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Recently, I have been hopeful that the slowdown in backing projects was simply a phase, but it’s definitely a thing that’s happening, and while there are more reasons why there has been a slowdown, I still blame Mighty No. 9’s failure on the slowdown. Even on sites like Fig.co, where they hand pick their projects, they don’t always get funded. It’s slim pickings for right now, but I found a few to talk about that deserve your attention. Let’s get started!
Up first is the Kickstarter that is a returning contender to get funded, The Good Life by White Owls Inc., and cult favorite game designer SWERY and Yukio Futagsugi. It’s a daily life simulator about a journalist named Naomi, who moves from New York to the British countryside. She decides to pay off her debt by doing multiple small jobs around the town, and work on her journalism. Oh, and since this is SWERY, there is also a murder, and at night, people turn into animals. However, while doing all this, you will need to take care of yourself. That means you will be having to watch your stamina, hunger, and keeping yourself looking nice.
Graphically, it has its low poly charm, and it definitely reminds me of this developer’s past game, Deadly Premonition. It’s very much a Twin Peaks-style setting and tone. Once again, my major concern is since Deadly Premonition was such a cult game, and the developer has only made cult-favorite games, how big is that audience? Now that they want to add survival elements into the game that’s all about time management and making money, I am curious to know how this will be balanced. We all know what happens when a game doesn’t balance its survival elements out, and it becomes a chore to play. Still, I really want this guy to get this game made, and I hope it can. It could still use the support, and if you liked his past games, then you should definitely go support this developer.
Speaking of developers, this project, AFRAID is by Francisco Tellez de Meneses, the same guy behind the indie hit, UNepic. You play Jesse Fox, a man with a troubled past, who is recruited by an organization to drive an ATV vehicle in Africa to give different villages resources like clothes, water, and medicine. You can also use money to upgrade your vehicle so you can go to more villages, get them more supplies, and so on.
While not graphically the most impressive game on Kickstarter, it’s probably an early build, and I kind of like how the vehicle reminds me of something from the Gameboy Advance days, when developers tried doing 3D on that handheld. My only major concern is that I had to ask around if the goal of this game and the Kickstarter made sense to people. Essentially, when you buy the game, part of the purchase will go to the Kickstarter, the taxes, and what is made will be donated to non-profit organizations that help people in Africa. It’s ambitious, but I wish the message was a little clearer. I also wonder how much longevity this game will have. Will there be more than just item and vehicle management? Still, I respect the ambitions, and I know some people who enjoy these types of games. If you like helping good causes, and like these item management games, then definitely check out AFRAID.
Developed by TALEGAMES, Faeland is an action adventure game with a Metroidvania-style design. You play as Sam, a hunter who goes on an adventure to take down the evil force of orcs and trolls that attacked his village. If you have played any kind of Metroidvania-style game, then Faeland won’t be any different here. You fight monsters, explore large open-ended levels, explore dungeons, solve puzzles, upgrade your armor and weapons, be able to see your character’s look change depending on the weapon and armor you wear, and you get the idea.
The sprite work for Faeland does look good. It reminds me of how a couple of Super Nintendo games looked with the human designs, but with the smoothness of a sprite-based late-era Super Nintendo game or PlayStation 1 game. The music by composers Shannon Mason and Jay Fernandes also sounds fantastic.
My only real concerns are about how unique the experience will be, and the difficulty. Metroidvania-style games are a dime-a-dozen, and they need to start either being the best thing since sliced bread, or have some kind of unique hook to them. I also hope the difficulty is well-balanced. I love playing certain retro games, but good difficulty has smart enemy placement, and not because you can throw in a major pain –in-the-rear enemy at an inconvenient spot while making your way across the game’s world. Still, the Kickstarter scene needed a shot in the arm with a game like this. I’m happy to see Faeland doing well at the time of this editorial. If you like Metroidvania-style games, definitely go support Faeland.