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Our regularly revised feature keeps you up to date on the Kickstarter games worth watching, and helps you track projects both before and after they’re funded.
Welcome to the Kickstarter Compendium, a gathering of games and game-related projects that we’ve come across that deserve your attention. The crowd-funding model for video games has resulted in some fascinating new game ideas, and new projects are going up on a weekly basis that deserve your attention.
The only problem is keeping track of it all – what’s worth watching, and what are these different projects about? As an ongoing feature, our Kickstarter Compendium is your guide to games seeking funding through Kickstarter. After funding projects are complete, this feature will also track what games (and game-related projects) got funded and what games didn’t, and where possible, offer links to the projects as they are developed.
[Editor's Note: This feature was co-written by Wayne Stainrook, Cameron Koch, Isaac Federspiel, Katie Seville, Liz Lanier, Kayla Herrera, Ali Rapp, Mike Mahardy, and Matt Miller.]
Games Seeking Funding
Aegis DefendersDeveloper: Guts DepartmentFundraising Goal: $65,000Funds Due By: September 3
A tale of grandfather Bart and granddaughter Clu, Aegis
Defenders puts you in the role of the two explorers in search of a relic that
can save their world, the Aegis. They must use their respective engineering and
combat skills to defeat a host of enemies across a beautifully animated world.
The game's already been funded, but the stretch goals for
local co-op and two additional characters, the monk and assassin, sound way too
cool to forgo. With enough funding, Aegis Defenders will also come to
PlayStation 4 and Wii U, where four-player cooperative adventuring would feel
right at home.
Boss MonsterDeveloper: Brotherwise GamesFundraising Goal: $85,000Funds Due By: September 12
After a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring its card
game to life in physical form, Brotherwise Games is back to bring its video
game-inspired card game to mobile devices. As card games continue to gain
traction in digital spaces, this one is worthy of attention for any fans of
classic NES titles.
In Boss Monster, you play as the boss of a dungeon against
other bosses. You build a dungeon by laying down a trail of cards to build
space between you and invading heroes. You must balance difficulty of your
dungeon rooms with loot rewards to entice the heroes to advance. The first
player to defeat 10 heroes or surviving after heroes have slain all their
opponents wins. Release is planned for iPad and Android tablets so please back
it because I want to play.
Cavern KingsDeveloper: VineFundraising goal: $2,500Funds Due By: August 31
"An endless and explosive game about digging your own grave"
is one of the best pitches to grace Kickstarter, and the trailer for Cavern
Kings certainly lives up to its tagline. In Cavern Kings, you take control of
one of four characters and see how far down you can burrow into a cavern full
of increasingly more difficult enemies, taking them down using weapons and
power-ups that stick indefinitely.
It's already almost quadrupled its funding goal, but it's
still a bit of a ways away from a stretch goal that would double the available
power-ups from 50 to 100. It's also hit its stretch goal for online co-op, which would
mean twice as much mayhem for you and your friends.
Elysian ShadowsDeveloper: Elysian Shadow TeamFundraising Goal: $150,000Funds Due By: August 31
From reading the Kickstarter listing, Elysian Shadows aims
to be the Shovel Knight of RPGs: an homage to a bygone era littered with frustrating
mechanics alleviated with modern sensibilities. Imagine a pixelated Paper Mario
aesthetic with nods to 16-bit Squaresoft RPGs like Secret of Mana, and that's
the gist of this game.
Bringing together Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis inspired
soundtrack with an impressive lighting system, the Elysian Shadows team wants
to bring its game to PC, iOS, Android, as well as Ouya and Dreamcast. For any
old-school JRPG fan, this one is definitely worth checking out.
The HumDeveloper: Ariel AriasFundraising Goal: $250,000 NZDFunds Due By: September 30
A first-person Oculus Rift horror game about an alien
invasion - need we say more? Though the developer is flirting with just how
many traditional game elements (like item crafting) to include in the game, it
looks like a title that could herald a new golden age of horror games along
with Silent Hills and Alien: Isolation.
