Kickstarter Shout-outs!: Games to Support as of 8/31/18

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(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 review!)

So, I’m back to writing about Kickstarters! I’m so sorry about not doing more of these. The Kickstarter project scene sort of died, and whenever I could find some good ones to talk about, they would either be already funded, or just ended. It’s a shame, because a lot of the bad apple projects ruin it for everyone else, who want to make good games but don’t want to worry about the need of big publishers. Granted, you fall into many more risks with being independent, but still. Luckily, I found some more to talk about, and I’m going to try to do these more often. Even if I have to do editorials covering just one, I will do that. Let’s get started with my thoughts on a current fan-favorite!

Boyfriend Dungeon

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What do you get when you combine Kitfox Games, the developers behind Moon Hunters, isometric hack-and-slash dungeon-crawling gameplay, and the ability to date and romance the weapons you use? Well, you get the easily funded Boyfriend Dungeon! Yes, this game has you fighting off monsters in fast-paced action-filled dungeons, while also dating male, female, or non-binary characters, who just happen to be the weapons you use in said dungeons. You level them up by bonding, dating, and getting all kinds of romantic with them outside of the dungeons. It’s an honestly weird set-up for a game, but there is no surprise why this got funded so quickly. It’s a super charming game with this cute pop art-style, some lovely 2D visuals, and satisfying-looking combat, where each weapon you use is, in fact, different. The music by composer Marskye and vocalist Madeleine McQueen also give this pop feel to the overall game that gels really well with the different gameplay aspects. I wish there was some talks about bringing it to consoles, but if they do, I would love to play this on the Switch. I think Boyfriend Dungeon does something I wish more romance/dating/visual novel games would do, and be different. Don’t just rely on pretty 2D visuals and hopefully good or fun trashy writing to keep me invested. If this sounds at all enticing to you, I would definitely recommend backing this game, and picking one of the weapons to go out into the night clubs and dance!

Bombfest

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Developed by Sudden Event Studios, Bombfest is another single-screen party game that puts you into these rooms around a house, but you play as toys in this wood block arena, tossing bombs at one another. The main goal is to knock the other players off. It has a few things going for it that makes it stand out among the other single-screen party games. It’s got an isometric camera and 3D graphics, which gives more wiggle room in terms of overall design and movement for everyone. Not that you can’t have great movement with the 2D party games, but they tend to be so similar to one another. That’s my only major concern. Bombfest looks like it would be fun and charming, but it’s heading into such a crowded market with still a lot to make before time runs out. I also wish it took the setting of the levels up another notch. It looks like it doesn’t really take advantage of its fun set-up idea for where the gameplay will happen. Still, if you like party games that can lead to lots of laughs, and like chaotic gameplay, definitely give this one your support.

Sikanda

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You know how a lot of indie developers want to make action adventure games based on games from the 16-bit era? Well, here is another one, but in 3D. Developed by Dyadic Games, Sikanda is an isometric action-adventure RPG inspired by the likes of Secret of ManaTerranigma, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. You play as either a male or female lead character, who ventures out into the world of Sikanda, and finds this mystical weapon that they must use to explore this magical land, find its mysteries, and save the world. If you have played any isometric action-adventure games, then you will be familiar with how this one will play. The main gimmick revolves around the weapon you find. It can change into different weapons that have their own advantages to combat and puzzle-solving. Just be careful, since using it will drain a meter by your health bar. If it runs out, you won’t be able to use its powers. I’m worried that it won’t make it, because while I don’t mind the low-poly look of the game, it doesn’t look as different as other games from this genre. It looks fun, and I think the Switch would be a perfect console for it, but I think people are starting to get tired of games being inspired by retro games, and not just letting them stand on their own. I hope it’s good, and if it looks at all appealing to you, definitely give Sikanda some support!

Don’t Give Up: A Cynical Tale

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Developed by Taco Pizza Cats, this is the second attempt to get this Kickstarter off the ground. It’s an RPG-style game, where you play as a young man who must strive through life, dealing with the funny and pessimistic side of things. This is also while fighting supernatural demons. I mean, who doesn’t do that from Monday to Friday? While this game does have its jaded comedy vibes down pretty well, it also looks like one of those games that will be deeper, the more you peel back the layers. I mean, when you have a character dealing with mental illness, you have to find a way to ease into that stuff. The combat looks interesting, as you go to a different screen, use a special sword, and move around from four different spots to attack enemies and avoid their attacks. It’s an interesting little game that has a playable demo if you are curious. My only main concern is that the budget doesn’t look as impressive and enough for a game like this, and it looks like a lot of other RPGs I have seen on Kickstarter that look the same and have fairly similar tones. I hope it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Overall, it looks promising, and I’ll be interested to see how this game handles its themes.

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Video Game Kickstarter Projects to Support as of 4/18/18

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(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/list!)

