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Welcome back to another edition of Kickblunders! After the first article, I got a lot of positive praise for the idea, with some minor fixes that are to be made for this newest edition of Kickblunders. Just like last time, for every bad Kickstarter, there will be a good one that you should check out instead. I won’t tackle bad Kickstarters that are being handled by kids, since they shouldn’t be allowed on Kickstarter in the first place, and I’ll make sure to link to each Kickstarter, good and bad, for you to see for yourself why they are worth it or not. Let’s get started!
AVOID: The Witch Cult
The sad tragedy about this Kickstarter is the fact that it’s pretty good. It’s very detailed, has a unique idea, and the concept art has some great designs to it. It’s a very impressive Kickstarter that sadly does something that completely derails it from any interest. There is no gameplay. I’m sorry, but you can’t get me to back your Kickstarter if you have nothing to show off. Yeah, you got concept art, but I can’t see it in motion, or try out a demo of it. Like I said, and will probably say again and again, in this day, you have to have gameplay, and pretty good gameplay with your Kickstarter, or else people are not going to back it. I wish I could be able to say that I recommend backing this one, but since the dev has nothing to show, I can’t recommend it.
Instead, you should back: Valthririan Arc: Red Covenant
Developed by Agate Studio, Valthririan Arc is what The Witch Cult should have been. It’s also a very unique project, since you are in charge of an academy that you can build that will have students go through different kinds of classes to become knights, mages, thieves, and you get the idea. You can upgrade different rooms, customize weapons, and once you get a good couple of adventurers and heroes, you can send them off on quests to complete, where it then turns into an action RPG where you fight monsters and find loot while completing a task. It’s a very complex game with a cute art style, and I really adore it, due to how unique it looks and feels in terms of indie games that are in development. I do wish the animations were better, since the art style is cute, but everyone has clunky and odd movements. Still, if this sounds at all appealing to you, then I would definitely go back Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant.
AVOID: Call of the Wild
Once again, it isn’t a terrible-looking Kickstarter. The idea itself of animals fighting one another ala Animal Face-Off seems like a decent idea for a multiplayer action game. However, there is no gameplay, with only some 3D models. Like, it’s cool that the 3D models are impressive to look at, but you have no gameplay! I’m getting tired of developers uploading trailers for their Kickstarters and not showing any gameplay footage. It just hurts the overall appeal. Again, why should I give you money on just 3D models alone? I’m not really sorry, but that’s a bad move.
Instead, you should back: Narita Boy
While the 80s theme that has been prevalent in indie games, and might be getting a tad stale, Narita Boy, developed by Studio Koba is at the very least, a promising-looking action game. It oozes 80s cheese, as you play as a legendary digital hero who must go on an epic quest through simultaneous dimensions to protect a digital kingdom that is under the tyrannical rule of some evil bad guy. Even the Kickstarter admits that it’s basically the Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery combined with He-Man, Ready Player One, and The Last Starfighter. I don’t think you could get any more 80s than that. It seems like a solid action game with some fast-paced action, animal/vehicle driving, and lovely graphical sprites. I’m a tad concerned that it might not get funded, since it’s yet another 80s-tinged indie game, and the fact that March is a very busy month for gaming. Still, it has a good foundation to be a gem among the indie scene. If you like 2D action games with, again, an 80s theme, then you should back Narita Boy.
AVOID: Rock Audyssey
And here we are again, a Kickstarter with a very cool idea. A rock & roll RPG. Doesn’t that sound like a unique and eye-catching idea? I know music games/rhythm games are nothing new, and they did crash and burn fast, due to them flooding the market, but this Kickstarter sounds promising. Sadly, yet again, the gameplay shown off demonstrates that it was not ready to show off. The art style doesn’t look good, and the gameplay looks lackluster. Sure, you could argue this is early gameplay and won’t represent the final product, and you would be right. However, I would argue that they also should have hired an artist, and made better-looking gameplay. The thumbnail looks fine, but it’s what is inside that is the problem. It also doesn’t help that the developers of Salt & Sanctuary made a rock & roll-themed beat em’ up called Charlie Murder, where you had sequences in the game where you played a rhythm game. If you can’t get to that level, then you shouldn’t be showing this game off to the public and asking for backing when it doesn’t look good.
Instead, you should back: Dragon Lore
Here is something that’s fun. It’s an isometric tactical turn-based RPG called Dragon Lore, by the two-person team Madcat Games. You go on a grand adventure inside an airship, where you are set to explore a series of floating islands. The game is pretty simple, you control a group of heroes and recruited allies in a tactical turn-based combat that should be familiar to anyone who has played Final Fantasy Tactics, or well, any tactics RPG that is turn-based. The graphics are adorable, and remind me of 3D Dot Game Heroes in terms of the overall graphical style. I’m a bit concerned that it’s not going to get funded, due to it coming out this month, since this was when we also got the Nintendo Switch and Nier: Automata and we are also getting other big games, and people’s wallets might be drained by then. Still, I would love for this game to get funded, and make it through Steam greenlight, as it is probably one of the last few good things to be submitted to that trainwreck of a service on Steam. If you like tactical RPGs, then you should definitely check this Kickstarter out.
Bonus Kickstarter you should back: Pine
Developed by the passionate team of Twirlbound, Pine is an action adventure game with a rather ambitious twist to it. In Pine, you play as a human in a world that has pretty much out-evolved humans. This includes tribes of lizard men, humanoid crocodiles, bipedal moose people, and you get the idea. The main goal is for you interact with the other tribes, and either attack them for your own gain or help them out. You will also be exploring other parts of the world that you live in, and will have to not only deal with the inhabitants, but also some puzzles as well. Depending on what you do, the tribes around you will either evolve to adapt, or devolve and become more primal in the evolutionary chain. The game looks rather impressive for an indie game. It’s awesome to see an indie developer do something more than sprites, even though I get why they do so.
My only real concern about the game is how the overall experience is going to pan out, and if this “advanced” AI is going to be as smart as the developers want it to be. Having enemies learn from your moves and attack style is impressive, but sometimes, when big mechanics like this are announced, they never end up being as great as they make it sound. I also hope the combat is complex and fun, and you don’t accidentally hit anyone that is on your side. However, that’s all I am concerned about because this is one of the best Kickstarters from March 2017. If you like anything this game offers, you should help back their product!
Unfortunately, this will probably be the last Kickblunders for a while, since the good isn’t outweighing the bad in terms of Kickstarter submissions. Luckily, I’ll still bring up the good Kickstarters that pop up, and make sure they get a proper shout-out!