Kickstarter Shout-out: Five Varied Kickstarters To Check Out!

 photo five01.jpg Many times, I have seen the Kickstarter page get filled up with projects that are pretty much all the same. Sure, some might look different, but in the end, they are all the same game. Either a MMO that has no rules, or another zombie-filled game that will probably end up going to the pile of poor-looking and not fun zombie games you see on Early Access or on Steam. Luckily, Kickstarter picked up steam recently with a lot of interesting and varied games, including Thimbleweed Park by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick! This article will be yet another Kickstarter Shout-out covering multiple Kickstarters! How about we get started, since I have five interesting projects that you will all surely love to hear about?

Kelvin and the Infamous Machine

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This 2D-point-and-click adventure game revolves around a scientist named Dr. Edwin Lupin, who made the first ever time machine. And yes, it does look like a portable shower. Unfortunately, the time machine gets labeled as the lamest invention of the year, causing Dr. Edwin to go nuts and destroy time itself! Can you, as Kelvin, the doctor’s assistant, save the timeline, or will everything vanish from existence?

Kelvin and the Infamous Machine is, like I mentioned, an adventure game where you will go across different periods in time with the main game having you go to the periods of Isaac Newton, Beethoven, and Leonardo da Vinci. The game will have stretch goals where more timelines are added. You will be doing the usual adventure game gameplay, solving puzzles that will help you progress through the story. Of course, this being an adventure game, the solutions might be a little silly or obtuse at first, but make sense in a weird and humorous way.

Graphically, the game looks good! I like the cartoon art style that reminds me of what a lot of popular cartoon shows look like right now like “Regular Show” and “Gravity Falls.” The music sounds quirky, and I bet throughout the different timelines, we will have catchy and eccentric sounding tunes. My only real concern is that while I know this game will probably be funded, it might not stand out enough for adventure games. Since so many are released these days, you have to make sure you’ve got enough unique elements to make sure you aren’t going to be compared to other adventure games in a bad way. Other than that, I like the vibe and the promise this game holds. If you are unsure about investing cash into this game, they have a playable demo, and it has gotten positive first impressions. The game’s funding goal is $20K and it is slightly over halfway of that goal. If you love adventure games and quirky humor, you should really check this game out.

(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)

Buck & Miles

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Buck & Miles is a retro 2D platformer, where you either play as Buck, a truck driver, or Miles, a pilot, who must get their lost cargo back from an evil villain known as Baron. You can play this game with one or the other character, or as a fun bonus, tackle the game’s 10 worlds as both characters in some satisfying looking co-op action! You will also be able to use a multitude of power-ups, and even combine them to your liking. You will be able to unlock hidden levels and worlds as you traverse an overworld that is designed like the one you find in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES.

The game has bright, colorful, and well-animated pixel art graphics, and music from three different composers like Jake Kaufman of Shovel Knight fame, Eric Shumaker of Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Alexander Brandon of Deus Ex and Jazz Jack Rabbit fame, and the popular internet composer Brentalfloss. I will say the only concern I have is that while I love the tribute to retro gaming, I hope it can still feel fresh without having to rely too much on its retro vibe. When I first heard about this game, I didn’t really think much of it, but after seeing the gameplay and the talent behind it, I have full faith that this team can put together a satisfying retro gaming experience. Its funding goal in US currency is $67K, and it is currently at over $3K in US currency if you translate it from its Swedish Krona value. All I have to say is congrats Astrojone, Buck & Miles gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!

(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)

Crossing Souls

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Crossing Souls is a top-down action-adventure-puzzle game where you play as a group of kids who encounter an artifact of mysterious powers called the DUAT stone, and will be able to cross between the realms of the living and the dead. The game is inspired by the likes of the original The Legend of Zelda. Each of the five kids have their own unique abilities, like one is more agile, one kid can use long-range weaponry, and another kid is stronger and can push heavy objects.

