[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]very week we take a brief look at all of the Kickstarter video game campaigns that launched in the previous week. This isn’t to say that all of these projects are worth your hard earned cash, but with any luck having all of them in one place will make it easier to educate yourself on the projects you’d like to back, and which ones to run from. You’ll find two types of campaigns listed, “featured” and “the rest“. Featured campaigns are those that contain a significant amount of game information, are from known developers, or are significant in some other way. The rest of the games are usually smaller campaigns that are lacking in information, are from unknowns, have unanswered questions, or have not yet stood out for one reason or another.
Featured Campaigns :
Game : Vision of Aurora Borealis
What it is : Serena wrote: “In Vision of Aurora Borealis, you’re a photographer who’s traveled to Iceland to see the Northern Lights and take some shots of the beautiful natural phenomenon. But really, it wouldn’t be a visual novel without some romance, right? Well, enter a rather interesting and somewhat hostile young girl with appropriately anime pink hair. She speaks of elves and curses and other such nonsense. Or is it?“
Game : Never Ending Night
What it is : Marcus wrote: “There’s always room for more 2D action/exploration games in my book. Never Ending Night is the latest to arrive on Kickstarter from that genre. In this title, you’re playing as a character who looks a bit like an astronaut. Equipped with only a lamp (and a butterfly who accompanies you) the player must somehow manage to explore and not get decimated by zombies lurking around. Okay, so the zombie bit might not sound so cool. What does look cool in my opinion is the fact that this world is very mechanical in nature.“
Game : Perception
What it is : Marcus wrote: “The era of atmospheric exploration horror games is upon us, and as such it can be harder to stand out. With that said, Perception stood out to me immediately. Yes, it’s a narrative horror adventure where the protagonist isn’t armed with heavy weapons, but there’s one massively unique aspect – Protagonist Cassie is blind. She has found herself haunted by a strange building in her dreams and believes that exploring it is the only way to be free. As such, she discovers and enters the Estate at Echo Bluff, but finds that a terrifying Presence doesn’t want her to ever leave.“
Game : Pixel Starships
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Who would have ever guessed that Kickstarter success FTL: Faster Than Light would have created an awesome trend in video games? Despite being only a few years old, it is now used as a comparison point for other upcoming titles because it is just that good. Pixel Starships, now on Kickstarter, looks to FTL for inspiration as well but brings its concepts online. Not only that, but it turns ship control into an even more nuanced event, where you manage every single aspect – from construction of your ship all the way up to staying alive in firefights.“
Game : Squad
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Battlefield 2 used to be a massively popular multiplayer FPS with a host of mods supporting it. One of these mods was called “Project Reality” and had quite a fanbase. Squad takes what made that mod great and is turning it into a complete, standalone game. The founding tenants of this title are to ensure it is a tactically-focused online multiplayer game where players must work as a cohesive team to be victorious. All nine members of a squad need to cooperate and avoid the lone wolf mentality. In total, maps will host massive 50 vs 50 player games.“
Game : Severed World
What it is : Serena wrote: “Seeing a massively multiplayer online game on Kickstarter is a rare occurrence and one that I’ve only seen a very few times in the past. Severed World is a 2D MMORPG that utilizes 16-bit graphics reminiscent of the old Legend of Zelda games and uses it to good effect. At least if you’re a fan of that art style.
There’s not a whole lot of reinventing the wheel here when it comes to how Severed World plays. You go out questing, leveling up, do some crafting, and if you’re the competitive sort there’s also PvP (player verses player). The enemy encounters, though, do look to be unique as you can be fighting plants that surprise you by burrowing underground and catching you off-guard or shapeshifters that can take on aspects of the player.”
Game : Night City Assault
What it is : Serena wrote: “Brawlers are a beloved gaming genre made quite popular in the arcades and homes of the 1980s-90s and Night City Assault aims to bring us back in time with a nostalgic trip back to this decade. Those of us who grew up during this period fondly remember beating the living crap out of our avatar’s enemies on the way to some goal or another. Usually to save a loved one or just to take down some villainous kingpin.
And Night City Assault doesn’t just take the gameplay that’s considered a staple of the genre but also incorporates a lot of the trapping familiar with the bygone days of the ’80s. The soundtrack alone is filled with enough synth music to make any ‘punker shed a tear. And that’s not all. There’s plenty of nods to what made the decade what it was. Most notably the action movies that were made famous during this time.”
