I am sad to say that during July of 2014, Kickstarter has hit a bit of a low point in terms of creative and worthwhile Kickstarters that look interesting. Either because of a poor excuse of a pitch video or a poor execution of a worthwhile Kickstarter page in general, July 2014 is sucking for Kickstarters. I was worried that I would have to wait till August to continue these series of articles. Heck, I finally have a lot to talk about in a list I am going to do covering what I consider to be a good or a downright terrible Kickstarter campaign. Luckily, while searching through the terrible campaigns, I have found one that actually has a lot of meaty substance to it! This Kickstarter Shout-out goes to Bacon Man: An Adventure.
The story revolves around our main hero, Bacon Man. He is the son of the recently killed ruler of Nomround, King Roast Beef. Bacon Man is framed for his murder, and is banished to the freezer. It is up to our baconized hero to travel through multiple levels and save the land of Nomround. I don’t have a lot to say about the game’s potential story. It’s cute, and it seems to have a lot of charm. It reminds me of games like the hard-to-find NES cult classic Panic Restaurant, where food is a major theme of the overall game.
Bacon Man is a 2.5D side-scrolling action platformer. You will traverse through multiple worlds on your way to reclaim your throne. Your main form of combat is a simple, but satisfying looking combo of punches and kicks. You can combat enemies on the ground or in the air, which is helpful to fend off against those shrimp valkyries. Early on in the game, you will be able to obtain a toaster gun. You can use this weapon for long-range attacks, or use it to give you that extra air-time so you don’t die a horrible death. They mention in the Kickstarter that you can play this game with local co-op, and will experience a challenging, yet satisfying experience. You will also be able to go to a shop and buy items that increase your strength and health. From what I can tell, the player can choose three other heroes as they have revealed the second playable character to be someone named Feta, a samurai who has a higher attack power but lower health bar. I asked the team who is making this game, what kind of level design they are going for, and they told me that the levels will be more like a traditional 2D platformer, with some levels requiring you to backtrack. To be honest, I am happy they are not trying to make a game similar to Super Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I like those games and all, but I am so sick of indie developers using those two games for inspiration for the level design. It’s good to change things up every so often. The overall design of the game seems solid, and it looks like the guys in charge of the level design know what they are doing.
I like the art style for this game. Some of it reminds me of the art style shown in Cuphead, where some of the character designs seem like something from the 30s or something that Ralph Bakshi would design. I like the look of Bacon Man, but in the alpha footage, his eyes seem pure white, and he comes off looking like he is soulless. I also like the little touches on characters, like the hair on Excaliboar’s shoulders, or how the Tamago has elements of sushi on him. The graphics are colorful, so that is always something enjoyable to see. The music is entertaining, and from the two tracks I have heard, are well composed. It has elements of something Grant Kirkhope or David Wise would do for the games they are working on.
So, do I have any comments or concerns about the game? Why, of course I do! In the Kickstarter video, they mention that the game will be challenging, and that every checkpoint will make you feel like a million dollars. That is fine and all, but hopefully that is true. When a game has check points, you do want to make the player feel good for reaching one. If they are too spread apart, and if it becomes too hard to travel through the levels, then the game becomes a chore to get through. You want your player to say “Whoo! I got to a check point!” and not “Oh, lord I reached a freaking check point. I did not want to go through that part of the level again!” I think, just do some testing to see what the sweet point between fun and frustration is. I also hope that they take more advantage of the settings, and how they can make assets of the levels out of food. With a set-up like this, and how some of the levels are called Pomegranate City, Vegan Valley, and Dairy Zone, you have to take full advantage of the food element in the level design.
I am lucky to have found this game during such a trying month for Kickstarter projects. I hope this doesn’t mean Kickstarter is going to hit some kind of wall in the future, but luckily, while typing this article, I found two other games to write about. Let us hope our meaty friend and the developer Skymap Games can reach their funding goal of $20K, because they are, as of writing this article, at over $9K. You can vote for them on Steam’s Greenlight section. You simply need to dig through many pages to find it. I wish them good luck, and this is why I am giving Bacon Man: An Adventure the Kickstarter Shout-out!