : There’s so many great things going on in this game. Airships, giants, dynamic fire, environmental destruction, Switch support, baddies being cleaved in half. Holy hell, it’s got it all! Who’s it made by? Some dude with a Twitter account that’s been active for less than a month. What other games has he made? No idea. What’s the money for? Who knows. How far into development is the game? You get the idea. Six years ago this campaign would’ve easily crushed its $50,000 funding goal, but today there’s just too many unknowns.
The ParaShuuthem Project : “This project was born with the nostalgic of the games of yesteryear but with the technology of today” Uh huh.
World Ocean Explorer : It’s easy to appreciate what they’re trying to do even if the graphics are rough, which is unfortunate given how important they would be in a project like this. Seems like a better fit for Patreon anyway.
Beat and Box : Fifty-grand for a piece of concept art.
Cafe-bar Gaming/ Coffee-bar Gaming : Why these types of campaigns continue to populate Kickstarter is a mystery.
Ascent: A First-Person Psychological Thriller : It’s obvious that a fair amount of work has gone into this unique sounding survival game, but unfortunately it’s just not convincing enough. In-game footage rather than floaty pre-rendered level animation would help.
The New Adventures of the Monkey God : Given how old and out of touch I am this game is either really bad, or will make millions of dollars. Or both.
Aurora: The lost Medallion : Kickstarter gaming was build on the back of adventure games, unfortunately this one doesn’t have the polish to stand a chance.
Rock Beach County First Response : There are several games out there that let you play as a firefighter or a police officer, but this is the first one that lets you fill those roles and work for the department of public works. Yes, if this gets funded (it won’t) you could have a blast cleaning garbage out of storm drains (you wont).
Project DragonScape : Everyone knows that elves are always the social elite in Tolkien knock-offs. Maybe this is actually some kind of “oppressed upper class” commentary?
Branches: RPG with personal story and focus on AI. : The only artwork is a quick whiteboard drawing that looks like the stick figure representation of Avatar. That’d be a project worth backing, not this one.
4 for the Money : This game actually looks pretty cool, and there’s even a demo to check out! Unfortunately 4 for the Money is not a $120,000 Kickstarter game, that ship sailed many years ago.
100 Chests : Open world game for $100? Seems reasonable.
Mowin’ & Throwin’ : An unfortunate example of a decent enough looking game being left DOA on Kickstarter due to a truly terrible campaign.
Evengard Open World RPG : They’re asking for $8,000 to finish their open world RPG, the only work remaining is all the art.
Make 100 Masterpieces: The Painter’s Playground : MS Paint gamified.
ROBLOX Server Development/Promotion Project : Kickstarter continues to allow people to fund game servers for some reason.
The Legends of Dream Island : Otherwise known as “Late 90’s Uncanny Valley: The Game.”
Galencia Khaos Sphere (C64) : Here’s an example of a niche game garnering the support of a small community. Great for them! For anyone not part of that community this no-effort campaign is a pass. In the end the developers will get their money, the community will hopefully get their game, and the rest of us still have to deal with Trump in the White House.
Virtual Fire Safety : Not the worst idea for a game. There, I said something nice.
“THE SEASHORE” for Nintendo Switch! : A campaign for this same game launched and failed in late 2017. The only real difference between the two campaigns is that the funding goal has been cut by two thirds with no real explanation. That feeling in your gut? Yeah, it’s telling you to stay away.
Quest Doges : A cute free to play game based on a meme that ran its course long ago.
That’s it for last week’s Kickstarter video game campaigns. Watch your wallets!