Kickstarter Picks - October Edition - Article

By Jared Katz, October 12, 2013
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Cosmic Star Heroine

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Developer: Zeboyd Games   
Total Amount/Goal: 98,700$/100,000$    
Days Left: 18
Lowest Amount for Game: 10$    
Release Date: December 2014
Launch Platforms: PS4, Vita, PC, Mac and Linux

Cosmic Star Heroine (CSH) is a sci-fi Japanese RPG inspired by Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star and Suikoden and is currently being developed by Zeboyd Games. Zeboyd Games is an indie developer who is best known for Penny Arcade: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Parts 3 + 4 and the hilarious game Cthulhu Saves the World. CSH’s story follows Alyssa L’Salle, one of the galactic government’s top agents. After unintentionally uncovering a conspiracy, the government outs her as both a legendary spy and the people’s champion. Now Alyssa has gained both hordes of adoring fans but also the bloodlust of all the evil organizations she crossed during her career. 

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The game, like their past titles, is a tribute to JRPGs of the SNES era, from the 16-bit graphics to the old fashioned, turned-based battle system. The game features the ability to save anywhere, as well the need for minimal grinding. Battles, like in Chrono Trigger, will take place in the dungeon instead of in a battle screen. The game features a large cast of playable characters, each with their own fighting styles, and there are even a few intergalactic species. While the game is set to come out for the platforms stated above, Zeboyd has said that they are looking into other possible platforms and will inform the backers when they have something definite to report. 



The Long Dark

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Developer: Hinterland    
Total Amount/Goal: 203,000$/200,000$ (CAD)
Days Left: 3
Lowest Amount for Game: 20$(CAD)    
Release Date: October 2014 
Next Stretch Goal: Downloadable Graphic Novel for all tiers (225,000$)
Launch Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux

The Long Dark is a stylistically stunning survival simulation game set in the northern wilderness in the aftermath of a global disaster. A strange light in the sky appeared and caused all technology worldwide to cease functioning in an instant.

Hinterland is a newly-founded Canadian indie studio, composed of industry veterans who have worked on a variety of well-known IPs as part of various big name studios. The story of The Long Dark follows William Mackenzie, a bush pilot flying over the northern wilderness when he witnesses the strange light; in that moment his airplane loses power and is forced to crash into the wilderness below. Making it out with only some injuries, William must now brave this no-man’s-land far from civilization if he has any hope of seeing how the world he knew has changed.

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The Long Dark will keep track of various elements during your play through like weather, food/water, energy use, gear condition, and more. Along with those elements, knowledge of both the surrounding area and of resources are key to one’s survival. Throughout the game you will not only encounter wildlife, both hostile and neutral, but also other humans. These humans, while a potential threat, are also a possible resource, where you can gain more knowledge to raise your chance of surviving. 

The game so far has two main modes confirmed: Story, which you try to survive to find out what has happened to the world, and Sandbox, where you are given various scenarios you must try to survive. The story mode should take about 6 hours to complete, while the sandbox mode will last over 12 hours.


Legend of the Lancer

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Developer: Gorilla Press Games    
Total Amount/Goal: 2,600$/35,000$    
Days Left: 26
Lowest Amount for Game: 15$ (1700 left for 10$ early bird tier)    
Release Date: September 2014 
Next Stretch Goal: New Game +/Boss Rush Mode (43,000$) 
Launch Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux

Legend of the Lancer is a 2D action/adventure Metroidvania title being developed by Gorilla Press Games. The game is set in the land of Umber, where the previous King defended the land from the Dragon Osmos. While able to protect the kingdom he did not survive the battle. Now Kingless, the land has started a tournament for the King’s Crown, 10,000 of knights from across the land have entered the tournament, including a young knight call Sam Drexel. You play as Sam as you challenge knights from across the land and battle dangerous monsters, all the while uncovering the secrets of the Lost King.

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The game was inspired by legends written by various authors including J.R.R Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. Along with your trusty lance you gain a magical hilt that allows attachments to help Sam in both battle and exploration. There's also a mechanical armored horse companion which Sam rides. When riding it, the horse stands up on two feet and gains both a shield and a lance to fight enemies with. Along with the boosted power the horse is also used to clear obstacles and can have equipment equipped to upgrade its abilities. 

Unlike many Kickstarter games, Legend of the Lancer is non-linear; you can complete the game in any order and depending on how you complete the game, the ending will vary. As of right now the game it's only heading for PC/Mac/Linux platforms, but Gorilla Press Games has all the next gen consoles and handheld ports as stretch goals, with the 3DS being the closest at 58,000$.


HuniePop

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Developer: Ryan Koons    
Total Amount/Goal: 11,300$/20,000$    
Days Left: 19
Lowest Amount for Game: 10$    
Release Date: December 2014 
Next Stretch Goal: Minor Voice Acting (25,000$)
Launch Platforms: PC, Mac and Linux

HuniePop is part dating sim and part puzzle game which incorporates elements from RPGs and visual novels. If it sounds weird to you then know you’re not alone. But sometimes the most unusual and weird games (*looks at Katamari Damacy*) turn out to be some of the most fun. 

Huniepop is being headed up by Ryan Koons, who formerly worked at Insomniac Games. Working alongside him are various artists and composers. The game’s premise is that the Goddess of romance has become disappointed in the lack of romance in your life, so she sends a fairy Kyu to help you on your journey of love (or possibly lust). You are given 8 girls to choose from. You can go after one girl only - to learn all about her desires and dreams - or you can just go out each night with a different girl without trying to get close to anyone.

Like most dating sims the core gameplay involves time/resource management. In Hunie, by performing actions (such as going to a location or taking part in an activity) you use up a certain amount of time for that day. 

The puzzle aspect comes into play when you go out on dates. The puzzles are similar to those in Puzzle Quest, with each color representing a different energy which is needed to use certain moves while on the date. You can also equip items to help you when you’re on the date. 

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One of the strongest things going for the game is the great art created by the various international artists on the team. On the music side there's a variety of tunes that feel like they would fit right into Persona 3’s non-Tartarus locations. While it’s an odd concept, to say the least, and is for a very niche audience, I can’t help but to find myself wanting to play the game and I'm looking forwarding to seeing how it turns out.


Max Gentleman

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Developer: The Men Who Wear Many Hats Total    
Amount/Goal: 8,100$/500$ 
Days Left: 24
Lowest Amount for Game: 0$ (free)    
Release Date: November 2013 
Next Stretch Goal: New Modes and Features (10,000$)
Launch Platforms: iOS, Android and OUYA

Max Gentleman is a game about shirtless, British, muscled, gentlemanly men with amazing mustaches to go with their exquisite hats. It's an arcade simulator about stacking hats. Put simply: you get, wear, and collect hats. This is the next game from The Men Who Wear Many Hats, or TMWWMH for short. TMWWMH are the creators of last year’s Organ Trail. Now, you might be asking why I should bother pledging when it costs me nothing to get the actual game. 

The answer: for the gentlemanly approved swag of course! 

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Look at all that swag! Can you say, after seeing that pillow case, that you don’t want to put your money down, get that case, put it over your pillow and snuggle face to face with that tea drinking gentleman? No, you say? Well, that’s your choice, but think of all the money you will be losing. As TMWWMH’s Ryan Wiemeyer says: “When you buy Max Gentleman you save 200$.Why? Because Max Gentleman is a free game. But if you back our Kickstarter you get our game double free. That’s right, you save 400$!” But if neither the shirt, nor the figurine, nor the pillow case, nor the saved money interests you, what about the actual game?

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