It always saddens me when I write about a Kickstarter and it doesn’t reach its funding goal. One example is Kaptain Brawe 2: A Space Travesty. I really wanted that game to reach its funding goal because the first game was charming and quirky, but it sadly didn’t. I think one reason it didn’t was even though it has had tried twice to get the game funded, the Kickstarter video was still the same one that was used last time. I think the lack of any actual gameplay footage to show off with temporary voices for the characters is what killed the Kickstarter. These days, you must have something to show off or else you won’t see your funding goal met. I hope Kaptain Brawe 2: A Space Travesty does get made and I wish the developer good luck! Now then, how about we move onto another quirky adventure game that has a playable prototype for you all to try out? This is where Her Majesty's Spiffing: The Empire Staggers Back comes into play. This is a 3D adventure game that not only has voice work, 3D graphics, and a quirky sense of humor, but it also has an actual playable prototype that you can use a controller or keyboard, and it gives possible backers promise that they do have something that is playable and can be shown off. Let’s continue on and see why this game is getting my Kickstarter Shout-out!
The story goes that the Queen of Britain wants to expand her rule, but due to the old ways of conquering and expanding your rule would get your entire country on everyone’s bad side, she has decided to turn to the stars and expand her rule into the universe! You play as Captain Frank Lee English alongside your side kick Aled Jones who must traverse the stars and make sure that anything you run into will accept the fact that they will be bowing down to a queen from another planet and drink an unknown amount of tea. I think if the developer wants to have an enjoyable story, they will have to go with British humor that anyone can enjoy. I say this because British-style humor has always been a mixed bag with some people like Monty Python being able to pull it off and be funny while shows like the original “The Office” didn’t really make me laugh. I know humor is subjective, but I think if they look at games like the Space Quest franchise, they will be able to pull off an enjoyable story with clever humor.
Her Majesty Spiffing is a 3D adventure game that is more in the spirit of what Telltale Games are doing these days. You will like I said, control Frank Lee English as you traverse across your spaceship and to probably expect, different planets solving inventory style puzzles to help you progress through the story. In the playable prototype, it is mostly focused in Frank and Aled’s space craft, which looks awesome. The controls felt solid and I played with a PC controller and had a lot of fun going around the ship and solving the puzzles. There will also be little mini games that will pop up from time to time to break up the adventure game elements.
From what I have seen of the game in action, I liked how the game looked! I am always very impressed when indie developers tackle 3D games and you know, make it look good. Take note of anyone trying to make a 3D game on Steam, actually make sure your 3D game looks good or else you will be torn apart with understandable criticism. I also think it helps that the art style is more cartoony than realistic. Again, these days, art style should be more important than being super-duper realistic looking. The game definitely captures that quirky sci-fi vibe without having to be super gimmicky or immature. If you love games like the Space Quest series or Kaptain Brawe, then you will like the look and the vibe of this game.
So, any concerns? Since this Kickstarter is only going to cover episode one, the concern will be of hoping the game will sell enough to warrant a second episode. I also hope that the story is enjoyable through each episode. I don’t want to finish one episode, buy the second one, and then be a little disappointed. Adventure games going episodic is always a risky business decision since some companies like Telltale Games rely on it while delivering each episode about monthly. However, some indie developers don’t have that time and money like the guys who made The Journey Down just released their second episode to the game this year. It’s a risk, but I do hope they can make enough to see Frank Lee English make it through his journey to the very end.
Overall, I really like this Kickstarter. I love the setting, the characters, and that the developer had the foresight to relaunch this Kickstarter with a playable prototype. The Kickstarter is about halfway through funding for its £30K funding goal and is currently at over £17K. If you love adventure games and are waiting for Double Fine Productions to finish Broken Age’s second act and are also waiting for Spaceventure, then I think you should check this project out. Congrats Billy Goat Entertainment, Her Majesty's Spiffing gets my Kickstarter Shout-out!
(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)