Recently, I have been hopeful that the slowdown in backing projects was simply a phase, but it’s definitely a thing that’s happening, and while there are more reasons why there has been a slowdown, I still blame Mighty No. 9’s failure on the slowdown. Even on sites like Fig.co, where they hand pick their projects, they don’t always get funded. It’s slim pickings for right now, but I found a few to talk about that deserve your attention. Let’s get started!

The Good Life

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Up first is the Kickstarter that is a returning contender to get funded, The Good Life by White Owls Inc., and cult favorite game designer SWERY and Yukio Futagsugi. It’s a daily life simulator about a journalist named Naomi, who moves from New York to the British countryside. She decides to pay off her debt by doing multiple small jobs around the town, and work on her journalism. Oh, and since this is SWERY, there is also a murder, and at night, people turn into animals. However, while doing all this, you will need to take care of yourself. That means you will be having to watch your stamina, hunger, and keeping yourself looking nice.

Graphically, it has its low poly charm, and it definitely reminds me of this developer’s past game, Deadly Premonition. It’s very much a Twin Peaks-style setting and tone. Once again, my major concern is since Deadly Premonitionwas such a cult game, and the developer has only made cult-favorite games, how big is that audience? Now that they want to add survival elements into the game that’s all about time management and making money, I am curious to know how this will be balanced. We all know what happens when a game doesn’t balance its survival elements out, and it becomes a chore to play. Still, I really want this guy to get this game made, and I hope it can. It could still use the support, and if you liked his past games, then you should definitely go support this developer.

AFRAID

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Speaking of developers, this project, AFRAID is by Francisco Tellez de Meneses, the same guy behind the indie hit, UNepic. You play Jesse Fox, a man with a troubled past, who is recruited by an organization to drive an ATV vehicle in Africa to give different villages resources like clothes, water, and medicine. You can also use money to upgrade your vehicle so you can go to more villages, get them more supplies, and so on.
While not graphically the most impressive game on Kickstarter, it’s probably an early build, and I kind of like how the vehicle reminds me of something from the Gameboy Advance days, when developers tried doing 3D on that handheld. My only major concern is that I had to ask around if the goal of this game and the Kickstarter made sense to people. Essentially, when you buy the game, part of the purchase will go to the Kickstarter, the taxes, and what is made will be donated to non-profit organizations that help people in Africa. It’s ambitious, but I wish the message was a little clearer. I also wonder how much longevity this game will have. Will there be more than just item and vehicle management? Still, I respect the ambitions, and I know some people who enjoy these types of games. If you like helping good causes, and like these item management games, then definitely check out AFRAID.

Faeland

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Developed by TALEGAMES, Faeland is an action adventure game with a Metroidvania-style design. You play as Sam, a hunter who goes on an adventure to take down the evil force of orcs and trolls that attacked his village. If you have played any kind of Metroidvania-style game, then Faeland won’t be any different here. You fight monsters, explore large open-ended levels, explore dungeons, solve puzzles, upgrade your armor and weapons, be able to see your character’s look change depending on the weapon and armor you wear, and you get the idea.

The sprite work for Faeland does look good. It reminds me of how a couple of Super Nintendo games looked with the human designs, but with the smoothness of a sprite-based late-era Super Nintendo game or PlayStation 1 game. The music by composers Shannon Mason and Jay Fernandes also sounds fantastic.

My only real concerns are about how unique the experience will be, and the difficulty. Metroidvania-style games are a dime-a-dozen, and they need to start either being the best thing since sliced bread, or have some kind of unique hook to them. I also hope the difficulty is well-balanced. I love playing certain retro games, but good difficulty has smart enemy placement, and not because you can throw in a major pain –in-the-rear enemy at an inconvenient spot while making your way across the game’s world. Still, the Kickstarter scene needed a shot in the arm with a game like this. I’m happy to see Faeland doing well at the time of this editorial. If you like Metroidvania-style games, definitely go support Faeland.

Kickstarter Shout-out: Games to Support as of 3/22/18

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(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/list!)

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Shout-out! While it’s been a month or so since the last one, March decided to throw a bunch of promising projects onto the site that I think deserve the support. Let’s not waste any time, and get to them.

