Kickstarter and its generous community have brought the video gaming world some top-notch entertainment over the last few years. Games like Divinity: Original Sin 2, Undertale, and Shovel Knight might never have seen the light of day without the support of gamers like you and me. However, with the success of games like these, there are literally hundreds of people trying to make their game ideas a reality. While high profile campaigns like Banner Saga 3, Battle Princess Madelyn and Pathfinder: Kingmaker need little or no introduction, there are some truly brilliant gems hiding among the sea of copyright-infringing remakes and people simply looking for handouts. With this monthly series of articles, I hope to shed some light on a few of the diamonds-in-the-rough that need support from people like you.
Here are five such potential games-to-be whose Kickstarter campaigns are ending in the month of March 2018:
Binge-watching your favorite series and original programming through internet streaming services is an activity enjoyed by nearly everyone around the world. Digital distribution has made consuming media more convenient than ever before. However, what if there was an insidious reason for the existence of this technology? What if corporate greed was just a mask hiding plans for world subjugation? An average guy named Larry accidentally installs his TV remote with nuclear-charged batteries and finds himself transported into his preferred streaming site, Landflix, where he discovers this startling truth. He will need to travel through popular shows in order to stop the corrupt CEO’s evil plot.
Landflix Odyssey is a 2D pixel-art game that is chock-full of parodies and homages to many well-known programs. Each level is based on a different series which you will select using an interface very similar to Netflix. There are stages modeled around Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, Daredevil, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. You will be equipped with different abilities and tasked with unique objectives in each show. Peculiar Stuff is very stealth-based, Elder Thrones plays like a Metroidvania, BlindEvil relies on heavy platforming, Going Mad focuses on meth-fueled high-speed action and, lastly, The Standing Zombies is a run-and-gun in the vein of Metal Slug. For a taste of the madness, check out the demo on the campaign page.
The developers have raised about a third of their $18,500 goal. As of this writing, there is only about a week and a half to help make this project a reality. If you act fast, you can still grab an Early Bird copy of the game for just $15. If you’re feeling extra generous, you could also pick up a poster, a shirt or earn the chance to create your own enemy, boss or level! If the current projections are accurate, the full version of the game should be released around September of this year. At launch, the game will be available via Steam or DRM-Free for PC and Mac along with ports for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Our story is set in a distant, but believable, future. Earth has been racked by centuries of resource mining and pollution that has left most of the planet’s oceans devoid of life. The wealthiest among us have already fled to the stars to continue their decadent lifestyles. Only the poorest of people are left to struggle on our dying world. Marine biologists are tasked with monitoring the surviving sea-life, but regular work dwindles. To make ends meet, biologists take jobs with corporations looking to mine resources on other worlds. Alien life has never been discovered, so it’s more of a formality than anything else. However, when one half of a pair of surveyors goes missing in the oceans of an alien world teeming with aquatic life, it is up to their partner and a helpful AI to embark on a rescue mission of epic proportions.
In Other Waters is an interesting gaming experience that focuses on research and exploration. You take on the role of the AI assistant to biologist Ellery Vas as she traverses the vast oceans of this alien world in search of her partner. Along the way, you will assist Ellery by plotting her courses and gathering data on the terrain and its many lifeforms. Visually, the game goes for a minimalistic approach, choosing to put more focus on your interactions with the world and with Ellery. Your relationship with her will change depending on your actions. Providing bad intel or foolishly lead her into danger, and you will soon find your interactions become quite sour. Download the demo on the campaign page to get a feel for the gameplay yourself.
With just under two weeks left, the project still needs to raise about half of its $31,000 goal. Your support will be integral in helping such a unique game become a reality. You can get yourself a digital copy of the game for just $14. Other rewards include a companion book that provides extra information about the world and its wildlife (available digitally and physically), the game’s soundtrack, and the opportunity to design a creature that will appear in the game along with a complimentary painting of your creation. This three-man development team is currently aiming to release the full game in February of 2020 through Steam or DRM-Free for PC and Mac. A Linux port is also in the works.
It’s hard to ignore the impact that YouTube has had on the media landscape. A whole generation of young people have been raised on the platform as their primary means for consuming media. As such, many YouTubers have become veritable celebrities. However, trends are ever-changing and viewers are a fickle bunch. Numerous channel hosts end up falling into obscurity if they’re not careful. One such individual, now known only as The Lost Subscriber, has click-baited the most popular video-gaming personalities into an alternate dimension known as YouFight. Now, these content creators must become combatants if they hope to free themselves from this prison. Oh, and be sure to Like, Comment and Subscribe!