Kaptain Brawe 2: A
Space TravestyDeveloper: Cateia GamesFundraising Goal: $75,000Funds Due By: September 11
A point-and-click adventure throwback, Kaptain Brawe not
only channels the spirit of games like The Curse of Monkey Island, it's brought
to life by Monkey Island artist Bill Tiller. Expect plenty of wacky comedy as
you help Brawe escape from his frozen prison on an ice planet as he tries to
stop Ursula Unsula from taking over the second-smallest planet in the universe.
Available for free, you can play the interlude between the
first game and this sequel, Kaptain Brawe: An Unexpected Intermission, downloadable
on the Kickstarter page. With fully voiced dialogue and a cast of colorful
characters, Kaptain Brawe 2 looks to continue the tradition of classic PC games
for a new generation.
KônaDeveloper: ParaboleFundraising Goal: $40,000 CADFunds Due By: September 6
Few games manage to make their setting a memorable character
in and of itself, but Kôna's 1970 Quebec already makes a haunting impression.
Explore the quiet, snowy town of Cree as private investigator Carl Faubert and
unravel the mysterious disappearance of its citizens.
Night Trap ReVampedDeveloper: Night Trap LLCFundraising Goal: $330,000Funds Due By: September 9
HD remasters of video games are nothing new, but for a
full-motion video game, especially the infamous Night Trap, that's not quite so
common. The controversial Sega CD horror game that help incite a Senate hearing
on video game violence puts you in the shoes of a S.C.A.T. agent sent to rescue
a group of teens from the haunted Martin house, turning its perilous traps
against the Auger monsters.
Ray's The DeadDeveloper: Ragtag StudioFundraising Goal: $30,000Funds Due By: September 21
Ragtag studios has an impressive track record; the team's
credits include Halo Wars, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and Stubbs the Zombie.
Together, they want to make a game akin to Pikmin with classic adventure game
brand of humor.
You play as Ray, both in human and undead form, as you try
to piece together how he came to be zombified. Along the way, you'll recruit
zombies to your cause (by infecting the unsuspecting living), each with their
own abilities, all the while listening to the synth sounds of musical artists
like Shovel Knight's Jake Kaufman and admiring the hand-drawn characters.
The Sun Also RisesDeveloper: Horse VolumeFundraising Goal: $15,000Funds Due By: September 6
Borrowing the name of the Ernest Hemingway novel, The Sun
Also Rises describes itself as "a different kind of war game." Based on the
project's plans, it's easy to see how Horse Volume wants to make a mature war
game beyond hails of bullets and gore.
The Sun Also Rises uses passive multiplayer, meaning the
actions you take as one of the three characters - the medic, the analyst, or
the boy - affect the outcomes of other players' stories. Using a low-poly
graphical style, The Sun Also Rises tackles post-tramatic stress disorder, sexism and nationalism.
TetropolisDeveloper: Next Gen PantsFundraising goal: $50,000Funds Due By: September 15
As much as some might malign the "Metroidvania" naming convention
for games (it only describes a game in relation to two other games), it serves
a purpose in that it gets a game design idea across quickly. Now, what would
your reaction be if I told you a developer seeks to reinvent the genre with a
Tetropolis unshackles the tetromino from its downward
gravitational pitfall and puts the puzzle piece into a world in which the
player must shift the shape into its multiple variants to progress. Oh, yeah,
and the entire world map itself is composed of tetrominos that you can
rearrange, so you're essentially playing a platformer within a puzzle. Plus,
there's a free demo available for you to try out.
VaganteDeveloper: Nuke NineFundraising Goal: $50,000Funds Due By: September 29
Citing Castlevania and Diablo as influences, Vagante is a 2D
procedurally generated game in which you adventure into a cave using classes
like mages or knights to earn treasure. There's a playable demo, so you can
check out for yourself how the leveling up system and skills trees and
[NEXT UP: Peruse the numerous games that have been successfully
funded through Kickstarter, and track their progress after funding is
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.