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 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 generous people like you.
Here are five such potential games-to-be with campaigns ending in the month of July 2017:
Our story takes place in an alternate timeline that sees an alien spacecraft crash land in the Bavarian Alps in the late 1930’s. An expedition, led by an aging Nikola Tesla, finds that the vessel is filled with technology far beyond our own. The ship’s engines even have the ability to transport matter across great distances nearly instantly. Before Tesla’s team can finish cataloguing their findings, Nazi soldiers commandeer the vessel and begin creating new weaponry that escalates their war efforts incredibly. By 1943, they have overtaken Europe and Asia and are beginning a strike on America. On his death bed, Tesla uses a device he modeled after the craft’s engines to transfer his mind back in time into the body of his younger self. Now, Tesla must correct his mistakes and prevent the Nazi forces from achieving world domination.
Eon Break is a visually striking 2D side-scrolling Metoidvania with heavy emphasis on puzzle solving. As Tesla, you will need to utilize your array of gadgets to navigate various locations and combat enemies. The HALO Apparatus for Advanced Movement can be used to perform maneuvers such as double-jumps, wall grabs and short-range teleportation. The TEAR, or Tesla Electric Assault Rifle, is a powerful death ray that can trap objects in a trans-dimensional pocket and release them at will. Lastly, is the Life-Support Droid (LSD), an autonomous support robot able to emit a bubble that can distort space and slow down time. New technology can be found throughout the game to upgrade your equipment giving you access to new areas and the means to overpower terrible bosses, both Nazi and alien.
If this sounds interesting, you’d best back this project now! With less than a week remaining, and only a third of their goal secured, your support is needed right away. A pledge of $15 will get you a special Kickstarter Edition of the game which includes an exclusive bonus area that houses a unique device which won’t be available outside of the campaign. Generous backers will also receive bonus goodies such as the game’s soundtrack, a hint book, exclusive skins and even the chance to design an enemy to be featured in the game. The developers are aiming for release around Winter of this year. At launch, the game will be available digitally through Steam for both Windows and Mac.
In Norse mythology, the gods that ruled over mankind originate from one of two realms; Asgard or Vanaheim. The gods of Asgard tend to lean towards brute force and weaponry while the gods of Vanaheim wield magic. Our story is set within the realm of Vanaheim and focuses on a young man named Lear who, despite showing no aptitude for magic, enrolls in the Magic School of Regnant City in the hopes of finding purpose in his life. Outside the halls of the school, the Regnalia Empire is waging war with its long-time ally, the Empire of Elberia. Unbeknownst to the citizens caught in the crossfire, the mischievous god Loki is to blame for this sudden hostility. Lear and his friends don’t yet know the role they will play in this conflict, but they soon will.
Celestrial Faith: Elythia’s Curse is a Japanese-style RPG that is boasting 30+ hours of gameplay. As you would expect, you will be tasked with traveling around the game world interacting with NPCs and engaging in combat with enemies. However, rather than the traditional turn-based battle system used by most JRPGs, this game utilizes a more action-oriented side-scrolling battle system reminiscent of a fighting game. Outside of the main story, there will be numerous side-quests you can complete in order to earn rare items and equipment. There will also be robust fishing, cooking and crafting systems which will help to extend the life of the game for all of you completionists out there. All in all, this is a very ambitious project that keeps the essential features of a classic JRPG and swaps out or inserts new features to help break up the tedium of the genre.
There is less than two weeks remaining in this campaign, and there is still a long way to go towards funding development of the game. Go ahead and grab a copy of the game for just $15, or donate even more in order to obtain additional rewards such as the game’s soundtrack, a strategy guide, exclusive items and character skins or even the chance to create an NPC that will appear in the game. The team are hoping to release the full version of the game in January of 2018. At launch, the game will be available digitally for both Windows and Mac. A release on mobile platforms could be possible some time later.
It’s the late 1970’s and a plucky linguistics PhD student recently learned that a language long thought to be extinct may still be in use in a small village deep in Siberia. So, the aspiring linguist makes their way deep into the heart of the Soviet Union in search of this mysterious point of interest. Upon arriving in Russia, a strange twist of fate results in our student coming into possession of a head-mounted device with the power to translate any language it sees or hears into the wearer’s native tongue. Donning the contraption, they board the next train bound for Siberia. Strangely, there are only twelve other passengers and each one speaks a different language than the last. What could lead these thirteen different individuals to this one train?
All the Hidden Corners is a very unique point-and-click adventure game with a focus on puzzle solving. Assuming the role of the linguistics student, you will be tasked with interacting with the other twelve passengers in order to figure out what they all have in common and what has brought them to this train. The universal translator on your head allows you to understand each passenger, but the device is unable to translate your words back to them. With just your body language, you will need to get the information you need to unravel the mystery. You will need to be careful how you proceed as your actions will affect your trust level with each of the passengers. Higher trust will grant you access to more secrets, so you will need to do your best not to upset your fellow train mates.