Iron Harvest

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Up first is Iron Harvest by KING Art Games, the developers behind The Dwarvesand The Book of Unwritten Tales franchise. It’s a real-time strategy game with a steampunk future during the 1920s. While the game got instantly funded at a rather fast pace, I still want to talk about it. Anyway, like I mentioned above, it’s a real-time strategy game where, if fully funded (including stretch goals), will offer three different factions with their own unit types and hero characters, three single-player campaigns with 21 missions, competitive multi-player, and free DLC and updates. If you have played plenty of real-time strategy games, you will be familiar with what you need to do. Build a base, get resources, do research for upgrades and stronger units, make an army, and go out and attack the other factions. This won’t be some kind of turn-based affair. Enemies will be moving in real time, and environments are destructible. Be careful what units you choose, and what battles you decide to jump into. If they get there, you will be able to play this game against other people and alongside your friends in the main-story campaign. Graphically, the game looks great. I love this pseudo-realistic look to the world, and all of the fun, if maybe highly unrealistic steampunk look to all the machines and soldiers. It all looks rather impressive, and they translated the art from Jakub Rozalski very well into 3 dimensions. The music from composer Adam Skorupa also sounds very wartime and effective. My only real concern is if the game will be fair. I want challenge, and I want it to be my fault because I didn’t strategize enough. I also don’t want the AI to be cheap, and not have the same disadvantages as I have with being a human player. My final nitpick issue is with the starting tier. I get why the starting tier is high, because these types of games take a lot of time and resources to make, but $45? Even if I was wanting to back this on day one, that’s a bit too high for an entry-level tier. If it was like, $20 or so, I would have probably done it. Granted, my not giving it $45 isn’t harming its goals right now, but still. I have faith in this developer, and I’m happy to see it coming to most of the major consoles. If you like real-time strategy games, and was disappointed by Dawn of War III, then definitely go support Iron Harvest.

Chicken Wiggle Workshop

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Developed by Jools Watsham and his company Atooi, the creators behind Xeodrifter and Mutant Mudds, this is a Kickstarter to bring the 3DS title to the Nintendo Switch, and to give it nice new 2D graphics. It’s a 2D platformer, where you play as this little chicken and his best friend, a worm. You then go off on an adventure! Along your journey, you will find multiple power-ups to help you progress through the level. These power-ups include a mask to help you fly, shoes to make you go faster, being able to break through hard barriers, and you get the idea. Really, this is the simplest project to talk about. It’s already a finished game. It’s pretty much bringing it to a console, and giving it higher quality art. Granted, there is much more to that, because you have to test the game and other aspects. If you like 2D platformers, and liked the developer’s other games like Xeodrifter and Mutant Mudds, then definitely check this project out!

Tala

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Being developed by Matthew Petrak, Tala is a unique-looking 2D adventure game, where you play as this little girl traversing the photo-realistic worlds with certain elements being made with 2D animation. It’s another adventure game, so what makes it stand out from the others that we see on sites like Kickstarter? Well, remember that adventure game released two or so years ago, Dropsy? It has a similar interaction system with the world and characters, where they speak with little animated visuals rather than words. You can also interact with multiple areas of the environment, find items to solve puzzles to get more important items for your journey, and hopefully save your forest town from the evils that may consume it. Its mix of photo-realistic backgrounds and 2D animation is definitely a high point with the calming guitar tracks by Cody Rueger. It’s easily one of the most stand-out games from pure visuals alone. I just hope the puzzles make sense, and I won’t get stuck, which kills most adventure games. If you like adventure games with very unique visuals and an offbeat personality, then you will definitely want to help this game out.

Phantom Halls

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I always like it when a game genre that gets flooded with similar projects spits out a promising and refreshing take on the genre. This is the case with Phantom Halls, a survival horror-comedy adventure game by Incendium. You play as a group of three individuals stuck inside a mansion, and must escape an ever-changing mansion with traditional adventure game and horror game elements along with procedurally-generated levels. The 3D paper craft art style definitely gives this game its own quirky feel, and I like that the game isn’t just another Maniac Mansion, or is trying to have elements that were common with horror games, but, you know, play like a game! While they are very clear why they need this Kickstarter to make it a more polished experience, I am concerned with how people are going to react when the game is already in Early Access, and they are set to release the game at what they consider the “correct” release date. I will say that this is nothing new. A couple of games that I have checked out or played have been in development, but needed to go to Kickstarter to get a little financial boost for polishing the project more. Still, this game has been getting fantastic reviews and coverage, and looks like something I would actually want to play. I hope they can get the funding they need, and maybe come to consoles like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. If you are craving a horror game with a quirkier tone, then please help out this developer.

One Night

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And finally, we have the isometric horror action-RPG One Night, developed by Black Seven Studios. You play as a young man named John, living in the small town of Watford. Sadly, this small town can’t be a small town, as a cult has decided to let all hell loose, and now it is up to you to traverse the town, defeat the five generals that worship their demonic deity, and save the day! You can choose from different classes, like rogue, wizard, fighter, and you get the idea. Each class will have their own skills and ability branches to unlock new powers. You can play the main campaign, but the game also rewards you for taking notes on where to go, and explore rumors and hints that you keep within a notebook. You had also better find items that will help you with whatever playstyle you have, because you won’t simply be fighting just zombies. You will be fighting ghouls, werewolves, specters, cultists, imps, and so on.

