Games that Are Worth Your Time
Every now and then I go through the numerous gaming Kickstarters to see if there are any interesting projects worth talking about. It turns out that there are a fair number of intriguing projects looking for public funding at the moment and I thought I'd share a bunch that might be worth your attention.
Billed as a musical action Rogue-like, Band Saga follows the adventures of two friends who set out to become superstars, but are quickly wrapped up in an intergalactic struggle for their very lives. As players progress through the game, each new city performed in will create a new level for players to blast their way through and each level completed will unlock a new musician for the band. Every playthrough will have a randomly generated soundtrack that will be available for download within the game. The official soundtrack has already been released for streaming and download. The soundtrack also includes a 22 page comic detailing the events leading up to the game illustrated by Gina Chacón.
The project has 14 days remaining and around $19,000 until it reaches its minimum fundraising goal.
Set several generations after large-scale nuclear war, Broken World is a tabletop RPG that aims to tackle the end of the world with a bit more levity than most other games. According to James Claus-Nesbitt, the game's creator, "there should always be a silver lining of humor, no matter how bleak a situation may seem." Broken World places an emphasis on freeform creative problem solving rather traditionally rule heavy turn-based combat. With numerous player classes, mutations, and irradiated horrors/wonders awaiting in the wastelands of the apocalypse, Broken World certainly has my attention. Also, Claus-Nesbitt is a professional illustrator and that means the rule book will contain numerous pieces of artwork to lend the game world a bit of extra flavor. With 15 days left in its campaign, Broken World
has already exceeded its $3,000 initial goal and has begun to take on stretch goals. Currently enough money has been raised for additional illustrations for the Drifter's animal companions, an fully illustrated chapter of boss creatures, an editable .pdf version of character sheets to facilitate online/digital play, over 200 more mutation moves on top of the 100 previous skills, triple the amount of items with more illustrations, and a bunch more extra stuff. The next funding tier will add several pre-made adventuress to ease beginners into the game's system.
The first season of Extrasolar is available for free if you want a better idea of what the second season has in store. However, as you might guess, a free game doesn't really cover development costs for additional seasons, so the team turned to Kickstarter to help them realize their dream. Extrasolar is a game about uncovering mysteries and conspiracies while controlling a robotic rover that has arrived on an alien planet. The rover can take pictures that players can then mark for analysis. The messages and information players receive serve to draw them deeper into the mysteries surrounding the planet of Epsilon Prime. Extrasolar can be played from any browser enabled device, meaning players
can access it on their phones, tablets, or computers. The team behind Extrasolar, Lazy 8 Studios, might be recognized from their indie hit Cogs or from their big budget tie-in BioShock Infinite: Industrial Revolution. Perhaps the neatest thing about Extrasolar is that it is built to be a close to scientifically accurate as possible. The team collaborates with scientists, for example biologist Jane Van Susteren, to present the scientific elements of their game to as close to reality as possible. Extrasolar has 21 days left in its campaign and is a little under $70,000 away from meeting its targeted funding goal.
Combining a first-person perspective with large scale, real-time strategy combat, Flagship puts players in command of an admiral aboard the flagship of a fleet of spaceships. Players will need to be able to manage their fleet, colonize worlds, provide for their people, and expand their influence throughout the galaxy. Flagship explores a bleak future where humanity has been driven
from Earth and entirely exists aboard their space faring-vessels. Space holds many different planets, nebulae, stars, and black holes to investigate and colonize, as well as hostile alien races seeking to annihilate humanity. Capturing planets, researching new technologies, and using experience to level up your ships will be key to surviving. Also, Oculus Rift support has been included from the ground up. Even though the footage of Flagship is pre-alpha and clearly has a long way to go before it is finished, it already looks pretty great and the concept is definitely intriguing. Flagship has 28 days left before its Kickstarter comes to a close. It seems to have a long way to go before it meets its funding goal as well, with roughly £11,600 of its £95,000 goal raised so far (that's roughly $19,000 of their $155,000 goal).
