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Welcome back to another Kickstarter Shout-out! While it’s been a month or so since the last one, March decided to throw a bunch of promising projects onto the site that I think deserve the support. Let’s not waste any time, and get to them.
Up first is Iron Harvest by KING Art Games, the developers behind The Dwarves and The Book of Unwritten Tales franchise. It’s a real-time strategy game with a steampunk future during the 1920s. While the game got instantly funded at a rather fast pace, I still want to talk about it. Anyway, like I mentioned above, it’s a real-time strategy game where, if fully funded (including stretch goals), will offer three different factions with their own unit types and hero characters, three single-player campaigns with 21 missions, competitive multi-player, and free DLC and updates. If you have played plenty of real-time strategy games, you will be familiar with what you need to do. Build a base, get resources, do research for upgrades and stronger units, make an army, and go out and attack the other factions. This won’t be some kind of turn-based affair. Enemies will be moving in real time, and environments are destructible. Be careful what units you choose, and what battles you decide to jump into. If they get there, you will be able to play this game against other people and alongside your friends in the main-story campaign. Graphically, the game looks great. I love this pseudo-realistic look to the world, and all of the fun, if maybe highly unrealistic steampunk look to all the machines and soldiers. It all looks rather impressive, and they translated the art from Jakub Rozalski very well into 3 dimensions. The music from composer Adam Skorupa also sounds very wartime and effective. My only real concern is if the game will be fair. I want challenge, and I want it to be my fault because I didn’t strategize enough. I also don’t want the AI to be cheap, and not have the same disadvantages as I have with being a human player. My final nitpick issue is with the starting tier. I get why the starting tier is high, because these types of games take a lot of time and resources to make, but $45? Even if I was wanting to back this on day one, that’s a bit too high for an entry-level tier. If it was like, $20 or so, I would have probably done it. Granted, my not giving it $45 isn’t harming its goals right now, but still. I have faith in this developer, and I’m happy to see it coming to most of the major consoles. If you like real-time strategy games, and was disappointed by Dawn of War III, then definitely go support Iron Harvest.
Developed by Jools Watsham and his company Atooi, the creators behind Xeodrifter and Mutant Mudds, this is a Kickstarter to bring the 3DS title to the Nintendo Switch, and to give it nice new 2D graphics. It’s a 2D platformer, where you play as this little chicken and his best friend, a worm. You then go off on an adventure! Along your journey, you will find multiple power-ups to help you progress through the level. These power-ups include a mask to help you fly, shoes to make you go faster, being able to break through hard barriers, and you get the idea. Really, this is the simplest project to talk about. It’s already a finished game. It’s pretty much bringing it to a console, and giving it higher quality art. Granted, there is much more to that, because you have to test the game and other aspects. If you like 2D platformers, and liked the developer’s other games like Xeodrifter and Mutant Mudds, then definitely check this project out!
Being developed by Matthew Petrak, Tala is a unique-looking 2D adventure game, where you play as this little girl traversing the photo-realistic worlds with certain elements being made with 2D animation. It’s another adventure game, so what makes it stand out from the others that we see on sites like Kickstarter? Well, remember that adventure game released two or so years ago, Dropsy? It has a similar interaction system with the world and characters, where they speak with little animated visuals rather than words. You can also interact with multiple areas of the environment, find items to solve puzzles to get more important items for your journey, and hopefully save your forest town from the evils that may consume it. Its mix of photo-realistic backgrounds and 2D animation is definitely a high point with the calming guitar tracks by Cody Rueger. It’s easily one of the most stand-out games from pure visuals alone. I just hope the puzzles make sense, and I won’t get stuck, which kills most adventure games. If you like adventure games with very unique visuals and an offbeat personality, then you will definitely want to help this game out.
I always like it when a game genre that gets flooded with similar projects spits out a promising and refreshing take on the genre. This is the case with Phantom Halls, a survival horror-comedy adventure game by Incendium. You play as a group of three individuals stuck inside a mansion, and must escape an ever-changing mansion with traditional adventure game and horror game elements along with procedurally-generated levels. The 3D paper craft art style definitely gives this game its own quirky feel, and I like that the game isn’t just another Maniac Mansion, or is trying to have elements that were common with horror games, but, you know, play like a game! While they are very clear why they need this Kickstarter to make it a more polished experience, I am concerned with how people are going to react when the game is already in Early Access, and they are set to release the game at what they consider the “correct” release date. I will say that this is nothing new. A couple of games that I have checked out or played have been in development, but needed to go to Kickstarter to get a little financial boost for polishing the project more. Still, this game has been getting fantastic reviews and coverage, and looks like something I would actually want to play. I hope they can get the funding they need, and maybe come to consoles like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. If you are craving a horror game with a quirkier tone, then please help out this developer.
And finally, we have the isometric horror action-RPG One Night, developed by Black Seven Studios. You play as a young man named John, living in the small town of Watford. Sadly, this small town can’t be a small town, as a cult has decided to let all hell loose, and now it is up to you to traverse the town, defeat the five generals that worship their demonic deity, and save the day! You can choose from different classes, like rogue, wizard, fighter, and you get the idea. Each class will have their own skills and ability branches to unlock new powers. You can play the main campaign, but the game also rewards you for taking notes on where to go, and explore rumors and hints that you keep within a notebook. You had also better find items that will help you with whatever playstyle you have, because you won’t simply be fighting just zombies. You will be fighting ghouls, werewolves, specters, cultists, imps, and so on.
The game’s 2D sprite work definitely creates this eerie and very horror-focused environment. Combined with the atmospheric and 80s synth-style tunes, it makes sure you are properly involved within the world full of nightmarish creatures. While I think people will be happy that the game will be coming to consoles like the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One at a later date, I’m concerned if the 80s-inspired elements will turn people off. On top of sprites, I have seen people get tired of games using aspects from the 80s for their games. Of course, it’s all in how you use it, but you have to be careful to not overuse it. Still, if you like horror games with a flair of action-focused combat and exploration, then definitely check it out and make sure you survive one night in Watford.