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Finally, it’s 2018, and we can start talking about some promising video game Kickstarters! December and January were dry, and many people weren’t backing Kickstarters. I was concerned that the Kickstarter kick was starting to slow down, but I should have known better. I have found a couple of potentially fantastic projects, and I’m here to talk to you all about them. Let’s get started.
While maybe coming out a bit too close to the release of the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter World, Vulpine, developed by Clockwork Giant Games, is a project aiming to be in the same vein as Monster Hunter and Toukiden. You get to choose from three different types of animals, and use different weapons to hunt down large monsters to take them down. Each of the three animal types, small, medium, and large, have their own strengths and weaknesses. Same goes with the weapon choices. When you kill these big monsters, you gain materials to make stronger weapons to take out tougher monsters, and to be able to explore more of the land, and uncover its secrets. You can even play with friends.
The game is using minimal polygonal graphics that you would see in games like Grow Home. It’s a look that’s sort of getting to the point of being overused, but it still looks nice if you use this graphical style well. The animations are pretty solid, the colors are vibrant, and you can tell what animal is what. The music sounds more atmospheric and whimsical, as the composer Tyler Shaw aka Aviators brings a more environmental touch to the world you will travel. I’m a touch concerned that the game’s look and the animations seen in the trailer look clunky. I wish it was a little smoother. I’m also concerned it’s not going to make it because this Kickstarter launched right around the same time Monster Hunter World, a game that many consider to be the best game in the franchise. Are people willing to take a bet and invest in this, when they can go get Monster Hunter? Still, I like Vulpine, and I hope it can reach its funding goal.
It’s not hard to find an indie game using pixel art. It used to be a charming and effective graphical style, and while it can still be those two things, it’s definitely not as unique as it used to be. It’s all comes down to what you do with the gameplay that will make or break your retro-inspired game. Landflix Odyssey by developer Fantastico Studio is attempting to bring something different to the table. You play as a binge-watching human named Larry, as he gets sucked into what is essentially Netflix, and attempts to make it through levels based on popular shows to get out.
Landflix is a 2D action platformer, in which you will run, jump, and fight your way through different levels spoofing famous real world TV shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. While this does come off as fairly gimmicky, each level will change up the gameplay style, like one level will be stealth-based, and another will be more metroidvania in design.
The sprite work can be considered simple, but it looks good. You can tell what everything is, and even if it not the most detailed sprites you have ever seen in a game, you can tell the characters are expressive and have personality. I’m concerned that the game is using too many gimmicks and pop culture references for its own good, since I want to the game to be good first. The references are cute and funny, but that’s icing on the cake. I want Landflix Odyssey to be a good game upfront. It’s a promising indie title, and if you are curious about it, the page does have a demo where you can play two levels of the game. If you love retro-style games, then you should go support Landflix Odyssey.
Speaking of pixel art, the next game on this list is Perfect Tides by developer Meredith Gran and her studio Three Bees, is another game that uses sprite work, but instead of a platformer, it’s an adventure game! You play as a teenage girl stuck on an island that is pretty, big, but mostly empty. You find solace in your internet life, and become more adventurous. What will happen? What kind of events will unfold as you find yourself in different situations on the island?
Like most adventure games, you will be traveling across the island finding items and uncovering more to your character’s story. The game’s graphics are definitely simple, but Gran’s art style helps it stand out with its cartoony designs similar to what shows like Steven Universe use. I know it seems like I’m skimming over everything, but that’s not my intention. The biggest problem is that the page itself is very light on detail. It basically sums up a couple of things in short paragraphs. It doesn’t really make the game sound or look all that appealing, since there is so little to go off of. Yes, online comic readers will definitely know what to expect, since Gran was the creator of Octopus Pie, but what about people who haven’t heard of her work? The page simply doesn’t give the best first impression. Of course, it would mean I wouldn’t be giving it attention if I didn’t find this game’s premise promising. I do, I only wish that the page had more to it than what it has. If you like adventure games with more down-to-earth styles, and Life is Strange-style tones and settings, then you will probably want to support Perfect Tides.