The concept of Judged is pretty simple: Players take on the role of a trial-lawyer who has recently become a judge and desires to be appointed to the State Supreme Court Justice. Players are then tasked with discerning the truth in the cases that are presented to them and delivering verdicts that won't be overturned down the line. An overturned ruling will hurt the judge's chances at realizing their dream of becoming a State Supreme Court Justice. In a pleasant change of pace, the game itself seems to be finished already and the Kickstarter is merely to cover the costs of bringing in pixel artists to redo the placeholder artwork, cover Kickstarter fees, and hiring a programmer to port the game to mobile platforms. With 16 days remaining, Judged has already exceeded its modest $2,000 funding goal and first stretch goal, which
will allow players to customize their judge. The next stretch goal will introduce Jury Trials into the mix.
"How will you be remembered?" asks the team at Kitfox Games in the opening moments of Moon Hunter's Kickstarter promo. Moon Hunters is about building your character's mythology with every decision determining how your character will be remembered by their tribe. Players take on the role of an adventurer trying to solve the mystery of the missing moon in an ancient world full of gods, magic, and monsters. Players can adventure through the world solo or with up to three friends. Moon Hunters will require multiple playthroughs to fully discover the mysteries that surround the missing moon. While normally this would mean starting from scratch each time the game begins, Moon Hunters keeps players previous playthroughs alive by carrying on the myths generated by previous
characters. It's a cool concept. Furthermore, it is a cool concept backed by fantastic in-game artwork. To better understand how Moon Hunters will function, you can check out Dungeons of Fayte, a free local co-op action RPG with town-management elements. Similar gameplay and design has been used in Moon Hunters. Moon Hunters has already raised nearly three times its funding goal and has gone on to meet eight stretch goals that have added new in-game factions, characters, a cooking system, online multiplayer, and a PlayStation 4 version. The next stretch goal is to port the single player to the PlayStation Vita. With 8 days left for the Kickstarter, the Vita version is likely to become a reality.
If wandering a grim, future version of Earth that has been covered in darkness and monsters sounds like fun to you, Noct might be right up your alley. Noct is a top-down multiplayer survival horror shooter with some light RPG elements and permadeath. Dying in Noct means you begin from the beginning. As you explore the wastes, random world events will pop up that can either be beneficial, like a weapons cache, or detrimental, like a gargantuan Eldritch horror. The entire game is viewed as if from a thermal imaging satellite, which lends Noct its signature black and white aesthetic. The project has met its goal with 7 days to go in its campaign.
Pathologic isn't actually a new game. It is a remake of Ice-Pick Lodge's first game from back in 2005 which, while it garnered no small degree of acclaim, was unfortunately only available in Russian. The team has since decided to revisit that earlier title and make it available to a wider audience in English while applying their experience from the last nine years in game design to improve their original work. In Pathologic, players are trapped in a town that is in the process of being infected by a mysterious plague of unknown origins. The disease is highly infectious and deadly, crippling victims both physically and mentally. As one of three doctors, players have twelve days to explore the town, divine its history and the relationships of its denizens, and defeat the plague. One of the core aspects of Pathologic is that players will never be
able to save everybody. There simply isn't enough time to save every person from the plague and time quickly becomes the most valuable resource available. While trying to save the villagers, it is also important to take your character's susceptibility to the plague into account. Is it worth saving a life if the doctor, who could save others, is also put in jeopardy? With 19 days remaining in its Kickstarter and $210,000 out of its $250,000 goal raised it seems likely that the project will be fully funded.
In Phoenix Dawn, players take on the role of a young sorceress named Phoenix in an RPG adventure. The low poly artistic style of Phoenix Dawn contributes to its truly breathtaking paper mache aesthetic. The gameplay relies on mastering fifteen different spells and combining them in unique and interesting ways to obtain more powerful spells. these powerful spells are important to understand as they will be indispensable in battle against the forces of the White Witch and the and demon, Lazarus. Every dungeon found throughout Phoenix Dawn will be randomized for a unique experience every time it is played. Using tools like Metal, Test Flight, and Unity 5, Phoenix Dawn will be playable on iOS devices as well as PC and Mac computers. Phoenix Dawn
has raised $17,640 our of its $33,000 goal and has 11 days remaining. That leaves it in a bit of a precarious position regarding its prospects of achieving full funding, However, it is still worth checking out, since its creator, Eric Trowbridge, claims that he will make the game even if it isn't funded by Kickstarter; it will just take him a longer time to do so.
What do you think of the Kickstarters that are going on right now? Any others that you think deserve some attention? Let us know in the comments!
Feature originally appeared on www.extra-life.org 09/17/14