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 with campaigns ending in the month of October 2017:
Long ago, humanity was locked in conflict as warring nations assaulted one another in a desperate bid for dominance. Advanced weaponry was utilized in order to cripple opposing forces and turn the tides of the war. Alas, as nations crumbled, societies fell and technology failed, it would be man himself that would pay the price in the end. Humanity was brought to the brink of extinction. Many long years have passed since then and free, independent states have taken shape. A new age of invention and exploration has begun as curious adventurers search the ruins of our ancestors for resources and relics of the past while builders work on creating new tools to help improve the overall quality of life. Will this new dawn of civilization fall into the same traps as their ancestors? Only time will tell.
My Time at Portia is an open-world adventure game with a heavy focus on collecting resources and building different tools and structures. As the newest resident, and budding builder, in the quaint town of Portia, you will be able to make money by taking on commissions for things the townsfolk need. You will also be able to interact with the various people living in and around the town allowing you to build a rapport with each of them. Play your cards right, and you might even be able to spark up some romance as well. Taking a page from games such as Stardew Valley and Dark Cloud, as well as a colorful Studio Ghibli-inspired aesthetic, this game will catch your eye as well as your attention as you work toward forging your own unique path in this vibrant world. Don’t believe me? Check out the game’s alpha demo and see for yourself!
As of this writing, there are just five short days left to help this game become a reality. The project is very close to meeting its goal, so your contribution could be the one that makes this campaign a success story. You can get a Steam key for as little as $20 or a console key for just $25. Larger donations will award you with backer-exclusive weapons and clothing or even t-shirts, posters and plushies. The developers are aiming for a late Summer 2018 release window on PC with the console versions coming in Winter 2018. The game will be available via Steam or DRM-Free for PC and Mac as well as digitally for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Ancient texts speak of a time when God’s light reached out across all the land. Alas, the world of today is cloaked in the shadow of wickedness and suffering. The only thread connecting to that glorious past is an ominous structure known as the Temple. At its core, the holy light is said to shine still. However, the outer layers have become host to countless horrors formed from the corpses of all those who have attempted to reach the center. Templar knights train for years to join squads tasked with destroying the hellish denizens of the Temple in an attempt to reclaim the building and achieve salvation. So far, no one who has entered has ever returned. Now, for reasons unclear, a young Templar knight has decided to venture inside alone. Will she find the answers that she seeks? Or is death the only thing awaiting her within?
Dark Devotion is a side-scrolling Rougelike action-RPG that borrows heavily from Dark Souls and Castlevania. You will face innumerable challenges on your journey through three massive levels before reaching the fourth level at the Temple’s center. You will uncover a wide assortment of loot in the form of weapons, armor, potions and magical items. Each piece of equipment has different abilities and stats which can be enhanced through the use of runes. You will need to choose your gear wisely in order to defeat the powerful enemies you will face. Your victories will reward you with Faith, a precious resource you will be able to use to uncover secret areas, unlock sealed chests and more. If you’re lucky, you may even come across other people who can assist you with your quest by providing precious information or valuable services like weapon crafting. Are you up for the challenge? If so, why not try out the game’s demo?
The campaign has already raised three quarters of the funding goal. With a bit more than a week remaining, every little bit will help to ensure that the project will become a success. You can pick up a copy of the game for just $14. Higher reward tiers include extras such as the game’s soundtrack and beta access or even the chance to design a curse, a blessing or an NPC that will be featured within the game. The team is currently aiming for a release around April of 2018. At launch, the game will be available on Steam or DRM-Free through GOG for PC, Mac and Linux.
Our story centers on Jennifer Chevalier, a young woman living in Paris during the early 1920’s. Just as she is starting to make a name for herself as an artist, her world is turned upside-down by the sudden death of her father. The police are calling his death an accident, but Jennifer refuses to believe that it is anything short of murder. Determined to uncover the truth, she attempts to use her childhood gift of talking to spirits to call upon her father’s ghost. Through a twist of fate, she ends up summoning the ghost of legendary playwright Oscar Wilde. While not the person she was hoping for, Wilde agrees to help her to solve this mystery. Little do they know that the trail to her father’s killer will lead them across France, England and Ireland.
Jennifer Wilde is a point-and-click adventure game based on the award-winning comic book of the same name. In the game, you will assume control of both Jennifer and Wilde as you interact with your environment in search of clues. As an artist, Jennifer will draw sketches portraying the various details they uncover. You will be able to mix and match these drawings to create comic-style pages showing the sequence of events. These pages can then be shown to the people you speak to in order help them recall a related memory or catch them in a lie. The story will also take different branching pathways depending on your choices. The visuals for the game are a blending of traditional hand-drawn comic art and 3D models all presented in black and white. For a taste of what this game has to offer, be sure to check out the game’s demo.
