Kickstarter Shout-out: Games to Support As of 11/16/17

kick01

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

Like I said previously, a flood of indie game projects decided to hit crowdfunding sites in November, and I didn’t want to make one long editorial. I had to split the list up in two. I think this November has been very fruitful with its choices, since I know a lot of games that I think should exist. As usual, only invest in as much you are willing to part with, and the final product might not live up to the hype. Do your research, and only support the best of the best Kickstarters on the site. Enjoy!

Obelus

start01

Up first is the newest Fig.co campaign, Obelus by developer, Springloaded. You play as an intergalactic insurance salesman named Dave, who traverses the galaxy offering insurance to the few fleeting groups of humanity under a tyrannical company. All Dave has is his trusty salesman skills and a giant mech to help you defend yourself from hostile alien life. The game is a 2D narrative-driven action game, where you go from planet to planet inside the mech. When you encounter hostile lifeforms, the game turns into a shooter, like Metal Slug or Contra, in which you defend yourself by using the mech’s built-in cannons. As you reach individuals in need of insurance, you will be able to get into conversations with them and your trusty giant tank. Depending on where the argument goes, the game’s story will be affected by the decisions made in said conversations. Be careful though, the mech can be heavily damaged, and when it goes into auto-repair mode, you will need to be on the outside of your nice safe mech, but luckily, you’ve got a shotgun to take care of those mean aliens.

Even though it uses pixel art, the game does a good job with making you feel alone and isolated on your business ventures. The music that has been inspired by John Carpenter and Blade Runner makes you uneasy as you walk across dangerous landscapes. Anyway, the game looks beautiful, and the world feels crisp and alive. I’m a tad concerned with how enjoyable combat will be between story sequences, and I want my choices within the story to actually change depending on what I say, but I have trust in this developer, since they have experience with making games like Ultra Hyperball for the Nintendo Switch and Hiragana Pixel Party on PC. If you love atmospheric 2D action games with an emphasis on story, then definitely go support this title.

The Padre

start02

Up next is a dark and spooky horror-survival game called The Padre by developer Shotgun with Glitters. The Padre is an isometric horror-survival game where you play a demon hunter known as The Padre. You go investigate a case of a missing Cardinal while traversing ghoulish landscapes and buildings, solving puzzles, fighting monsters, and hopefully, not giving in to your darkest desires. The game will also have adventure game elements, where you find items to solve said puzzles with. I have a few concerns about the game, like the game looks appropriately spooky and unsettling, but the blocky designs are weird against the grungy horror ascetics. I am also very concerned with how the flow of the puzzles and combat will go. Horror games are infamous for horrible combat, and I hope this game can pull it off well. It’s a promising project with a lot of potential to be an interesting horror title to be on the lookout for. If you want to try the game out, there is a free demo, so you can see if you like what they are doing or not. If you love horror games, then I highly recommend checking out The Padre.

Deiland

start03

Since the Minecraft-style of game is not going away anytime soon, with so many games big and small picking up crafting (even if they shouldn’t), you might as well get creative with it. This next one is called Deiland. It’s being developed by Chibig, and it was a popular submission from the Square Enix Collective. It’s a 3D action RPG where you play as Arco, a young boy who was sent to a Minor Planet to awaken the magic from within the planet’s crystals.  If you have played any crafting/survival/Stardew Valley/Harvest Moon-style game, then the mechanics should be familiar to anyone who is a fan of those games. You will be able to craft items, crops, buildings, and shape the planet to your liking. You will also have to be careful and use environmental events to your advantage. You will be meeting new characters who will be friends and enemies on your adventure. On top of the planet you take care of, you will be able to explore other planets with your new friends and fight monsters.

The graphics look great, even if I wish the developer could have found a way to not have slowdown pop up from time to time. It has a nice graphical style with a good color pallet, and it at least is visually nice to look at. The music is also pretty great, with whimsical space-like vibes and calm summer day-like songs that really give this game a laid-back vibe. The two composers for this game, Paco Mitos and Rafa Gimenez deserve a lot of credit for making some pretty fantastic tunes to listen to. I am a tad concerned that they didn’t really go into detail about the combat, and it’s not very clear how it all works, but that’s really it. I think this looks like a great project, and it’s already coming to PC and PlayStation 4. Everyone should definitely go check this game out if they are into anything to do with adventures, crafting, harvesting, and any fans of Harvest Moon.

Rising Dusk

start04

This is a cute little gem that reminds me of games like Pocky and Rocky and Mystical Ninja. It’s called Rising Dusk by developer Studio Stobie. The story is very simple. A young girl is stuck in the twilight realm where yokai exist, and she must find a way to get out of it. So, if you watch the trailer, the game looks pretty standard. It’s a 16-bit-style platformer. What is going to be different about this one? Well, you know those coins you are supposed to collect in most games? Yeah, in this game, you avoid them like the plague. The main gimmick of this game is that you avoid the coins like a “No Touch” challenge, except that the no touching is literal. If you grab even a single coin, certain platforming blocks will disappear. You will need to bob and weave your way past the coins, maybe use the yokai to your advantage, and make it to the end of the level. All you can do is run and jump.
The game’s 16-bit-style graphics look great, with many layers and smoothly-animated sprites. The music really does remind me of games with a more Japanese-flavor in the sound department. If you have played any of the Mystical Ninja games, you would understand what I mean by this. My concerns are that the game’s controls need some tightening up. The gamepad controls should be default, instead of customizing them in the options menu. The level where you travel on top of large yokai heads in the demo needs to make jumps from head to platforms easier, since I fell right through the platforms a couple of times. It was a fun demo, but there were definitely areas to improve upon. Still, I can see this game getting a solid audience, and the gimmick is different. I just hope the game doesn’t become too difficult with its coin-avoiding mechanic.

 Raji: An Ancient Epic

start05

Next up is an isometric action game inspired by mythology from India. This is Raji: An Ancient Epic by developer Nodding Heads Games, and is another Square Enix Collective entry. You play as Raji, a woman who is bestowed god-like powers, who must save her brother, who was taken away by an army of demons that are planning to take over the land. Like I mentioned above, Raji is an action adventure game. You are given a magical staff to fight large ogre-like demons. You can equip your staff with different abilities like using it as a projectile, and using lightning to hurt other enemies. You will be making your way through ancient landscapes obviously inspired by Indian architecture. A lot of this game’s charm and appeal is how different the setting is. While it’s not different from a lot of action adventure games, its setting and look is what elevates this project. It looks wonderful in terms of graphics with 3D models that look like something from a finished game. You get such a grand scale, in scope of the world you travel through, with ancient buildings looking properly brittle and aged, and larger than life moments, like in the trailer when you see a giant demon off in the distance. The music is also spectacular, with a fusion of traditional Rajasthani folk and Carnatic Indian music. This should come as no surprise, since their sound designer Lunis Tzelos is part of a Greek band named Reggitko, went to train in this type of music a few years back. Everything simply works with the graphics and the music, bringing you into this fantastic world. I played the demo, and it was fun, but the combat can definitely be polished up with tight dodge rolls and maybe a parry button or something. I got hit so many times, because I wasn’t able to get out of the way in time, or was stuck in an attack animation. I also ran into a bug, where one of the frog demons jumped up too far up the wall and I couldn’t kill him, since he needed to be closer to progress through the demo. Still, this project has a lot of potential to be great, in terms of an action adventure game with a wonderful source of inspiration.