Game : Forest Warrior
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Players can run, roll, shoot, or melee enemies as they come in from both sides of the screen. But beyond that, there’s also a host of allies available in game which will provide support. For example, summoning a helpful hawk will keep enemy birds out of your hair. Or really, your face, as the protagonist sports a bald head. Partners aren’t the only way to upgrade your survivability in Forest Warrior. Players can mix and match between three specials to utilize as needed. These include options to restore health or become extra speedy for a bit of time. Developer Inferno Studio would love to add online co-op, more maps, specials, and monsters, which will only be possible if they exceed their funding goal and dip into stretch goals.“
Game : Planet Centauri
What it is : Marcus wrote: “After looking at hundreds of Kickstarter pitches, I’ve begun to understand what it is that may or may not “sell” campaigns to passerbys. The most obvious thing, however, is to ensure that your game’s specific concept is defined easily and immediately. Planet Centauri offers an incredibly vast description with “2d rpg sandbox” in the title. Does that tell you much? It certainly doesn’t for me! With that said, after reviewing all developer Permadeath has to offer, it’s more obvious what exactly this game is and what they really should have focused their campaign on (in my opinion!).“
Game : On a Roll
What it is : Marcus wrote: “Do you remember when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (and a multitude of extreme sport game copycats) were being released at a breakneck pace? Heck, even scooters got their own game! However, skateboarding dominated the field while other games saw only one or two releases. We’ve not seen a rollerblading title for quite a while now, but Creative Concepts is looking to bring one out with On a Roll. Amazingly, the project has been a one-person endeavor for quite a while now. With Kickstarter, however, they’ll be able to further expand their team to get the game up and running sooner.“
Game : Venture Forth
What it is : Serena wrote: “In Venture Forth you’re playing as an adventurer exploring the expansive depths and basically killing off anything that even remotely looks at you funny. That’s pretty much it. It’s a hack-and-slash fest pure and simple. You fight monsters, steal their treasure, and continue to delve into ever deeper areas of the dungeon. In true RPG fashion you can equip upgrades as soon as you find them and according to the gameplay video you can have several “loadouts” that you can swap to on the fly with the push of a button.“
Game : Defragmented
What it is : Serena wrote: “The basic plot of Defragmented should be familiar to anyone who’s even remotely interested in the source material. If you love movies like Blade Runner then you should feel right at home here. You’ll be taking on the government, corporations, and pretty much any lowlife that crosses your path and causes trouble. And in true fashion you’ll do it augmented to the gills (gills optional) and packing enough firepower to level a city. If you can find it at least.“
What it is : Marcus wrote: “It seems ever since Hatoful Boyfriend started proliferating about the internet that more folks decided to do something “weird” with the typical visual novel formula. The latest of these unusual concepts is Panzermadels: Tank Dating Simulator. As the name implies, you’re going to get the chance to romance one of five distinct tanks from World War II! Or are you? Once you get over the outrageous title you’ll see that these famed tanks are actually just used as the basis of personality for a cast of high school girls.“
The Rest of the Campaigns :
Proxy Union : A pretty nifty looking multiplayer action game that suffers from a somewhat confusing explanation of what exactly the game is.
Daydreams: Paradise : Survive a building full of crazy environments, sounds cool; but the artwork is seriously lacking.
Groove : At first glance this looks like nothing more than a shameless Tetris rip-off; but if you check out the demo you’ll find it’s an entertaining puzzler all it’s own.
Orbital Crush : An old-school style SHMUP that’s in need of a graphics overhaul.
Alunia : A 16 bit RPG that’s heavily inspired by the old-school RPG LandStalker.
Farabel : A beautiful turn based strategy game that has a ways to go, but looks promising so far.
Arcade game machine… Try to Escape… : The name, the artwork, and the game are all equally confusing.
Esteren : An action game? An RPG? Hard to say.
Diletto : A very rough looking side-scroller.
GORGIN : $500,000 cad for some concept art and some text.
Abha : I don’t read French, but it would seem that this is a point-and-click adventure.
Labyrinth Of Horrors : Mazes are always one of the most frustrating part of any game.
Slender Devil is behind you : This developer states that they’ve “totally mastered” the Unreal 4 engine.
Cosmokron : A space shooter that takes place in a randomly generated universe.
Heaven’s Descendants : I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but I’m really not sure if this is a joke or not.
Dagger Valley : Tough to argue with a $52 funding goal.
Luman : A lovely looking 2D platformer, worth a look!
Elemental Monster : A 2D mmo, strange that two of these would launch in the same week.
Vanished : Another open world survival game, at least this one looks further along than most of the others that hit Kickstarter every week.
Parking Simulator : The title says it all, except with the top-down view it seems to be less of a ‘sim.’
Guardians of Ice : A 2D platformer, no shortage of those these days.
Light’s Shadow : At least the funding video ends with a guitar solo.
Placebo Effect : A Starfox style shooter with the most hyperbole infused intro sentence in any Kickstarter.
Max Venture: Hidden Treasures : A marble game that reminds me of what indie gaming was back in the early 2000’s.
Panzer Grounds : I really want this WW2 RTS to make it, but with a $270,000 funding it’s just not going to happen.
C.O.L. Online : $100,000 for a whole lot of text, and no game.
ROUGH : A horror inspired FPS that takes a lot of inspiration from Doom.
PrisonBreak RPG : This campaign is so the developer can hire a cutscene artist, one that will work for $31 apparently.
Rose : A platformer that uses kids drawings for inspiration, shame there isn’t more to show.
Silver Creek Falls: Chapter 2 : A SNES style RPG.
The Horde: Training Day : The developer has lots to talk about, as well as some drawing, but no game to show.
Pump-Action Captain : The Alpha was funded a few months ago, this is for the beta.
That’s it for last week’s Kickstarter video game campaigns. Watch your wallets!