Kickstarter Shout-out: Cross Code

I’ll be honest with you all; I have not been very proficient with Kickstarter Shout-outs covering game projects from the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. It isn’t that there haven’t been interesting projects there, but the way they categorize video games on that site has left me a little confused. A majority of projects there seemed to be people wanting an Xbox One or wanting to start their own YouTube page. Luckily, I was able to find out about this awesome crowd-funding project called Cross Code. This project is being developed by Radical Fish Games. The developer was recently at the Austin-based media event SXSW, and I got a chance to play their game. After the event, the developers contacted me about writing an article about their game, and emailed me the demo they had at SXSW. First off, I want to thank Radical Fish Games for this opportunity, and secondly, this was one of the most polished experiences from SXSW, so you know you are in for something great!  Now then, let’s see why Cross Code will be getting my first Indiegogo Kickstarter Shout-out!

The setting of the game is in a world called Cross Worlds, which is a massive multi-player online game that takes place on an actual planet. That’s right! Cross Worlds is an actual planet, and not a virtual one that you would find in most MMO-style games. You play as an avatar known as Lea. Unfortunately, due to a past event, Lea has no memory of what has happened and is literally mute. Luckily, she is brought back online, and after a tutorial with some of the secondary characters of the game, an unknown avatar appears, and goes after Lea. After Lea escapes her location, it is up to her to find out what exactly happened to her, and what is going on with Cross Worlds. I love the set-up of the game. I am glad Radical Fish Games decided to make an MMO-style setting, but with a twist that the MMO world takes place on a planet. It’s very creative.

Cross Code is a top-down action game with RPG elements. You can play this game with both a keyboard and mouse, or with a controller. You will be traveling around all of Cross World, fighting enemies, solving puzzles, talking to individuals, and fighting massive bosses. From the demo I played, you will have a simple long-range and close-range attack. The long-range attack can be charged, and if charged enough, can ricochet off walls. You will be able to upgrade Lea with different powers and elemental abilities. For example, the very beginning of the demo has you fight ice enemies using a fire elemental upgrade. You can also upgrade your attack and use different special moves. Oh, and don’t bank on relying on those elemental abilities all the time, because they do have cool-down meters. Of course, since this is an action adventure game, you will be required to solve some puzzles that have you turning on switches, using your melee or ranged attacks. Outside of combat and puzzle-solving, you can gain armor and food items that will strengthen and heal you. A cool little gimmick is that if you are out of combat, and you don’t encounter any enemies, you will slowly regain your health. Another cool element is that enemies that I encountered in the game were not aggressive. It’s only if you attack them that they become hostile. These battles actually brought some challenge. You really need to master your dodging, attacks, and shield moves, or else you will find yourself in a very unhappy spot. Just from this demo, Cross Code is building up to be quite an experience. I haven’t tried out a demo so polished since the Early Access build of Darkest Dungeon.

Graphically, even though it’s a sprite-based game, the look is very appealing. The quality of the look always depends on how you use sprite work, since I have seen some games, like Aegis Defenders, look fantastic, and some, well, let’s not talk about those bad ones. I adored the little detail of bamboo or bushes swaying if you run through them, giving the world some life. The colors were bright and vibrant, and the animation on everything was smooth. The music was well composed, and I never got tired of listening to it while I was exploring one of the demo’s levels. The composer of the game, Deniz Akbulut, should be very proud of his catchy music! The overall graphical and sound presentation of Cross Code is topnotch!

Now, even though I am very excited for this project, and am willing to praise its pros, I also must bring up some cons and concerns. For me, the controls felt just a little slippery when doing some of the platforming in the game. A couple of times, I found myself sliding off the platforms and falling into the water. The game is challenging, but fair, with the exception of some of the slippery platforming. I love the set-up for the story, but I hope it doesn’t become too longwinded, or overstay its welcome. Having a long game is great, but if it feels like padding, then it’s going to bore the player.

Well, for my first Kickstarter Shout-out going to a game from Indiegogo, I think it pretty much deserves your attention. There is a playable demo on the game’s page, and it has stretch goals to get on the Wii U and have local multi-player arena matches. The game’s funding goal is over $86K in U.S. Dollars. It is only 42% of the way through its goal, but luckily, since this is Indiegogo, they will still get the money for this project. I just wish there was more money going to its funding, since this is such a polished product. If you love top-down sprite-based games, then this will be the game for you. Congratulations, Radical Fish Games, Cross Code gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!

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