Bit Band

start06

And finally, we have the very cool and musically-inclined Bit Band by Gavin Reed. You play as a band, as you travel through a quirky city playing shows, earning new gear, and becoming the best band that ever was. You must be wondering if this is a Rock Band or Guitar Hero-style game, but thankfully, it’s not. While the top screen is playing their music, your job is to focus on the bottom part of the screen. Yeah, the big twist to this game is that you are playing a puzzle game like Tetris, while horizontal, and throwing in some RPG-like elements. You see, the way you stack blocks is going to result in how well your band members do. If one band member has a gap or an empty spot, they will take damage. Not only that, but each place you play your music will have their own monsters trying to halt you from jamming out your rocking tunes. How do you take care of them? Well, you make special potions to help yourself out with dealing with the enemies.

Graphically, I love the look of the game. It’s yet another game using retro graphics, but with how they are done and how smooth the animation is for everything, it looks like one of those early PlayStation titles that had really nice retro graphics, before everyone made the huge push for 3D graphics. I hope the game doesn’t get too chaotic on screen, with so much stuff going on, but this was a fun surprise, and a proper way to close out this Kickstarter Shout-out article. If you love puzzle games with an awesome twist, then definitely support this game.

 

 

Advertisements

Kickstarter Shout-out: Games to Support as of 11/2/17

kick01

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

Well, the Halloween season is over, and we are moving into the holiday season. This is where I think some crowd-funding projects might struggle, since this is when people start saving up cash for presents for themselves, friends, and family. It’s a shame, since for a season where we help each other and be human, it’s hard for us to go and support projects during this time of the year. Granted, it doesn’t help when bad Kickstarters happen, but still. I found some Kickstarter projects that should be worth your time.

Of course, the usual warning for these types of projects is that you should only invest enough into the project that you don’t mind losing, if the project doesn’t deliver, or is underwhelming. Make sure to do your research into the project, and see if it would be something you would love to help support. My one honorable mention will be for Jack and Casie, a cool action/puzzle/inventory management game that has a free demo that is totally worth checking out. Now then, let’s get started.

Shadow of the Mask

nov01

Let’s start with the Kickstarter that has the least amount of time attached to it, Shadow of the Mask by Tera y Kiwi. You play as two detectives in a world where superheroes were once a huge deal before the law came down on them. Your main goal is to solve a recent brutal murder that may have to do with a fallen-from-grace superhero. The world itself is very interesting, since there are no more heroes, and villains have founded companies and continued to be evil, just evil under the law. It’s a great set-up. Shadow of the Mask is a point-and-click adventure game where you travel through the cybernetic city solving puzzles, talking to individuals, and going through mostly traditional adventure game stuff. Graphically, I love the look of the game. Sure, I can see some people calling it ugly, but I like the Superjail-style art work, designs, and 90s Rugrats-style color pallet. My main concern is that I hope the puzzles work fluidly within the adventure. Nothing is worse than a puzzle that just halts you in your tracks. I wish the animation was a bit better, but for a game on Kickstarter, it looks pretty good. It’s better looking than most games that were on Kickstarter or when Steam Greenlight was a thing. If you love adventure games, sci-fi settings, or free playable demos, I would highly recommend checking out this project.

Shakes and Fidget

nov02

Up next is another adventure game with hugely impressive production values. This project is called Shakes and Fidget by developer KING Art, the people behind The Dwarves and The Book of Unwritten Tales, and Playa Games, who made the Shakes and Fidget mobile game. You play as, well, Shakes and Fidgets, who live in a fantastical world as shopkeepers. That is, until they get a distress call, and go on a dangerous and hilarious adventure. If you have played any adventure games, then Shakes and Fidgets will be the game for you, since it plays like every other game in the genre. You will travel around multiple areas, solving puzzles that will probably involve whatever you have in your inventory. For better or worse, the game is definitely pushing its animation and production values around, and it looks impressive. In terms of Flash animation, everything looks clean, and it looks like a game with a lot of personality with the world and its designs. My one major gripe with this Kickstarter is that it focuses so much on the personality and drive the team has for making the game, that it doesn’t really expand on the mechanics or the gameplay. I know most adventure games are the same, but you can still do something that makes the game stand out, besides its pretty production values. It feels like an amateur mistake to not really talk about the gameplay. Still, it’s a developer I trust, and they have made games before. That’s more than most developers on Kickstarter. If you like adventure games with a silly sense of humor, then I definitely recommend supporting this game.

Lonely Mountains: Downhill

nov03

Remember when Trials and Joe Danger were sort of big deals in terms of the indie scene? I love those types of games, but we don’t see a lot of them anymore, which is why I’m happy to see this game, Lonely Mountains: Downhill by developer Megagon Industries. The gameplay in Lonely Mountains has you going down a very large mountain jumping, sliding, and drifting down the dirt paths down the giant rock. You basically have to be careful with how fast you are going, or else you will be flinging your body into some trees, dirt, rocks, or right off the mountain itself. The developers have also promised that there will be different bikes that will help break up the game.

The game’s graphics are simple polygons, but there is a charm to how they are set up. It keeps the game simple and easy to navigate. I’m a tad concerned about how long lasting appeal the game has, but it seems like a fun game to pick up, play for a few minutes, and then put down. I hope it can come to other consoles since this looks like it would do well on something like the Switch, due to its pick-up-and-play nature. If you love sports games with a different twist to them, then definitely support this Kickstarter.

Du Lac and Fey: Dance of Death

nov04

We’re back again with an adventure game, but this time, a bit more cinematic, and in 3D. Du Lac and Fey: Dance of Death by developer Salix Games puts you in charge of an immortal knight of the round table, Sir Lancelot Du Lac. You are on a thrilling mystery journey with your assistant, Morgana le Fey, who takes the form of a dog, and Mary Kelly, to save the city from a grizzly series of murders. It plays very much like a 3D adventure game, where you traverse different locations, talk to citizens with different dialogue trees, and from time to time, go through some action sequences. The game’s biggest and probably most interesting offering is that it has a really big cast of actors playing the characters. You have Gareth David Lloyd, Perdita Weeks, Alexandra Roach, Rupert Vansittart, Nina Kristofferson, Inel Tomlinson, Harry Hickles, Pri Burford, David Morley Hale, Jack Kristiansen, Eden Vansittart, Sam Huges, Kitty Dearlove, and Emma Vansittart. These actors have been in big shows, like Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones. The graphics look good, and while it is still early on in development, it’s way better than most trash developer games that showed up on Steam Greenlight. It gets a good grimy and unsettling mood with its colors, designs, and music by Jools Scott, who has loads of music experience, including Transport for London and Philharmonia Orchestra. I’m concerned with how the more action-oriented set pieces will play out, but this team of developers has worked on games like The Division, Fable Legends, Bioshock 2, Disney Infinity, No Man’s Sky, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Halo Wars 2, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Batman: Arkham Knight, so I think these individuals have experience. I also like that there is a female director on board. You sadly don’t see that a lot, and it’s nice that this is the case with this one. If you love cinematic 3D adventure games, and a focus on story-driven experiences, then definitely support this awesome Kickstarter.

