It’s always interesting to see where the inspiration for a game will come from. For example, today’s Kickstarter Shout-out is called Unraveled: Tales of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter. This RPG that the developers call a “Show-Don’t-Tell” story is inspired by the documentary “The Wire Nest.” This film is about people who live in the areas where ships are broken down piece by piece. It’s a harsh living environment, since where they live is not exactly safe, and they don’t get paid well. It feels more unique as a setting than just a typical fantasy setting. Now then, let us dive into this tale of heartbreak, family, and imagination; this is my Kickstarter Shout-out to Unraveled: Tales of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter.
The story is about a little girl whose family grew up in Mumbai’s Shipbreaking yard. This is where large rusting ships are broken down and salvaged for potentially good parts. It’s very unsafe, due to the risk of death and major injuries, and the air is toxic. The little girl goes on an adventure/quest to find her missing family. With her brother’s stuffed animal by her side, she journeys across the shipyard with hopes that her parents and brother are okay. First off, kudos to the developer for picking inspiration from a place like the ship breaker yards of Mumbai. It makes for a dangerous and atmospheric setting since the entire world around the little girl and her stuffed animal buddy is dangerous. Parts could break apart from rust and decay. Large metal pieces could fall on top of you, and hurt/kill you, which we see with an NPC in one part of the game. The little girl’s imagination also shifts the world around her to make things more whimsical and comforting. It’s a very good set-up, and the playable demo made me feel immersed in this depressing/dangerous world. Another note that is worth mentioning is that the game is completely silent and void of dialogue. I mean, there are one or two lines of spoken dialogue, but a lot of the game is going to be showing you what is going on with the story and characters with no dialogue. That is gutsy.
Unraveled is an RPG in the same vein of the classics that came out during the Super Nintendo and early PlayStation 1 era of gaming. It’s all sprite-based, and battles are turn-based. The big gimmick about the battle system is the calm and anger meter. Depending on what attacks you use, you will only be able to use moves from the anger side or the calm side of the meter. For example, you can use a calm move, like healing or magic, but each time you do, the marker on the meter will go down, and once you get into the anger part of the meter, you will need to use anger moves to move it back up to the calm part of the meter. You will also have side-objectives in terms of the stars at the top left of the screen. You will get these stars if you finish a battle with a certain amount of health, do it in a number of turns, and so on. A funny thing I noticed in the game was that there was very little grinding. It was basically fighting little mini-bosses and main bosses. You do level up, but it’s not major. Outside of battle, you will be traversing the area around you with some minor set-platforming, pole-climbing, and puzzle-solving. There is also this dollhouse section where you turn into these little people-inspired toys, and in a house-making simulator-style game, build up this little doll house. This will give you special perks that will help you become stronger in the main game.
Graphically, I like it. Sure, it looks like an RPG-Maker-style game, but I think it looks a lot better than most of those games that use RPG-Maker for the base game. Another high point of the game is the composer of the main theme. One of the composers is Dale North, who worked on Silent Horror and Dragon Fantasy Book II. However, the one composer that wrote the main theme and some of the other music is Hiroki Kikuta. If he doesn’t sound familiar, he has been a composer for games like Secret of Mana, Soul Calibur V, and Shining Hearts. You definitely have some very talented people behind the game.
I am going to get an interview with these developers, so be on the lookout for it. I think this is one of the most promising RPG Kickstarters around. As of right now, people are focusing on the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter, and the recently put up Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night kickstarter by famous designer, Koji Igarashi, but this is also a Kickstarter that deserves your time. Its funding goal is $15K, and as of May 14th, it’s at over $5K. If you want to check the game out in more detail, they have a rather lengthy 45 minute demo that covers the basics of the game. If you love RPGs, then this will be the game for you. Congrats Rose Portal Games! Unraveled gets my official Kickstarter Shout-out!
(If you want to support this project, go to this link!)