The game’s 2D sprite work definitely creates this eerie and very horror-focused environment. Combined with the atmospheric and 80s synth-style tunes, it makes sure you are properly involved within the world full of nightmarish creatures. While I think people will be happy that the game will be coming to consoles like the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One at a later date, I’m concerned if the 80s-inspired elements will turn people off. On top of sprites, I have seen people get tired of games using aspects from the 80s for their games. Of course, it’s all in how you use it, but you have to be careful to not overuse it. Still, if you like horror games with a flair of action-focused combat and exploration, then definitely check it out and make sure you survive one night in Watford.

Kickstarter Shout-outs: Games to Support as of 2/9/18

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(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!)

Finally, it’s 2018, and we can start talking about some promising video game Kickstarters! December and January were dry, and many people weren’t backing Kickstarters. I was concerned that the Kickstarter kick was starting to slow down, but I should have known better. I have found a couple of potentially fantastic projects, and I’m here to talk to you all about them. Let’s get started.

Vulpine

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While maybe coming out a bit too close to the release of the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter World, Vulpine, developed by Clockwork Giant Games, is a project aiming to be in the same vein as Monster Hunter and Toukiden. You get to choose from three different types of animals, and use different weapons to hunt down large monsters to take them down. Each of the three animal types, small, medium, and large, have their own strengths and weaknesses. Same goes with the weapon choices. When you kill these big monsters, you gain materials to make stronger weapons to take out tougher monsters, and to be able to explore more of the land, and uncover its secrets. You can even play with friends.

The game is using minimal polygonal graphics that you would see in games like Grow Home. It’s a look that’s sort of getting to the point of being overused, but it still looks nice if you use this graphical style well. The animations are pretty solid, the colors are vibrant, and you can tell what animal is what. The music sounds more atmospheric and whimsical, as the composer Tyler Shaw aka Aviators brings a more environmental touch to the world you will travel. I’m a touch concerned that the game’s look and the animations seen in the trailer look clunky. I wish it was a little smoother. I’m also concerned it’s not going to make it because this Kickstarter launched right around the same time Monster Hunter World, a game that many consider to be the best game in the franchise. Are people willing to take a bet and invest in this, when they can go get Monster Hunter? Still, I like Vulpine, and I hope it can reach its funding goal.

Landflix Odyssey

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It’s not hard to find an indie game using pixel art. It used to be a charming and effective graphical style, and while it can still be those two things, it’s definitely not as unique as it used to be. It’s all comes down to what you do with the gameplay that will make or break your retro-inspired game. Landflix Odyssey by developer Fantastico Studio is attempting to bring something different to the table. You play as a binge-watching human named Larry, as he gets sucked into what is essentially Netflix, and attempts to make it through levels based on popular shows to get out.

Landflix is a 2D action platformer, in which you will run, jump, and fight your way through different levels spoofing famous real world TV shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. While this does come off as fairly gimmicky, each level will change up the gameplay style, like one level will be stealth-based, and another will be more metroidvania in design.

The sprite work can be considered simple, but it looks good. You can tell what everything is, and even if it not the most detailed sprites you have ever seen in a game, you can tell the characters are expressive and have personality. I’m concerned that the game is using too many gimmicks and pop culture references for its own good, since I want to the game to be good first. The references are cute and funny, but that’s icing on the cake. I want Landflix Odyssey to be a good game upfront. It’s a promising indie title, and if you are curious about it, the page does have a demo where you can play two levels of the game. If you love retro-style games, then you should go support Landflix Odyssey.

Perfect Tides

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Speaking of pixel art, the next game on this list is Perfect Tides by developer Meredith Gran and her studio Three Bees, is another game that uses sprite work, but instead of a platformer, it’s an adventure game! You play as a teenage girl stuck on an island that is pretty, big, but mostly empty. You find solace in your internet life, and become more adventurous. What will happen? What kind of events will unfold as you find yourself in different situations on the island?

Like most adventure games, you will be traveling across the island finding items and uncovering more to your character’s story. The game’s graphics are definitely simple, but Gran’s art style helps it stand out with its cartoony designs similar to what shows like Steven Universe use. I know it seems like I’m skimming over everything, but that’s not my intention. The biggest problem is that the page itself is very light on detail. It basically sums up a couple of things in short paragraphs. It doesn’t really make the game sound or look all that appealing, since there is so little to go off of. Yes, online comic readers will definitely know what to expect, since Gran was the creator of Octopus Pie, but what about people who haven’t heard of her work? The page simply doesn’t give the best first impression. Of course, it would mean I wouldn’t be giving it attention if I didn’t find this game’s premise promising. I do, I only wish that the page had more to it than what it has. If you like adventure games with more down-to-earth styles, and Life is Strange-style tones and settings, then you will probably want to support Perfect Tides.

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

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(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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

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

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(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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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(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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!