Ara of the Wanderers

nov05

Here we have an atmospheric pixel art game called Ara of the Wanderers. It’s being developed by Bearmancer, and puts you into the shoes of Ara, an individual in the world of Eras, a land where nature has taken over, and covered buildings, and unknown mysteries still lay buried under ruin. It is up to you to go out, and find out about your past. The game is a 2D action adventure game inspired by The Legend of Zelda and Deus Ex, where you will be traversing different areas of the world, solving puzzles, and getting into combat with human and non-human enemies. Actually, scratch that last part, because the game is open-ended in how you approach the situation. You can bribe, kill, and downright avoid them if you wanted to. The developer is boasting that every action in this game in terms of combat will have consequences. That means you had better be smart enough to find a way around the situation, since killing that opponent could lead to something changing later in the game.

I like the graphics for the game. Sure, it’s more sprite/pixel work, but when you make the movements smooth, and use unique designs, it can definitely make your game stand out among the many that use the same style of graphics. The music by composer Tobias Hendrickson brings you into this world with an ominous vibe, but one filled with mystery. I’m a tad concerned with how people are going to receive the combat, and how consequential your actions as a player will be, but I’m down for supporting this game. If you like games with good world building, sprite/pixel art, or games that drop you into a world with a mystery to solve, then definitely check out Ara of the Wanderers.

The Untold Legend

nov06

Developed by Iconic Games, The Untold Legend is a top-down action-adventure game in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda. You live in the world of Loomia, a magical land that was once home to an ancient race known as the Loomians, which could stretch the fabrics of time. You play as a young hero sent to venture through this land, and stop an evil force from ruining the world, and bending space and time to its will. For the most part, the game plays very much like a Zelda title. You venture around a huge open-ended world, going to any location you wish to visit first (with the exception of a few areas), fight monsters, solve puzzles, and take down large bosses. It’s a fairly typical action-adventure game in this style, but it does have a few twists in the formula. For one, your shield will be able to help you in different situations, like getting over lava, turning into a lantern, and you get the idea. You will even be able to buy items to equip yourself with that will change how you look onscreen. You will even get more attacks the better you are with certain weapons. It’s definitely a game set to be big, ambitious, and fun.

At first, I thought the graphics were really good sprite work, but seeing that its 2D flash animation is rather impressive. I mean, it does have a bit of that mobile game look to it, but everything is animated well, and combat looks satisfying. The music is being handled by Daniele Zandara, and sounds pretty good. They have a few fantastical-sounding samples on the Kickstarter page if you want to listen to the soundtrack. I’m a tad concerned the flash game look is going to turn off some people, but I think any fans of the top-down Legend of Zelda games will love this game. If you like anything I mentioned previously in this statement about the game, then definitely go support it.

Stay tuned as November decided to be full of Kickstarters, so expect more than one article this month!

Video Game Kickstarters to Support as of 9/27/17

kick01

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

There are a few things you expect in life. You expect death, taxes, clever humor from Demetri Martin, and crowdfunding sites having a slew of projects all asking for money to fund them. My only honorable mentions will be the GameBoy-inspired roguelike, Kharon’s Crypt and the digital card game Doomtrooper. They already got funded, so I don’t have a reason to talk about them.  As usual, just because these are the ones to go support, it doesn’t mean the ones that should be supported will, by the end of it all, be good games. Let’s not waste any time, and check out the slew of crowdfunding projects that deserve your attention.

The Devil’s Eight

kick1

Developed by Second Step Studios, The Devil’s Eight is a 2.5D boss-rush game with a heavy reliance on music. You will be on circular battle arenas, with a large boss in the middle of said arenas. A cool element that I observed was the fact that it looked like the bosses moved and attacked to the rhythm of the song playing in the back ground. I find that neat that they are making an action-focused boss fight that fits the techno beats and vibes that are in each level. It reminds me of those fun music-themed levels from Rayman Legends. I like that this game wants to do something different in terms of gaming, but I am concerned about the visuals. I like the overall style to the game, but I wonder if the effects and colors will be too much while trying to lay a smack-down on the bosses. When I die or get hit, I want to feel like it’s my fault, and not because my eyes were distracted by all the visual overloading going on. Still, I think this is a cool concept, and it looks like a game I would love to play on something like the Switch or PC, if the requirements aren’t too demanding. If you like action games, boss-focused games, and music, then you should definitely check out this devilish delight.

Indie Pogo

kick2

A popular thing to do these days is for indie developers to help out other indie developers by making a game that shows off their characters, while also making these playable marketing icons part of an actual game. The crowdfunding site Fig.co even had one of these types of games called Bounty Battle, where it was like Smash Bros., but with indie game characters. It’s nothing new, so you have to keep coming up with different genres or styles of games to put them into. Indie Pogo, by Lowe Bros. is the newest contender to be the next big “we have indie game characters in our game” game. The big gimmick here, besides the list of indie characters in the game, is that every character will constantly be jumping. You have to jump on them or attack them while avoiding their attacks. The pixel art looks great, as characters move well and the colors are bright. I am a tad concerned that this game might get overshadowed, since it’s yet another indie game advertisement among a couple of other games that are doing the same thing. I mean, it’s cool that indie developers, at the very least the good ones, are helping out other developers by advertising their games, but I want the game to be fun. If you like local party games, then Indie Pogo is the project for you.

My Time at Portia

kick3

While I don’t think anyone is truly looking for another Stardew Valley-style game anytime soon, if you can bring something interesting to the genre, then by all means let’s see it happen. My Time at Portia from developer Pathea Games, decided to step up to the plate. You will be a newcomer to Portia, where you must live a peaceful life, help the citizens with certain tasks, farm, craft items and objects, fight monsters, and befriend the many people of Portia. The game’s visual look is hugely impressive. For an indie game, and an indie game on Kickstarter, the game looks pretty good. I like the art style that reminds me of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, and I adore the lush colors. My only real complaint is that the character design on the humans is fairly forgettable. I just don’t care for their designs. I like the other designs of the animals, buildings, and vehicles, but the humans look like they were from a free-to-play mobile game. Hopefully, they can polish them up if they get funded, and work on the game. I think there is a lot to enjoy with My Time at Portia, and if you want to try out a slice of the game, they have a playable demo. If you like Stardew Valley, or any games in that vein, then I highly recommend supporting My Time at Portia.

