In my many years of playing video games, the genres I seem to tackle the least, in terms of the games I own/play, are the tactical RPG games. If you need some examples of these types of games, you have Final Fantasy Tactics, XCOM, Valkyria Chronicles, and so on. These are turn-based strategy-style games where you control individual units to place them around the battlefield, and take out the other opposing force. In a majority of these types of games, you can also customize your soldiers to your play style. As is the usual challenge in making a game, making something that will stand out among the rest is a hefty feat. Whether it is more focus on story, more action-oriented combat, complex customization, or something new altogether, having a tactical RPG stand out will be a tough hurdle. This Kickstarter Shout-out will be for Grenade Tree Games’ Outland 17. Let’s jump into our revolutionary war uniforms and tackle this Kickstarter game!
The setting is basically the Revolutionary War combined with sci-fi elements. The world has become overpopulated, and space stations have been made to accommodate this problem. However, due to poor working conditions and what is basically a tyrannical rule over space and earth, it is up to you and a group of rebels to take down the oppressive rule and save the galaxy. I really love the whole sci-fi meets the Revolutionary War set-up. It isn’t just humans vs. aliens or cowboys vs. aliens. To me, this feels brand new and inviting.
If you have played games like XCOM, then you should be right at home with the gameplay of Outland 17. It is a turn-based tactical RPG where you control a group of five or so soldiers with different guns, weapons, and items as you march your way through the battlefield, taking down the evil redcoats. On the battlefield, you can move forward, backward, or hide behind cover. Each soldier has 10 move points that they can use to either move across the field, use a special ability, or attack. From what I could tell, there are no signs of permadeath. This means that if one of your characters falls in battle, he stays dead. I like that, since with the battle points and customization of the characters, I will already have enough to manage. Plus, the demo I played was challenging, but I only had one incident where I lost a teammate. That was mostly because I was stupid, but still.
Graphically, I like the art style. Once again, more developers need to start using more unique and varied art styles. Even other developers that I have talked to agreed that more varied art styles need to be implemented. Sure, the art style looks like something from Team Fortress 2, but that’s part of the charm. Once more, style over realism. The game’s soundtrack is a mixture of electronic and old American folk tunes. DS Wallace, the composer for the game, has some rather memorable tunes. Oh, and DS Wallace has worked on a lot of big movies including “Gravity” and “The Expendables 2.” You can go to ds-wallace.com to listen to some of his fantastic music.
For a first project on Kickstarter, Outland 17 is rather ambitious. Most devs would start with a simple platforming or puzzle game, but not these guys! They might have had experience in the past with working in the game industry, but for your first game to be a tactical RPG, it’s a rather bold first project. The game’s funding goal is $15K and they are currently over $2K. If you love tactical RPGs like XCOM or Final Fantasy Tactics, then this will be the project for you. Congrats Grenade Tree! Outland 17 gets my official Kickstarter shout-out!
(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)