The game’s graphics, while sprite-based, look nice and it just oozes 80s and 80s-style films like “Monster Squad,” “Goonies,” and “Flight of the Navigator.” I also love the bright and vibrant color palette! Everything really pops! My only real issue with seeing the game so far is that the 2D animated cutscenes could use a better art style. I love the fact they are using 2D animation, but I wish they could have a little more time to polish up the art style. Other than that, this looks like another very promising video game Kickstarter! The game’s funding goal is $45K and it is currently at over $26K. If you love top-down The Legend of Zelda-style games, and adore the vibe of the 80s, then you should check this game out! Congrats Fourattic! Crossing Souls gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!

(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)

Hollow Knight

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Hollow Knight is a grim and atmospheric Metroivania-style action game where you play as, well, Hollow Knight as you go through this forgotten kingdom of bugs that has been buried under the earth. If you love games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Dust: An Elysian Tale, you will know what to expect here with tough, but fast-paced 2D action, a huge connected world, interesting characters, the ability to go into people’s dreams, hidden secrets, the ability to upgrade your items, and tough bosses.

I love the look of the game. This is how to make 2D animation look great. It reminds me of games from Vanillaware, where they really do flex how good you can make 2D animation look. The world around you has an eerie and mysterious atmosphere. It looks somber in tone, and I wonder if you will be double-checking yourself to make sure you didn’t just see some unknown creature in the shadows. My only real concern for this specific game is that while the world itself looks great, I hope it gives the gamer enough reason to go exploring everywhere. I see a lot of Kickstarters do level design like this, and I am on the fence about the overall open-ended level design. The combat also needs to be satisfying and challenging throughout the entire game or else combat will get boring. Other than that, this looks like a really promising and interesting game! I know it’s another open-ended exploration action game, and we have seen a lot of those on Kickstarter, but it looks like it’s going to be a high quality product. The funding goal is $35K, and it is currently over $14K in Australian cash. If you love 2D action games with an emphasis on exploration, you should definitely check this game out! Congrats Team Cherry! Hollow Knight gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!

(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)

Americana Dawn

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To finish up this list, here is a very cool Japanese-style RPG that is inspired by American history and folklore. Americana Dawn is about a young man named Foster, who is actually the spirit of the sea. He has lived in secrecy for many years in the Shenandoah Valley, until he is recruited by the provincial militia. The journey then begins as the story goes across three different wars, and Foster fights foes who were once friends, one of many typical RPG story tropes. The gameplay is of an RPG that, instead of trying to be like the old Final Fantasy games, is instead like the cult favorite franchise, Suikoden. You will be taking control of three characters in battle, and of course, each of your party members has unique abilities. There are no random battles, and experience is gained by skill. The game also includes other elements of, where you control mass armies in simple tactical battles.

Graphically, I love the look of the game. I do kind of hate when you see a Kickstarter and it sounds super unique, but then turns out that the game was made in RPG Maker, and it just sours my excitement for that game. Like I said though, this game takes more from Suikoden than any other RPG, and I really like that aspect since it makes it stand out among the other retro-style RPGs. The colors are gorgeous, varied, and the overall look of the game is really attractive. The music has the same sound of RPGs back in the Super Nintendo days, and each of the tracks that you can listen to on their Kickstarter page are downright stunning. If I had one real major concern, it would be that the leveling and experience system this game has will definitely need some tuning if it’s going to be fair and easy to understand. I would hate the game to punish you for not leveling up your character correctly, or have the system be flawed and exploited. I just think if you are going to have this kind of leveling and experience system, you need to make it so it doesn’t become an annoyance.

Oh my goodness though, this RPG looks fantastic and promising! I love the setting, and how it isn’t trying to be another Final Fantasy VI. I always love it when a game gets on Kickstarter and it actually and honestly tries something different. The game’s funding goal is $70K, and it is currently at $14K as of writing this article. If you love Suikoden, and know that Konami isn’t going to make a new one or rerelease Suikoden II or Suikoden V, then you should really check this game out! Congrats Bit Bonton! Americana Dawn gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!

(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)

There you have it folks! Five different Kickstarter projects that are varied and different. Sure, we have seen these kinds of games before, but you really have to skim through the pages to find one or two that are actually worth it. I hope you all can back one of these projects, and I hope they can all get funded!