Dark Devotion

kick4

Now, we have the 2D action roguelike that promises to be a dark and brutal experience, Dark Devotion by Hibernian Workshop. You play as an individual that must traverse a fallen temple, that will have branching paths with smaller bosses, and a major boss in each main world or floor of the temple. If you have played any games that have roguelike elements, any mechanics from Dark Souls, or found yourself in a dark desolate world with nightmarish creatures and horrors awaiting your arrival, then Dark Devotion should be familiar to gamers. You will also have an end-all currency known as Faith. You use Faith to unlock hidden paths, upgrade your character, open special chests, and so on. This means while you can definitely use it to upgrade yourself so you can be strong enough in the next run to take down those tough baddies that turned you into paste, maybe it’s a good idea to save some just in case you run into chests or an alternate path. Unfortunately, no matter which path you take, you will not be able to backtrack. Each time you leave a room, the door closes, so you had better make the right move. The game itself is pretty promising, and it has a free demo if you want to try it out before you plop down some of that nice money, but my concerns with the game come from the fact that I feel like I have seen this type of game before. Earlier this year, we had Blasphemous, which was this dark and horrifying 2D action game, and being a tough 2D action-focused roguelike is nothing new. We pretty much have a market that is already flooded with roguelikes that are tough and unforgiving, and we have a lot of games inspired by the Dark Souls franchise. Nothing is inheritably wrong with that, but if it feels like I’m seeing or playing a game that’s very similar to others, then that’s a problem. I love the promise this game brings to the table, but if you are burnt out on roguelikes that don’t do anything to offer you a reason to replay the levels over and over, then people might be turned off by yet another game that does all of those things. I still have a lot of faith in this project, and if you want to back it, by all means do so. It’s definitely a more promising and ideal Kickstarter than most that pop up on the site.

Bannermen

kick5

Developed by Pathos Interactive, Bannermen is a real-time-strategy game similar to the ones you played back in the day, like Age of Empires. The twist added to the gameplay is something the developers call “dynamic environments”, where you can use magical spells to control nature, like burn forests, use lightning to shock soldiers, and so on. You gain these powers by making shrines or temples at certain parts of the map. You will even be able to play this game with friends in a multi-player mode. It’s quite a solid idea, but my main concern is the look. Outside of the environmental powers you can obtain, Bannermen looks a tad generic. As a game using the Unreal Engine, it looks fine, but the art style is what is unappealing about it for me. I know they are going for more realistic medieval looks, but I guess if you are going to be in a genre that is dominated by the titans like StarCraft, there should be something that helps you stand out visually. It also looks like a generic RTS game. Now more than ever, you need to find a way to stand out, and looking like something else in my game library isn’t going to be enough. Still, I think this is a rather solid project, and if you want more RTS-style games, then you should go and support Bannermen.

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark

kick6

If you are a fan of tactical RPGs like Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, or The Banner Saga, then Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark by 6EyesStudio is your game. Honestly, Fell Seal has been considered a spiritual successor to the Final Fantasy Tactics series, since everything takes place on a square arena, characters move in place until they are commanded to move and whack an enemy on the head. You have multiple job classes, hundreds of moves, and travel along a map with set destinations. The game looks pretty solid. The 2D art is visually eye-catching, and the designs of the characters remind me more of the PSP remake of Final Fantasy Tactics with that cool art style used in the cutscenes. I even like that you get to pick some visual delights for non-story characters, and make them look how you want them to look. The music by composer Jan Morgenstern is also a nice part of the presentation package. The samples I listened to from the game had magnificent fantasy vibes, and that shouldn’t be surprising due to Jan’s work on the Nintendo DS title Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled. If I had to be concerned about one thing, it would be how the difficulty, grinding, job classes, and abilities will be balanced. I love a good challenge, but if it becomes too much, and I get punished because I didn’t level everyone up correctly, then I’m going to be annoyed if the game isn’t very clear. I also want every class and move to be useful. I don’t want to go through a game where I only play as maybe six or so classes, and not use the others. I know not every gamer is the same, and tactical RPG players probably have their own team set-ups, but still. However, I love this project, and I can tell the team working on this has a passionate drive to make this a reality. If you love tactical RPGs, great hand-drawn graphics, and a playable demo, then I highly recommend checking out this Kickstarter!

Flynn: Son of Crimson

kick7

And finally, the final Kickstarter I want to talk about is Flynn: Son of Crimson by Studio Thunderhorse.  You play as Flynn, as you take control of a mystical power known as the Crimson, and must stop an evil force from coming your way, and killing the land. Flyyn: Son of Crimson is a 2D action-focused platformer in the same design of a Metroidvania-style game. You run, jump, and fight your way through a magical world. You will have multiple weapons to unlock for your uses, like a sword, a bow, and claws. Flynn is also able to trade in trinkets for new moves. For as many 2D pixel games as we are getting, Flynn looks pretty spectacular. The music is also pretty catchy, thanks to composer Jacob Lincke. Jacob definitely has a very Studio Ghibli-inspired soundtrack that reminds me of some of the earlier Ghibli films, like Castle in the Sky and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. My only concern is this is yet again, another Metroidvania-style game, and we have a lot of those. I hope it stands out enough to warrant someone who has played a lot of these games, to purchase another one in the genre. Even then, Flynn looks like a fantastic game, with tight combat and great visuals. If you love these types of games, then I highly recommend checking out this project.

That is it for September, and we shall see what new projects become interesting when we go into October! Thanks for checking these out, and I will see you all next time!

Kickstarter Shout-out!: Projects To Go Support as of 9/9/17

kick01

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

Well, it’s back to school time, and that means more Kickstarters! Well, technically school time, and Kickstarters don’t have anything to do with one another, but I don’t really need a reason to talk about some awesome and promising-looking Kickstarters. As usual, just because these are the ones to go support, it doesn’t mean the ones that should be supported will, by the end of it all, be good games. The only honorable mention, since it got fully funded, will be going to Fig.co’s Virgo vs the Zodiac, a JRPG using cute sprite work.  Always donate enough so that you won’t be mad that it’s gone. Just do some research, and donate to the one that sounds good to you. Now then, let’s get started.

Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond

kick02

This game might sound familiar, as it is the sequel title to Celestian Tales on PC. Developed by Ekuator Games, Realms Beyond continues the story nine years after the first game, with the six individuals who are chosen to protect their land from an ongoing war. There isn’t really a lot to talk about this one, since it seems to be similar to the previous game. It has the same combat system that levels up and instantly heals everyone after each fight, the same lovely sprite and 2D art, and since this is basically episode two, it will take the data from the first game, and shape the story and character interactions based on your actions. I’m a little concerned that this new game in the series might not do enough to make it stand out. I enjoyed the first game, but it seems like the only thing changing is the story. It was an interesting story, but the stand-out feature, being able to play as six characters that have different perspectives on the story itself, isn’t really taken advantage of. Still, I’m looking forward to this RPG. It felt a tad different than other indie RPGs that try to copy the success and popularity that Final Fantasy VI left, but instead, Celestian Tales reminded me of a Game of Thrones RPG done right. If you have played the first game, and want to see the story continue, then definitely support this project.

 The Crown Stones: Mirrah

kick03

Want another Metroidvania-style game in your digital library? Then look no further than The Crown Stones: Mirrah by developer Frater Studios. You play as a protagonist with amnesia as you traverse your way through a hellish world of the dead. If you have played any Metroidvania-style games, then this game and its mechanics should feel familiar for those veterans of those types of games. All combat takes place on a 2D plane, where you have a stamina bar that is pretty much the same one used in Dark Souls, where you must choose wisely when to attack. You can also gain special chakras that give you different attack abilities, and a “berserk” meter that when filled up, can give the player much more damaging attacks. Another element talked about in the game is that you can use stealth. You can get past enemies or sneak up behind them while hiding behind the multiple piles of dead bodies to hide from enemies. It throws an interesting twist into the gameplay, since going in head-strong is probably not going to work all the time, depending on the enemies in the area.

