Kickstarter Weekly vol. 24 Alison Fleming April 23, 2014 Features Mark of the Old Ones – Funding Goal: $46,000 Hit The Sticks Far, far below the earth lies the ancient city of Namaset, build in honour of the mystreious deity known as Kraal. It is a shunned and abandoned place, long since left behind by its patron god, and it functions as the setting for Mark of the Old Ones, a Lovecraft-inspired, physics-based metroidvania. You play as a fledgling eldritch abomination and have to make your way through the decrepit halls, gaining strength and undoing the errors of the past. It doesn’t play like a traditional metroidvania or platformer. Instead of controlling a human or anything vaguely humanoid, you control a ball of tangled spikes and tendrils. This builds into one of the ways you navigate the world and solve puzzles – you use your tendrils to grip onto surfaces and propel yourself around the world, or to interact with objects in the environment. Parallels to Octodad, worryingly enough, come to mind, but Hit The Sticks have developed their own physics system that they promise will be natural and intuitive to work with. The project is currently 29% of the way to being funded, and funding ends on May 8th. Pledging $10 will get you a copy of the game. A demo build is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Inspire Me – Funding Goal: $20,000 Blyts An adventure game that spans centuries, Inspire Me is a cute and quirky little game. You play as a child called Kelvin who, while playing in his father’s lab, accidentally activates his time machine and changes the past. Suddenly several of the world’s great inventions blink out of existence, Kelvin’s actions inadvertently removing the inspiration for them. He has to travel through time and set things right before his father returns home and sees what’s happened. It’s very much a traditional point and click adventure game, tasking the player with using items and solving puzzles to provide inspiration for the aforementioned inventions. Everything comes with a nice dose of humour as well. Blyts acknowledge the likes of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle as inspirations, which should tell you the sort of experience planned. The base game comes with three chapters, but reaching stretch goals will result in extra chapters being added. Inspire Me is currently 4% of the way to its goal, and funding continues until May 20th. A pledge of $10 will get you a version of the game. Heart Forth, Alicia – Funding Goal: $60,000 Alonso Martin Heart Forth, Alicia is a gorgeous metroidvania, which casts you as a young wizard on a journey to save her homeland from a malevolent Spirit. It draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including Castlevania, Zelda and Xenogears. The world is rich with lore and history, with years of backstory, and the story itself promises to be intriguing. There’s a second story along with the eponymous protagonist’s journey – that of someone known only as The Woman, told through live-action footage. It’s an… interesting twist, but live action and videogames have a mixed history at best. Gameplay-wise, it looks very solid. Alicia is closer to a warrior/wizard hybrid than the stereotypical bookish mage, so, as well as her magic, she can also use her trusty whip to combat foes. As you explore the intricate world, you’ll fight all manner of foes, from the mundane to the terrifying, and you’ll also upgrade your various spells and abilities. Along the way, you’ll also find fairy companions who will aid you in their own way. Heart Forth, Alicia has far surpassed its initial goal, currently sitting at a nice 210% and rising steadily, with funding continuing until May 16th. You can get a copy for a $15 pledge. Last Life – Funding Goal: $75,000 Rocket Science Amusements Last Life is an adventure game with an intriguing sci-fi noir aesthetic. It’s set in the far future, on a colony on Mars about a decade after the destruction of the Earth, and casts you as a detective who’s just been killed. Luckily enough, you’ve been brought back to life via the magic of 3D printing for the annual festival of the dead. You’re now on a four hour time limit, and need to reopen your previous case to find out what happened and what might have led to your death. This leads to you uncovering a massive conspiracy surrounding AI, corporate espionage and, possible, the death of the Earth. It’s an episodic adventure game, inspired by the likes of Kentucky Route Zero and The Walking Dead. The game has a strong focus on building atmosphere and telling a story, as well as exploring themes like transhumanism. There’s still enough to challenge the player, though, by way of things like interrogating characters and investigating scenes. The game has also been taken under the wing of Tim Schafer, and falls under the “Double Fine Presents” banner! Last Life is close to hitting its goal – it’s 86% of the way there, and funding will continue until May 9th. Pledging $15 will get you access to all the episodes. Armello – Funding Goal: $200,000AUD League of Geeks Armello is an interesting mixture of strategy RPGs, card games and board games. Players move their Heroes, who are anthropomorphic animals, around the map using action points and, on their turn, can undertake a variety of actions. This includes things like battling other players, completing quests or dungeons, taking over settlements or vanquishing powerful foes. There are still things to do in the downtime between turns as well – this is when you do things like improve your Hero’s abilities or equipment, or recruit new followers. The way players interact with one another is interesting. Combat is based on a unique system using cards and dice, and you can also screw players over between turns by playing cards called “Perils,” which introduce new dangers to the board. Beyond that, you can also forge alliances with other players but these are always temporary, since only one player can win. Your goal is to replace the old King, who has been corrupted by a dark force called the Rot, and rule the kingdom of Armello. There’s a few other intriguing systems in place, including the way the night and day cycle influences play. Different enemies come out at different times – servants of the old King wander the map during the daytime and horrific monsters called Banes emerge at night – and different Heroes get bonuses at various times of the day. Games play out differently each time. As well as a world that changes each playthrough, there are a lot of other variables included, including the cards. Rather than simply being an additional feature, these are heavily integrated with the rest of the game. A lot of the elements of the game, including a lot of traditional fantasy tropes, are represented by cards. You play cards at any time and refill your hand from one of three decks – Items, Spells & Trickery – at the start of each turn, and things like Treasures and Followers come from other, computer controlled decks. With a series of multiplayer modes, both online and local, and tons of variation between matches, it’s definitely a game to keep an eye on. Armello is 69% of the way to being funded, and continues until May 8th. A pledge of $16AUD will get you access to the game. JetGetters by tinyBuild Games JetGetters’ Kickstarter was cancelled after it attracted an investor. tinyBuild Games have promised that all backers will get the equivalent of the $51 reward tier, which comes with 10 steam keys for JetGetters and copies of seven other games from the company! Choice Chamber by Studio Bean Choice Chamber was successfully funded, finishing at 119% of its initial goal. It reached two stretch goals – Mod Support and Cooperative Multiplayer! The Red Solstice by Ironward The project was funded, ending at 122% of its goal. Chaos Reborn by Julian Gollop Chaos Reborn was funded, ending at 117% of its goal.