Have you seen this Kickstarter? Apr. 2017

Have you seen this Kickstarter? Apr. 2017

Kickstarter and its generous community have brought the video gaming world some top-notch entertainment over the last few years.  Games like Yooka-Laylee, 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 Sundered 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 April 2017:


Pine

Our story is set in a world where humanity never asserted itself as the dominant species.  As such, other wildlife was given the opportunity to master the use of tools and language.  With so much competition for survival, humans soon found their numbers dwindling.  You will assume the role of Hue; a resourceful young man who has arrived on the vibrant and luscious island of Albamare in the hopes of finding a new settlement for humanity.  Danger lurks around every corner, so Hue will need to be smart about how he proceeds.  Whether he forms alliances or rivalries with the other races on the island is up to you.

Pine is an open-world adventure game with an emphasis on exploration and player choice.  While the story is linear, where you go and how you choose to act will alter certain variables allowing you to create an experience that best fits your play style.  How you interact with other creatures will dictate not just how they behave, but also how they evolve.  A race’s speed, strength and temperament can all be influenced by your actions.  To stay ahead of the curve, you will need to explore the various ruins on the island in search of artifacts that will grant you new abilities which can improve your combat prowess or open up new areas to explore.

At the moment, the campaign is about 60% of the way to its goal.  With just a little more than a week to go, your support will be critical in helping to make this game a reality.  A pledge of just $20 will get you a digital copy of the game.  A larger contribution will grant you extra goodies such as the game’s soundtrack or art book;  as well as backer-exclusive artifact and character skins.  The developers are aiming for release around November of 2018.  At launch, the game will be available through Steam or DRM-Free on Windows, Mac and Linux.  Console versions for PS4, XB1 and Switch could be possible at a later date.


Sacred Fire

At the height of power of the Roman empire, their forces controlled most of Great Britain.  However, the Romans were never able to fully invade Northern Scotland or, as the they called it, Caledonia.  The Caledonian tribes rooted themselves to their land and resisted Rome’s advances time and again.  Rome tells a very biased story of their conflict with Caledonia, but historians still don’t really know what happened back then.  You will assume the role of a Caledonian tribes-person.  War with Rome has been waging your whole life, and a vicious new Queen has risen to power with a hunger for bloodshed.  Will you join her in her fight to wipe out the Romans? Or will you forge your own path towards forgiveness and peace?  Caledonia’s history is yours to write.

Sacred Fire is a story-driven RPG that focuses less on combat,  and more on character development.  While there is conflict in the game, victory is not decided by Attack and Defense stats, but rather traits such as Conviction, Anger, Compassion and Fear.  Anyone can swing a sword, but WHY the sword is being swung is what really matters in this game.  The choices you make during interactions with other characters will not just affect you, but everyone around you.  You and your allies will need to overcome physical, mental and social obstacles in order to survive in this dangerous time.  The decisions you make could forge unlikely bonds or even shatter friendships.  With the path you choose to travel lead to victory, death or both?

With a week and a half remaining, this project is just over 50% funded.  Be sure to show your support for this unique RPG experience while you can.  You can pick up a digital copy of the game for as little as $20.  Other rewards include a limited edition physical copy of the game, and even a personalized voicemail message from the game’s narrator, Doug Cockle (the voice of Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series)!  The full version of the game will be available in Spring of 2018 through Steam or DRM-Free for Windows, Mac and Linux.


Starfighter Inc.

It is often said that within every piece of fiction therein lies a bit of fact.  However, in the popular genre of Science-Fiction, most stories focus more on the fiction than the science.  The developers behind this game are hoping to change that with their “hard science” approach to space travel.  You won’t find any kinetic shields, teleporters or artificial gravity here; everything is rooted as firmly in reality as possible.  Of course, even though this game is keeping it real, there is still plenty of fun to be had in a scientifically accurate life among the stars.  Grab your friends, hop into your ships,  and get ready to stake your claim in this realistic glimpse into one of our possible futures.

At it’s core, Starfighter Inc. is a skill-based competitive multiplayer flight simulator.  Mega corporations own much of the resources beyond our solar system, and they rely on private military and mercenary forces to protect their investments.  You will have the choice of which company to work for, and your performance in battle will directly impact their influence.  You can choose a single-pilot ship or a multi-crew ship giving you and your friends the option to manage everything yourself, or divide responsibilities between teammates.  Victories will award you credits which can be used to upgrade your ship or purchase new ones.  For those on the cutting edge of technology, this game will also be compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and OSVR.