While I do love the vibrant sprite work, the smooth animations, and the brutal combat, I have two concerns. One, it’s on a crowdfunding site I have never heard of. It’s the first time I have heard of the site Catarse. I don’t know how many people have heard about this site, and I feel like if it was on Kickstarter or went through Fig, it would have a better shot. Two, while I do not mind these styles of games, the game itself may have trouble standing out among the other Metroidvania games, that use sprite work and “Dark Souls”-style elements. It is a bit too commonplace now to really be unique. I know everyone loves Dark Souls and wants to make the next great Dark Souls game, but at the same time, seeing those elements pop up whether they be well-implemented or not, lessens the appeal. Still, I wouldn’t be talking about this if the project wasn’t promising or appealing. If you don’t mind yet another Metroidvania-style game with some twists to the formula, then definitely go support The Crown Stones.

The Good Life

kick04

Remember the cult classic Deadly Premonition? What about the creator’s Xbox One/PC game D4? Well, if you are hoping to help out this memorable developer, then you should support their newest project, The Good Life. You play as a blonde photographer, who once lived a life in New York. Unfortunately, she has a massive amount of debt under her name. To fix all this, she decides to move into a small British town that is called “The Happiest Town on Earth”. However, there is a twist! At night, everyone turns into cats! She must find out what is exactly is going on while also finding a dead body within a pond. Well, that definitely sounds like a game by the Deadly Premonition creator. For the most part, you will be going around this 3D world tackling odd jobs to pay off your debt, while also solving what exactly is going on with this town and the community inside. While working, taking photos, or becoming a cat, you will find items that will be important to the story.  You will have little RPG elements that improve and become bigger, like stamina, being immune to getting sick, and have items that will give you temporary boosts.

It’s a weird and unusual game, and the visuals, character designs, and music match the tone. It’s an odd and unreal kind of story, which only SWERY, the developer behind the game, can come up with. You would think this entire set-up would be off-putting, but it really does feel like it gels well. Sometimes, being odd in concept can lead to feeling cohesive. I am concerned that people will be turned off by the more realistic funding goal, and the fact his games have niche appeal will not bring most people in. I get why his games are popular, and I love the ideas this project brings to the table, but at the same time, his other games had major flaws to them that were hard to look past, even with all the weird charm to them. Still, we need a shot in the arm of quirky and unusual games, and I think The Good Life should be one of those games to help with said shot.

The Cyanide & Happiness Adventure Game

UPDATE: It has been funded!

kick05

Based on the extremely popular web and animated series, you play Cooper McCarthy, as you try and wackily make your way to your graduation ceremony, while having to avoid a small little event called the apocalypse happening around you. It’s a typical point-and-click adventure game, where you gather items to solve puzzles, meet wacky characters, and try to make it to the end of the game. The franchise’s style and humor definitely lends itself to an adventure game. It looks good, and the people behind it have made successful games in the past using Kickstarter. I guess my only real concern is if this game is friendly towards new viewers to the comics, web series, and so on. Hopefully, you can just jump in and not have to worry about knowing everything. There isn’t’ really much to talk about with this one, since it’s a tightly wound project that has people who know what they are doing behind it. If you love the franchise and would love to support their newest project, then you should definitely check out this adventure game.

 Griff the Winged Lion

kick06

I remember when this project appeared a year or so ago on Kickstarter. It was cute, but it was in too early of a stage to show off, and it felt like it was more about how amazing they made the retro graphics, and less about how good the actual game is. Thankfully, the developer behind the game seems to have learned from that, and the game looks promising. It might be a PlayStation 1-era Spyro the Dragon-style game, a3D platformer back when they were all the rage, but at least it’s not another 16-bit or 8-bit-style game. I like how this game is trying something different, and something that we haven’t seen the indie scene truly tackle. The project also has a demo that you can check out before backing it. My only real concern is that, while the game looks the part, I hope it’s not held back by older design choices. Sometimes, all that nice nostalgia attached to older games is either bad in retrospect, or caused by console limitations. I do have faith in this game though, and I think everyone should support it if they are into this type of game.

Scorn

kick07

Finally, here we have probably one of the best-looking Kickstarters in terms of visual presentation, Scorn. This was a popular Steam greenlight (when it was still a thing) entry due to how much polish and quality there was to the main game. Then again, when people actually put effort into their Greenlight submissions, people may actually vote on it. This is a first-person shooter, where you travel through a world that was probably made by H.R. Giger’s wildest dreams. You must traverse this stick, fleshy, and disgusting world, while fighting monsters and traversing this atmospheric nightmare land. You will have to either fight your way through, or probably just let the grotesque creatures be, since ammo is limited. The game’s true standout feature is the wonderfully disgusting world it has created. It drips with personality, and is probably one of the more truly realized worlds seen in a while. I am disappointed however, that there are no console stretch goals at the moment, and I’m worried about how much content will be in this one part. It’s being split up into two parts, so hopefully, when the first part is finished and gets funding for the second half, players will be able to enjoy the full experience. I also hope the maze-like level design won’t turn people off, and will be easy to navigate. This is easily one of the better Kickstarters of the year with a huge amount of true blood, sweat, and tears put into the game, and I hope it can reach its funding goal.

Kickblunders: Games to Avoid and Back as of 8/19/17

kick0111

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

Well, it’s the end of the summer, and it means Kickstarters are back in full swing! Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites like Fig.co decided to unload on the world some pretty awesome-looking projects that you should both support, or avoid like the plague. I will give out some honorable mentions to projects that got funded in a rather short period of time. These are the Harvest Moon-style action RPG Re:Legend, Phoenix Springs, an adventure game with a surreal setting, Bounty Battle, a Super Smash Bros.-style fighting game using many popular indie game mascots, and the tactical multi-player game for PC and Switch Hex Gambit. Now then, let’s get started!

You Should Avoid: The Last Kingdom

last01

We start off with a sloppy Kickstarter called The Last Kingdom. It’s supposed to be a tactical RPG, but there is no gameplay to show off. The trailer shows us nothing. There are no pictures, no sprite work, no real details about how this tactical RPG differentiates itself from others, and it’s just not well put together. And asking for such a small budget for a tactical RPG is pretty insane in the membrane. It’s yet another project that’s way too early to show off, and you should avoid it at all costs.

You Should Back: Lona: Realm of Colors

lona01

Lona: Realm of Colors is an adventure game developed by SpaceFox. You play as an artist named Lona, who is trapped inside her own artwork. You must traverse through said art, putting in and taking out the color of that art piece to make it through this adventure. The game’s main focus is to tell a story, since she is using her art to make abstract visuals of situations she is dealing with. The main goal is to go into each picture, go to either one side of it or another, and try to solve the problem given to you. The game has a really nice art style, and it should, since it’s about an artist. It has a lot of vibrant colors, and the pictures are very detailed. My one concern is how the overarching experience will pan out. I hope the interactivity of the pictures will be enough, due to how we won’t have to deal with inventory puzzles or dialogue trees. It’s all about the story, and I want the story to be interesting if the gameplay is not going to be the focus. Anyway, if you like games that focus more on visuals, and like a promising story, then you should definitely check out this Kickstarter.