Subscribe & Punch is a 2D fighting game that serves as a love-letter to YouTube’s most prominent video game streamers. There are four main characters based on the personalities, mannerisms and memes of PewDiePie, Cinnamontoastken, Jacksepticeye and Markiplier. In addition to possessing move-sets based on their real-world counterparts, there are attacks revolving around popular video games as well. The developers of both Goat Simulator and Clustertruck have already given their blessings with many more yet to be revealed. Gameplay revolves around a simple-yet-effective special move and combo system that is solid enough for fighting game fans and accessible enough for newcomers. Check out the demo on the campaign page for a taste of the action.
While there is a little over two weeks remaining, this project has only raised 10% of its $35,500 goal. If you are or know a fighting game fan or a fan of game-streaming YouTubers, show your support in any way you can. This is especially important if they’re going to hit their stretch goal to add three more fighters based on RPGMinx, Cryaotic and the Game Grumps! A copy of the game will only set you back $12 and that includes a digital art book! Generous backers can also obtain Early Access, the soundtrack, and exclusive move-sets. There are even physical goodies like postcards, stickers, t-shirts and hoodies! If all goes well, the full game will release in July of 2019 through Steam or DRM-Free for PC. Mac and Linux builds may arrive later.
Eight years ago, a serial killer known as ChainShaw finally paid for his crimes, but not before snuffing out the life of one last victim, a young woman named Agata Cabot. The deaths of both individuals sent ripples through the normally sleepy town of Cobbheist. In present day, four individuals attempting to move on from that horrific night suddenly find themselves drawn back to those same streets thanks to the supposed suicide of a mutual friend. This quartet of men and women all have scars from their checkered pasts that they would rather keep hidden from prying eyes. Will dealing with the death of a friend bring them closer together or sever the thin threads that connect them forever? The choice is yours.
Alebrijes, a term referring to iconic Mexican sculptures of bizarre animals, is a visual novel that stands out from the pack. Most games in this genre put you in the role of a single person, but this game has four different main characters who all have their own stories that branch in and out of the main narrative. Combine this with the expected diverging pathways from your in-game choices, and you end up with an incredible amount of depth and replay value. In all, this game will feature over 100 combined chapters totaling over 8,000 pages. Across all the branching pathways, you can unlock over 70 different endings; some good, some neutral and some bad. Check out the demo available on the campaign page for a generous serving of what’s in store.
As of this writing, the project has raised about 10% of its $11,000 goal. With just over three weeks to go, there is plenty of time to support this development team, but don’t wait until the last minute. If you’re quick, you can still grab an Early Bird copy of the game for only $14. Higher tiers include rewards such as a total of 16 short stories providing background on the cast of the game, a hand-made necklace and even a chance to create a secondary character to be featured in the game! Current estimates have the full game seeing release around May of 2019. At launch, the game will be available through Steam and DRM-Free for PC, Mac and Linux.
In 1979, Adam, a cryptanalyst working for the CIA, is tasked with cracking Soviet code in an attempt to turn the tide of the Cold War. With pressure mounting, Adam leaves his Boston residence with his wife, Emma, to spend some time in the country to work in a more peaceful environment. While exploring their new woodland home, Adam discovers an old journal kept by the homes original own, Nicolas. Back in 1864, Nicolas has a supernatural encounter while searching for his missing father. Whatever Nicolas unleashed back then has now put Adam and Emma in harm’s way. Can these two men, separated by over 100 years, work together to put and end to this strange phenomenon before it destroys them both?
The Beast Inside is a gorgeous first-person survival horror game that puts you in control of two different characters in two different time periods. You will have access to freely roam the rustic town around your two-story house including an abandoned inn and a shack located in the nearby swamp, among others. In addition, every item is fully interactive, so you will need to search high and low to find all the clues to solve this mystery. Throughout the game, you will need to solve a variety of puzzles and either deal with or run away from an assortment of ghostly enemies. Thanks to the power of the Unreal Engine 4 and the developer’s use of photogrammetry, the game’s visuals are as beautiful as they are terrifying.
Okay, technically, this campaign ends on April 1st, but it seems more fair to talk about it a few days from the start rather than a few days from the end. The project has raised roughly a fifth of its $47,000 goal. That said, your early support is important in maintaining a good momentum. If you hurry, you can pick up an Early Bird tier to get the game for only $20. They’ll also e-mail you a link to the backer-exclusive demo within 24 hours of your pledge. Other reward items include the game’s soundtrack and art book as well as a full length novelization! The developers are hoping for a March of 2019 release date. At launch, the game will be available via Steam for PC only. If reached, stretch goals will unlock ports for PS4 and Xbox One as well.
Of the Kickstarter projects I featured in February, AVARIAvs, Genesis Noir, Vulpine and Perfect Tides were all successfully funded! Alas, Cerebrawl was not as fortunate. Sadly, the developers are unsure if they will be able to continue working on the game. In the event that they relaunch their project on Kickstarter, I will be sure to let you know. Did any of these games strike your fancy? Let us know in the comments or on social media! And, as always, until next month, happy gaming!