This campaign has already reached 50% of its funding goal, but there are just two weeks remaining to earn the rest.  Get your contributions in early, and help to spread the word about this project.  A copy of the game will cost you $25, but will automatically include backer-exclusive content that will not be available outside of the Kickstarter campaign.  Higher tiers are offering extras such as additional pilot or ship skins, t-shirts, and even a physical copy of the game.  The full version of the game is planned for an April 2018 release window only through Steam and only for Windows.  Mac and Linux versions will be offered at a future date.


Attack on Kitten

The Cat Kingdom is home to cats born with magical abilities.  It is a land full of fun and tranquility.  Certain individuals are chosen to assume the mantle of Cat Knight who are sworn to uphold the peace and safety of the kingdom, and its inhabitants.  Recently, there has been rumors of a strange fish that has been spotted off the coast.  A newly recruited Cat Knight named Kat is sent to investigate these claims.  She soon discovers that a goldfish called Xerxes has amassed an army of fish warriors in an attempt to invade the Cat Kingdom.  Kat will need to call on the aid of powerful “weapon cats” in order to stand a chance of stopping the invasion.

If you are a fan of the classic 16-bit side-scrolling action games of the past, then Attack on Kitten is the game for you.  Gameplay is fast-paced like the MegaMan series, but with some light Metroidvania-style exploration thrown into the mix.  As Kat, you will be traversing through a variety of stages in search of the “weapon cats”.  Each one will grant you new abilities, and combat techniques which you will need to defeat the boss of each area.  The game also features an impressive chip-tune soundtrack to really help give the overall experience a truly retro feel.  Not convinced?  Download the demo on the campaign page and try it out for yourself.

There are just over three weeks left to help fund the project.  Still, the team really needs your help as they have yet to even reach the 10% mark.  Tell your retro-loving friends about this project, and show your support.  For just $15, you can grab a digital copy of the game as well as a SNES-inspired digital instruction booklet.  Larger contributions will award you with one-of-a-kind concept artwork, a figurine of Kat or even the chance to add your own cat into the game!  If successfully funded, the game is planned for a February 2018 release window via Steam or DRM-Free on Windows only.  Stretch goals could add Mac and Linux versions to the launch line-up as well.


Touchdown: Armor League

It’s not hard to see that the world of eSports has grown considerably over the last few years.  Games like Overwatch have introduced exciting, fast-paced gameplay that almost makes traditional sports, like football and basketball, seem slow and boring by comparison.  Audiences are gathering in greater numbers in order to behold the spectacle of this new breed of competition games. In fact, we may soon see a day where eSports tournaments even outshine events like the Super Bowl.  To compete in this new arena of entertainment, developer Ares Games is attempting to merge the traditions of classic American football with the over-the-top frenetic energy of games like Rocket League in their new game,  Touchdown: Armor League.

Touchdown: Armor League gives us a glimpse at what EA’s Madden series will look like in the year 3000.  This is a 6-v-6 competitive multiplayer experience where the primary goal is still to get the ball across the opposing team’s goal line.  However, to up the ante, players will be outfitted with power suits specifically built to compliment the different positions on your team. Speeder Suits allow for quick breakaways, Commander Suits are solid, all-rounder units, Shield Suits offer enhanced defense and hulking Juggernaut Suits provide brutal offensive capabilities.  Each unit is also equipped with machine guns, rockets, grenades, and even grapple hooks in order to take down the opposition.  To stand out on the field, you will also be able to customize your power armor with different paint schemes, decals, and victory dances.

This campaign just started, so they have a whole month to reach their funding goal.  Having said that, it is still critical to show your support early and to start spreading the word now in order to keep the momentum going all month long.  A single copy of the game (including beta access) can be yours for $19 or grab a bundle of six copies for only $79.  Other rewards include backer-exclusive weapon and player skins, the chance to design your own in-game armor decals, or even to choreograph your own victory dance.  The release window is currently set for November of this year only through Steam and only for Windows.  The game will also be available digitally for PS4 and XB1 in the first quarter of 2018.


Addendum:

Among the games I featured in March, Anew: The Distant Light, Ama’s Lullaby and Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant all successfully met their funding goals!  Unfortunately, FictionSphere and Daymare: 1998 were not as lucky. Luckily, both developers are pushing forward with possible campaign relaunches somewhere down the line.  As always, if either campaign resurfaces, I will be sure to let you know.  Thank you for your time and your interest.  Until next month, happy gaming!

Tekkaman-James

James' obsession with games began at just two years old when he received his Atari 2600. He has since amassed a large collection of both games and consoles spanning from that very first Atari through to the Wii U. A Sega fanboy at heart, he has since migrated to Nintendo Land with frequent visits to both XBox-ville and Sony Town. While he once boasted an impressive collection of Commodore 64 games, his foray into modern computer gaming only began about a year ago when he finally acquired a gaming-ready PC.

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