You Should Avoid: Mcgee Detective

detective01

You know, if this was a flash game when flash gaming was in its first year, this would probably look impressive. However, this is 2017, and if you can’t make good looking art or know how to make a visually appealing looking game, don’t make the art yourself.  This 2D platforming puzzle game is just the pits in every way possible. It has bad art, bad animation, mediocre gameplay, and a very lackluster Kickstarter page. I don’t know what this individual is thinking by making such an ugly game on a budget that’s $1,123, but you can’t do that. A more talented individual could have made a game about a mouse on an adventure look charming, but boy, this one is just looking to be avoided like raw chicken tartare.

 You Should Support: Jettomero

jett01

Update: It just got funded!

Sometimes, we need a goofy little game that has charm oozing out of its robotic parts. Jettomero, developed by Gabriel Koenig, looks to be that type of game. You play as a robot named Jettomero, who travels from planet to planet finding fuel, and trying to save lives while being a giant destructive robot. You will be able to customize Jettomero, and as you traverse the galaxy, you will encounter other large robots to fight while uncovering the history of your robot. The game has a more laid-back vibe as you travel across the cosmos in this cool 1970s-inspired sci-fi universe. My only real concern is how expansive the experience will be, since these types of games tend to not do well if they choose to overstay their welcome. Other than that, I loved seeing Jettomero in motion, and I think it’s one of the more charming crowdfunding projects on the site. It only has a little left in terms of funding to make, and if you love cute little games with a charming personality, then you should definitely help this robot save everyone!

You Should Avoid: Bad Lands Road Trip

bad01

There is nothing worse than when a Kickstarter project gets less and less impressive as you scroll down its Kickstarter page. Bad Lands Road Trip is one such bummer project. First off, we have yet another project that is too early to show off, the art style for the menus and interface look cheap, everything looks like an asset flip, and the game doesn’t look all that appealing. We already have enough open-world games, and we don’t need another one of lower quality. I feel badly, since there was obviously a bit more done with this project, but it’s still not enough to warrant throwing down money onto it. Maybe if they waited a little longer and made everything not look like an asset flip, then I would be down for some fun simple robot-shooting fun. It’s just not going to happen today.

You Should Back: Beyond-Human

beyond01

Yes, we do get a lot of Metroidvania-style games, and to a degree, that is my major concern for this project, but I’m rooting for it. Back in 2014, I was going to write about this project because it came out the same time as a very similar project was on the site, but didn’t since it was obvious both weren’t going to make it. Luckily, the game looks way better than it did back then. You play as a silent protagonist named Adam, who woke up into an alien-like world. You must Devil May Cry your way through a large sci-fi world brimming with a hostile atmosphere, and find out who you are and what exactly happened. Sprite or pixel graphics might be a tired thing to see among the indie community, but as long as it’s done well and looks good in motion, then I don’t mind it. All the designs are pretty neat, the effects look great, and it looks like a good action game. The concern for me is the fact that this is a very common genre to see among the indie crowd. Not that it can be a bad thing, but if you are going to make a Metroidvania-style game, I want it to stand out and be memorable, because the developer wanted to make a game in that style and not simply because it’s popular. It doesn’t fully keep me from recommending and talking about this game at all, but I think it’s understandable to be a bit more wary about games that want to go the Metroidvania route. Even then, it’s a cool-looking game, and it looks like the developers have a grasp on what they want to do. If you like action games, Metroidvania-style games, or games that use sprite work at all, then you should definitely go support Beyond Human.

You Should Avoid: Umbra Protocol

umbra01

Yeah, this project has kind of the same problems as McGee Detective, in that the concept art and the logo picture for the trailer looks way better than the actual in-game animation. The game just doesn’t look all that appealing, and if it’s not obvious, there is a reason why people are not really funding this one. I feel like with a better artist or more interesting gameplay, it could have been more appealing. It just looks like a ton of mobile games that you see get dumped onto the App store, and are understandably overlooked.

You Should Back: Suplex Saga

suplex01

Remember that really mediocre “wrestling” RPG that was up on Kickstarter a few weeks back? Well, the better version of that idea is Suplex Saga by Finger Gun Games. You play in a Final Fantasy-style turn-based RPG, where you are Ace Evander, a rookie wrestler who wants to make it to the top. Along with some of his friends, he wants to be the best of the best to bring back the Evanders name, while dealing with a wrestling company take-over that will rock the world! Combat takes place on 2D planes, like in older Final Fantasy titles, and the combat is turn-based. Just like in some RPGs like Paper Mario, the combat is all about timed-button presses that pull off super moves and other abilities. I love everything about this game, but I have one major concern. I have been following this project closely, and to be honest, I don’t think they are getting the word around fast enough about the game. Maybe because it’s a busy time of year, or maybe they are not doing enough to get other people outside of wrestling fans to buy this game. I want this to succeed, since I just adore an RPG with a different personality to it, but I think they need to do more to get the word out, or maybe come back in a few months with a playable demo and some spruced-up sprite work. I think some projects do better when people can play a bit of the game they might want to throw money down on. In general though, I think this is a goofy and fun-looking RPG. I love the idea of it, and while I wish the console stretch goals were the first ones up instead of a pdf guide, I would love to play something like this on the go.

Kickblunders: Games to Avoid and Back as of July 13th, 2017

kick0111

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

Well, June was a wasteland in terms of Kickstarter projects worth writing about. Most of them were all blunders, and there was one individual who was either trolling, or was not really prepared for posting Kickstarters that were, to be frank, some of the worst I have ever seen this year. Luckily, a bunch of Kickstarters have recently been popping up, and taking up the spotlight, and deserve to be shown off. As usual, do your research on the Kickstarter itself, and see if it is worth your money. Not every Kickstarter that gets funded is successful, and the game might not deliver on its promise. Be careful, but if you feel passionate about the game you want to back, then by all means. Spend only enough money on the Kickstarter that you will be happy to donate to the project. Oh, and congrats to LUCAH for getting funded! It’s a great action RPG that I wish I could have gotten to before it got funded. Let’s get started!

AVOID!: Snowball Wars

kick01

It’s very obvious by the look of this one that it’s the developer’s first try at a game, and while there is more to it than most bad Kickstarters, it’s still really lackluster. The art looks like it was done in Microsoft Paint, the music isn’t from the game, and the page just shows amateur artwork. I get it, making your own game is a big feat, and I do admire the successful indie games that are made by one person or a very small team of people. However, I’m not going to give anyone special treatment just because it’s their “first game”. Maybe Snowball Wars has potential, but as far as I can tell, it isn’t going to go anywhere fast.

Instead, you should go support: KnightOut

kick02

This indie game developed by 2nd Studio marks the first crowdfunding project on the site, Fig.co, to be made for the Nintendo Switch. It’s a multi-player party game where you build large castles to protect your king, while destroying your opponent’s castle and killing their king. There is a single-player mode where you fend off hordes of monsters with your buff castle and army of knights. At first, I wasn’t really impressed, due to the game’s graphical style shown off in the trailer. I knew it was early in production assets and animations, but something felt off about it to me. However, after seeing the game in motion a couple of times, I found myself strangely growing fond of the game and the gameplay. I’m not usually the type of guy who downloads every single local multi-player game that goes for that Smash Bros. mentality of all the action happening on one screen, but this one caught my attention, because of the Switch, and how you already have two controllers from the get-go on the console. My only real concern is the longevity and lasting appeal of the game, since the local multi-player market is truly crowded. I just don’t want to see their hard work swept under the rug when the next Screen Cheat or Towerfall pops in to take its thunder. It looks like a fun game to play in bursts, and I hope 2nd Studio does a good job with the overall experience they are offering, and doesn’t have to resort to microtransactions or crummy game-killing business decisions.