There is slightly less than two weeks left to back this project, and they have earned about half of their goal so far. Be sure to show your support any way you can. A digital copy of the game can be earned for as little as $14 with bigger rewards like PDF copies of the original comics, the game’s artbook and soundtrack, and even original art sketches. The developers are planning to release the game in November of 2018. Upon release, the game will be available via Steam or DRM-Free for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The benevolent Crimson Goddess Sorrell and the stoic Lord Zealock ruled over the dual worlds of man and gods for ages. One day, Sorell revealed she had fallen in love with a mortal and was leaving the land of the gods to live with her beloved. Lord Zealock was so outraged that he declared war on humankind. The Great Conflict lasted for decades and only came to an end when Sorell gave up her life to create a barrier between the two worlds. Now, a young orphan named Flynn has started showing signs of manipulating crimson energy. As the seal between worlds begins to crack, Flynn is the only one with the power to combat the dark forces sneaking through. Could the secrets of his past be hidden somewhere in the corrupted land of the gods?
Flynn: Son of Crimson is a side-scrolling action platformer with a focus on fast-paced combat. Flynn uses his evolving power in a variety of ways; the Crimson Blade lets him attack quickly and initiate dashes, the Crimson Axe can break through armored foes or destroy obstacles, the Crimson Claw allows him to climb walls and drill into the ground, and the Crimson Bow gives him access to numerous ranged attacks. Flynn can travel the world on foot or on the back of his loyal hound, Dex. In addition to the main story, Flynn can also visit a hub town where he can upgrade his abilities and take on side missions for the townspeople. He’s going to need all the help he can get if he has any hope of defeating Lord Zealock and his twisted army.
With about two and a half weeks to go, the campaign has already raised two-thirds of its goal, but your support is still critical in order to keep the momentum going strong. A contribution of just $15 will get you a digital copy of the game. Donate more to unlocked extras such as the game’s soundtrack and art book. Generous backers can also design their own NPC or even create a secret room or quest. The developers are aiming to release the game around February of 2019. At launch, the game will be available via Steam or DRM-Free for PC and Mac. Versions for PS4 and Xbox One may be possible if the project makes enough money.
Izzy is a tough chick who likes getting into fights, but she also has a feminine side shown by her love for fashion. No matter the occasion, she always has the perfect outfit to match. One day, much to her surprise, strange creatures suddenly begin appearing all across the land. Never one to back down from a fight, she straps on her butt-kicking boots and sets out to bash these baddies to a pulp. After putting a few of these freaks into their place, she discovers these creatures possess strange pink crystals. Upon touching the shards, Izzy becomes infused with incredible power. Not only is she able to move faster, jump higher and hit harder, but she can fire pink energy fireballs out of her hands. These monstrous meanies are in deep trouble now!
Intrepid Izzy is a 2D action-platformer with combat straight out of an old-school beat-em-up. As Izzy, you will be traversing at least six sprawling levels fighting enemies and unlocking different outfits. Each costume will give Izzy access to new abilities including wall-jumping, limited flight, and different sets of attacks. She will need to utilize all of these powers to take down each level’s boss as well as uncover all of the game’s secrets. Boasting smooth animation and vibrant high resolution visuals, this game walks the line between “new” and “classic”. Speaking of classic, did I mention that this game is being made for the Sega Dreamcast by the same development team that created Beats of Rage? Well, it most definitely is!
While there is still three weeks left to back this project, the campaign has only raised about a third of the requested funds. You can pick up a digital PC version for as low as $18 or you can cash in for a physical Dreamcast version (with full-color manual) for just $36. Other possible rewards include the game’s soundtrack and artbook as well as a collectible statue of Izzy herself. You can even get the chance to create your own NPC for the game if you’re feeling really generous. The developers are planning to launch the game in November of 2018. Upon release, the game will be available digitally on Steam for PC and physically on Dreamcast. A version for PS4 is also planned if the campaign raises enough money.
Of the games I featured in September, The Iron Oath, Lona: Realm of Colors and Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond have all successfully met their funding goals. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for RoVR or Rubi: The Wayward Mira. The developers of Rubi are pressing onward with the support of Patreon. Sadly, the developers of RoVR have completely fallen silent. This adorable game concept may never see the light of day. Of course, as always, I will be sure to let you know if either of these projects decide to relaunch on Kickstarter.
On the subject of past projects, a point-and-click adventure/horror game I featured back in June of 2015 has finally been released! Tokyo Dark is available on Steam right now! Be sure to check it out! Until next month, happy gaming!