There are three weeks left to show your support for this project. As of this writing, there are less than thirty backers, so they have a lot of ground to cover in order to reach their funding goal. For just $15, you can get a copy of the game. Higher reward tiers include additional perks like the game’s soundtrack, a PS2-era instruction manual/strategy guide, an exclusive set of postcards or even the opportunity to create a custom item that will be on display somewhere in the train. The currently projected release date for the full version of the game is April of 2018. At launch, the game will be available digitally through Steam or DRM-Free for both Windows and Mac. Ports of the game for Xbox One and PS4 will be available after the initial PC launch.
In the not-so-distant future, humanity has finally progressed to the point that it is ready to embark on a journey to planets outside of our home solar system. The Galactic Coalition, an organization formed by scientific communities from across the globe, is in the process of staging this new age of exploration from aboard the most advanced space station to date, the massive and marvelous Infinity Command. You will assume the role of the newest Astro-Explorer, an inter-stellar pioneer who will be tasked with surveying the numerous exo-planets in our universe. Your first stop will be Proxima B, the closes known world to our solar system. From there, the choice on where you travel next is yours to make. It’s time to forge a new path for all of humanity.
Space Odyssey is an incredibly ambitions game from the brilliant mind of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He has assembled an all-star team of astronomers, astrophysicists and former NASA astronauts to assist him in creating the most scientifically accurate space exploration game to date. On top of that, the worlds you will be exploring will be created by visionaries such as Bill Nye, Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin. You’ll be able to leave your mark on the universe as well with the ability to customize your ship, your flight suit and even the ability to create your own planets using real science. Tyson and his team will be portrayed in the game as well and will be able to offer you assistance and words of wisdom if you run into hardships like environmental disasters, asteroids or even indigenous predatory wildlife. No one said being a pioneer was easy, but it can still be fun.
As of this writing, three weeks remain to back this project. They are half of the way to their funding goal, but they still need a significant surge of support to cross the finish line. A pledge of $29, will get you access to the game’s beta as well as the finished version. In the beta, your feedback will help to form the game into the best version possible. A larger contribution will reward you with cool items like a backer-exclusive in-game helmet, concept art prints and even some collectible items signed by NDT himself! The full version of the game is anticipated for release in August of 2018. At launch, the game will be available digitally for both Windows and Mac. VR-exclusive features will be available as well for supported headsets.
The world of Tierannia is in ruin. The atmosphere has been poisoned by decades of war and pollution and the few remaining cities are under the rule of the affluent and malicious elitist class. Obedience is rewarded at the price of freedom and many are unwilling to give that up, resulting in the occasional conflict between the poor and the powerful. Danny Diaz is a wide-eyed electrical engineer who has just been offered a promising career in the big city. Not long after arriving, he finds himself in the middle of an revolt. Taking cover in a nearby lab, Danny discovers Sri, a captive alien girl with the unique ability of Sol Binding which allows her race to inhabit the body of another. Danny suddenly finds himself tasked with reuniting his new stow-away with her kind and, somehow, preventing the destruction of both of their worlds in the process.
Sol Bound is a jaw-droppingly gorgeous 2D pixel-art action/adventure game. Thanks to being fused with Sri, Danny is able to use her unique abilities to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Sol is the energy that exists within all living things and, thanks to Sri, Danny is able to manipulate that energy giving him the ability to leap high into the air and even shoot electricity from his fingertips. Danny can even temporarily transfer Sri into another host, allowing her to take control of them for a short time. Aside from combat and exploration, Danny will also be interacting with the citizens of Tierannia in order to gather information and learn about the inner-workings of his world. He can also call on his friends, the Radioactives, a group of engineers, electricians and coders, to help him get out of tough situations. With support from friends like these, saving the world should be a piece of cake! Right?
With a little more than three weeks remaining, this campaign has a lot of ground to cover. Show your support and spread the word to help this project become a reality. For as little as $10, you can grab a digital copy of the game. A bigger contribution will get you some awesome bonuses such as the game’s soundtrack, a digital or physical art book, as well as the ability to add your favorite pet (or yourself) to the game. The development team is aiming for a release window around December of 2018. At launch, the game will be available digitally through Steam or DRM-Free for Windows, Mac and Linux. Console versions may also be possible at a later date.
Of the Kickstarter projects I featured in June, Staflint: The Blackhole Prophecy and Ash of Gods both successfully met their funding goals! Unfortunately, Project Rap Rabbit, Rise of Mooncrest and Savage: Road to Darkness were not as lucky. While the devs teams, for the most part, will continue moving forward in their spare time, Rise of Mooncrest may have met its end. This is why supporting indie developers is so critical. That said, if any of these three campaigns resurface, I will be sure to let you know.
On the subject of past projects, a Japanese-inspired tactical RPG I featured back in July of 2015 has finally been released! Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is available on Steam and GOG right now! Be sure to check it out!
Until next month, happy gaming!