AVOID!: Temperament

kick03

The big problem with indie developers and the indie game scene is that once a certain genre gets a slam dunk of a hit, the copy-cats, bandwagon-hopping developers or scam artists (you decide which is which since all of them have been abundant in the indie scene) are not far behind. While there is nothing super inherently wrong with Temperament, a first-person spellcasting game, it’s woefully lackluster in terms of being anything promising. First off, the concept art and images shown on the page is not in any way good, due to how inconsistent the two pictures look in terms of designs. The indie scene has already had a few games within the first-person genre, where the main gimmick is to cast spells that have already been done. This project sounds like it has nothing to offer that I couldn’t get with other games like Ziggurat. There is also, once again, no gameplay to look at or to see how it would look in motion. It’s just an underwhelming disappointment from an individual who has tried two other times to have a Kickstarter success, but to no avail. You can talk to me and tell me about the game, but I want to see what I would be interested in backing.

Instead, you should go support: Fight Knight

kick04

While I don’t technically need to support this one, due to how quickly it made its funding goal, this first-person brawler from developer Thomas LeBlanc is worth mentioning. Fight Knight took the site by storm with its first-person 3D pixel art style, and its focus on fun first-person melee combat. It’s always a bit eye-rolling when you see a first-person game with melee combat, since it never feels great to punch or hit someone in first-person. The game also has a playable demo, and from what I have heard, people were having a fantastic time playing it, but were criticizing the head-bobbing, another problem with first-person games, but I’m sure the developer will do a good job at making sure no one gets too motion-sick playing the game. It’s a fun looking game with a quirky personality that I think should get more support and hopefully get onto other consoles. I would love to play this on the Switch.

AVOID!: All the Hidden Corners

kick05

Out of all of the games I had to put on this list, All the Hidden Corners was the one I was most reluctant to say go support. Hence, it’s on the avoid side of things. I like the 3D adventure game idea, the graphics, and the set-up. My problem and why I’m hesitant to say go support this one is because the trailer was not really convincing me to say “hey, I want to throw hard-earned money at this game!” I admire the idea and the visuals, but I want to see the game in motion. I know annoying to keep bringing this up, but that is the biggest problem with Kickstarter games. Show, don’t tell.

Instead, you should go support: Harold Halibut

kick06

I was pleasantly surprised to see this game from developers Slow Bros. It’s what the page describes as a “modern handmade adventure game”, where you control Harold Halibut, a janitor and lab assistant, inside a large ship in a planet surrounded by water. I love the stop-motion art style and the rusted barren look of the world’s surroundings. While having a solid sense of humor, the world you live in is definitely not safe, and there is obviously something else in the water besides the ship and the people living inside it. You can tell a huge amount of passion has gone into the look and feel of the game. My only real concern is how the puzzles will work and how interesting the story will be. I want to feel invested with every step I take, and I don’t want to lose interest. The game’s soundtrack is also pretty solid by composer, Onat Hekimoglu. It definitely helps bring you into this briny world. I hope more people are willing to go support this game, since I feel like it deserves your time and money to help get this game developed.

AVOID!: Brass Town Wrestling

kick09

Now, how cool does this sound, a wrestling RPG? I mean, wrestling, while floundering in some areas, is still a huge deal. How cool would it be to have an action or unique turn-based RPG where all the attacks are wrestling moves? Too bad Brass Town Wrestling isn’t that. It’s a generic RPG that only has wrestling as a motif. That’s the biggest pile of weak sauce that I have seen in a while. Not only is it yet another RPG Maker game that does more damage to the RPG Maker reputation, but it just doesn’t look like anything all that amazing. Its battles are in first-person, but the attacks don’t look that interesting, and the art looks very amateurish. It’s games like this that give RPG Maker a bad reputation, and it’s an example of a developer not taking full advantage of their situation. This is obviously one that you should avoid.

Instead, you should go support: Fantasy Strike

kick08

Developed by Sirlin Games, Fantasy Strike is a 2.5D fighting game that is being helmed by ex-Street Fighter developer David Sirlin. The game claims it will be an easier fighter to get into, because there won’t be any joy stick inputs to pull off super moves, and instead, everything is done by the face buttons and keyboard. I think that’s actually pretty rad. Usually, when a fighter promises that they will be easier to get into, they never really mean it. You still need to learn the complex button commands, and they always make the icons the arcade control icons. This looks like it could very well be a good beginner’s guide to fighting games, along with the upcoming Switch indie game, Pocket Fighters Rumble.  While the characters don’t look that interesting or memorable, I’m sure later down the development line, they will make the characters more interesting. I also hope it can come to more consoles than just the PlayStation 4 and PC. I bet if they could get this on the Switch, they could make the console a go-to for fighting games, once Nintendo releases another Smash Bros. for the console. If you enjoy fighting games, I would highly recommend you check out this new Fig campaign.

AVOID!: Hotel Escape

kick07

When people come to Kickstarter to pitch their work, you usually want something that looks good, and makes sure the potential backers know exactly what they are getting, and know they will put out the product as promised. I guess no one told Hotel Escape that. The Kickstarter page is a mess with ugly artwork, a trailer that’s not really that promising, looks like something from the days of Steam Greenlight, and to be frank, the game doesn’t look that good. The developer might say that they have worked 4 months on the project, but I seriously doubt that from the look of everything. The game is too dark, the framerate is garbage, and the gameplay looks mediocre. This is also the second time the developer has tried to get funding for this game, and I’m sorry, a minute change no matter how effective, is not going to get people to back your project. Oh, and a $200 funding goal? I don’t want to be rude and disrespectful, but how much money does this person think they need to make a video game?! $200 is not going to cut it! You need more than that! Not hard to see why I’m saying avoid this one at all cost.

Instead, you should go support: Neon City Riders

kick10

Finally, let’s go support Neon City Riders by developer Mecha Studios. This top-down action adventure RPG sets you into this cyberpunk post-apocalyptic world, where everyone is forced to join some kind of street gang, and cause constant war and chaos among everyone who lives within the city. Your goal is to stop the violence and find out how to solve the overarching problem. If you have played any or a majority of top-down action adventure games, like the old Legend of Zeldas, Crossing Souls, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, then you should know what you are getting yourself into. A large world to explore, puzzles to solve, upgrades to obtain, new areas to explore, and everything you do is at your own pace. You can go wherever and fight whoever you want first.

The game’s graphical presentation is bouncy, colorful, and it doesn’t look that bad. I know some gamers are getting tired of pixel art-style games being a thing, since it seems like everyone and their great great grandma is making a game inspired by the days of 8-bit and 16-bit games, but if you put your own spin on it, and it doesn’t make me think of other games in a bad way, then I think you could keep doing it. My only real issue is that some people might be concerned about the low funding goal, and that it’s yet another neon/80s cyberpunk-inspired world. Again, if you put your own spin on it, then do so, but I can understand if people are getting tired of it, since neon/80s-themed games do pop up a lot. Still, I think it’s one of the better Kickstarter games to come to the site in July so far. If you like your top-down action games, and want to play a bit of the game, the devs do have a demo that you can try out. If this all looks fun to you, then join a gang and go support Neon City Riders.

