You certainly can’t accuse indie game studio Schism Worldwide of a lack of enthusiasm. For their debut title Red Barton & The Sky Pirates they’ve built up a rich backstory and constructed a detailed Kickstarter campaign. Yet despite all this I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed. It’s essentially just a simple arcade shooter for mobile devices, yet is seeking an extremely ambitious $50,000.


Things certainly aren’t looking good so far with just $3,500 raised after the first 11 days (and $3,000 of that suspiciously from a single backer). Plus further scrutiny of the pledge levels reveals a potentially disastrous bit of planning. Beyond the ‘early bird’ opportunities for the first 20 backers the lowest pledge level is a whopping $25.

Red Barton & The Sky Pirates

It also doesn’t help that while Red Barton & The Sky Pirates is able to show off almost finished gameplay footage, it just doesn’t look too impressive. Even on the iOS and Android platforms I worry it would struggle to stand out from the crowds of similar (and in many cases better-looking) games. Admittedly Schism are also working on an enhanced version for PCs and Macs as well, but I genuinely couldn’t see that much of an improvement in the available footage.

Red Barton & The Sky Pirates

The four generic worlds (desert, water, forest, cave) on offer also look a bit uninspired. This is especially jarring when you take into account the overly-elaborate backstory that mixes sci-fi, steampunk and World War I imagery. Unfortunately I can’t see much chance of Kickstarter success for Red Barton & The Sky Pirates, and wouldn’t be too surprised if the campaign was cancelled before its 1st October deadline.

About the Author

Dan Miller

Dan’s gaming habit began in the 1980s with the NES and since joining Kickstarter in 2014 he’s backed over 100 crowdfunded projects - more than half of which were for video games. Hailing from the UK, he also writes for

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