Kickblunders: Games to Avoid and Back from May 2017

kick0111

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this editorial!)

Well, it’s time for another Kickblunders, a look at what games to avoid and support from May 2017. It felt like after Yooka Laylee’s release and Nintendo releasing the Switch and making bank, Kickstarter dried up a bit. Luckily, a lot of good Kickstarters are up now, and while some bad ones popped up, I think I found enough to warrant which ones to avoid and which ones to invest into. The only honorable mention I have is for the Kickstarter success Blasphemous. While I was working on this editorial, it got funded right off the bat. Still, if you like 2D action-heavy Dark Souls-style games, then you should keep supporting Blasphemous.

Now, before we officially begin, just a heads-up. Kickstarter games are not always going to be fruitful, and end up as amazing games just because they don’t have to deal with a major publisher (not yet at the very least). Make sure you do your research, look for the signs of good and bad Kickstarters, and wisely choose which ones to support. Hopefully these comparisons can help split the bad eggs from the good eggs. This is going to be a long article, so let’s begin!

Avoid!: The Cypher

kick02

Listen, it might just be a Kickstarter for a demo, and it might at the very least have a video, but once again, you can’t be showing off a Kickstarter project anymore if you don’t have good legit footage or something playable. Yeah, I get that you want another game like Def Jam to exist, but do you know how much it would cost to do what you want with this type of project? It’s not only going to cost a lot in terms of making the game itself, but you will also be paying for royalties for the rappers to be in the game. I just don’t think this one was well thought out.

Instead, You Should Back: Project Rap Rabbit

kick03

What’s this? A brand new rhythm game with an emphasis on rapping made by the minds behind PaRappa The Rapper and Gitaroo Man? Sign me up! While I am concerned that it won’t get funded because of people’s growing concern about Kickstarter projects from big names, I do think this one is worth supporting. It’s not just another Rock Band. It’s basically an RPG dialogue-based rap system, where you listen to the rap, choose your dialogue, and then rap back in rhythm. I love the art style and personality the game is bringing to the table. I do wish they had some actual gameplay, but I would rather support this project by vets who know what they want to do rather than a developer who has no idea what they are doing.

Avoid!: The Rise of Mooncrest

kick06

This one hurts to talk about because it started off with a lot of promise when it was originally uploaded to the site two years ago. It also hurts because it’s from my home town of Austin, Texas. There are so many red flags about this re-upload that it isn’t funny. First off, the art is horrendous. Yes, in the end it doesn’t matter how pretty your game is if the gameplay isn’t good, but this looks like a flash game some sleazy two-bit developer would throw onto the app store. The Advance Wars-style gameplay isn’t the problem, it’s the visual presentation. You can tell a lot changed from the two versions of the Kickstarter with the budget being lesser and the four-person team is now only one. It doesn’t bring up a lot of good signs. I hate to say this one is a blunder, because it’s not the worst that I have seen. It does do a lot of things right, like have footage and a demo, but when a pretty similar style game is coming to the Switch called Wargroove, or other digital board game-style tactic games, then you need to step it up. I feel like this needed more polish in the art department and some clarity as to what happened with the other three people on the team.

Instead, You Should Back: Flash Point: Fire Rescue

kick07

This is developed by RetroEpic Software, the newest Fig campaign (sorry for not getting to Phoenix Point in time. It looks great!), where you play as a group of fire fighters as you strategically make your way through different houses putting out the fires and saving civilians. You better watch out because fire can be rather unpredictable. The game has a great art style, and looks like a rather in-depth system of tackling every level. I hope they can bring it to consoles, since I feel like it could do well on something like the Switch.

Avoid!: Alpha’s Theory

kick04

Once again, when there are other games in this genre like The Binding of Isaac, you need to not look like a fairly early-in-production flash game. It’s not like we can’t have variations of the same genre, but you also can’t simply go to Kickstarter, not have a video, and show off super early gameplay anymore. You need to look like you are far into development, with more polished footage and actual gameplay. It doesn’t look appealing, and there are obvious signs no one is backing it. It needed more time on the development table.

Instead, You Should Back: StarFlint: The Black hole Prophecy

kick05

Back again for a second attempt of getting funded is the 2D point-and-click adventure game StarFlint by Sunmason Games. Once again, you play as two dashing young space heroes named Trixie and Flint, as you traverse the galaxy solving puzzles, enjoying a bit of comedic dialogue, and stop a large conspiracy taking shape. The game promises to offer multiple branches of where the story goes, depending on what you choose to do with multiple endings.  I’m a tad concerned since a lot of games try to have the “choose your own adventure”-style gameplay mechanic, but they don’t feel fleshed out enough to warrant selecting other choices during the game. I think I would rather just play a good linear adventure game, but if they can pull it off, it will give the game a good amount of replay value. If you like your 2D adventure-style games, and want what could become the next big adventure game, definitely go support StarFlint.

Avoid!: Mae and Leo’s Extraordinary Adventure

kick09

A lot of the time, when developers show off footage for their Kickstarter project, you have to realize that it could be in a good alpha or beta state and not entirely finished. Some put their blood, sweat, and soul into it to make a good first impression, and some definitely show some flaws within the first step they take. This 2D platformer is yet another project that was way too early to show off. The art is amateur hour, the gameplay looks flat, and it’s not really that impressive. The game itself seems decent enough, but this was nowhere near ready to put on the last remaining months of Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter. It also doesn’t help that on their Greenlight page, they have been called out for deleting negative comments. Yeah, no one likes it when you can’t take criticism. When you put your product out there, you are opening yourself up to be criticized for being mediocre. Personally, I wouldn’t even give this developer the time of day right now. They might change and improve later down the line, but I could be too optimistic.

Instead, You Should Back: Ash of Gods

kick08

One of the most impressive Kickstarters of the month of May 2017 is definitely Ash of Gods by developer AurumDust Studio. Want a tactical RPG to back and sink your teeth into while The Banner Saga 3 (a game they were heavily inspired by) is in production? Well, Ash of Gods is that game that you should support if tactical RPG-style games are your thing. It has beautiful 2D art with isometric characters that move fluidly and are full of great 2D art and cut scenes. I mean, this game is very impressive in terms of visuals. The game has elements of more typical tactics games, but also combines collectable cards and a nice online multiplayer component for those who need more after the main game is finished. Granted, some of the buzz words/comments used concern me, like how the game’s world and story are defined by your decisions. Being a roguelike always brings up concerns with how well the levels and encounters are executed, and the game wants to be hard. It’s fine if they want to make a hard game, but they need to make it fair that you lost, and not because of the game, but for the player’s own foolish moves. Developers who make hard games need to start realizing that they need to respect the player’s time, and if the player feels like they are wasting their time because of the difficulty, then they won’t want to pick it up again. If you like The Banner Saga, tactical RPGs, and beautiful art work done by a dev team that put their all into the end product, then definitely go back this project.

Well, that was May 2017. It was a pretty good month for Kickstarters. Now we shall see what happens to them. Hopefully, my editorial talking about them will get them some time in the spotlight.