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 which ones didn’t – and, where possible, offer links to the projects as they are developed. 

[Editor's Note: This feature was co-written by Hershall Cook, Christian Belland, Alissa McAloon, Jon Gregory, Elise Favis, Matthew Stolpe, Jason Dafnis, Wayne Stainrook, Cameron Koch, Isaac Federspiel, Katie Seville, Liz Lanier, Kayla Herrera, Ali Rapp, Mike Mahardy, and Matt Miller.]

Projects Seeking Funding

 

Eco
Developer: Strange Loop Games
Fundraising Goal: $100,000
Funds Due By: September 9, 2015

From the makers of Vessel comes a bold and ambitious new game: Eco features Minecraft-like creation with the added twist of player-created pollution affecting the environment. Mining waste makes water undrinkable, and chopping down too many trees transforms lush woodlands into desert. Each server starts at the beginning of man, with players working together to defend themselves against an impending natural disaster. Yet they must exercise caution, as a certain level of pollution will destroy the world, resulting in permadeath. On the other hand, if everyone refuses to use the environment's resources, then natural disaster will kill off all of the players.

Everspace
Developer: ROCKFISH Games
Fundraising Goal: $244,285
Funds Due By: September 10, 2015

Imagine No Man's Sky as a roguelike with more realistic graphics. You're now thinking of Everspace, a space shooter with a non-linear story and AAA quality visuals. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Everspace lies in its extensive upgrade system; because this title has persistent progression, players can build more and more powerful ships as they sink more time into the game. Prepare to spend hours optimizing engines, weapons, sensors, armor, and more.

Exoplanet: First Contact
Developer: Alersteam
Fundraising Goal: $45,000
Funds Due By: September 12, 2015

Exoplanet: First Contact, a third-person action RPG, strikes a pulpy Western tone. "As a matter of habit," says the game's hero, space cowboy Jack Sharp, "like brushing your teeth, you'll want to keep your knife always sharp." Gameplay shifts between classic shoot-em-up combat and open-world exploration, with a healthy dose of story in between. Exoplanet: First Contact's influences range from the Fallout franchise to the famous Dune book series.

GRIP
Developer: Caged Element
Fundraising Goal: $500,000
Funds Due By: September 10, 2015

What if cars could drive upside-down while engaging in an intense gunfight? That's the question Caged Element asked when the company started developing GRIP, a futuristic combat racer. Because vehicles in GRIP function with equal ease on ceilings, walls, and floors, courses feature loops and other gravity-defying obstacles. Equally as important as the tracks are the game's weapons. The developers want to keep races as intense as possible, and to achieve that goal they intend to add a wide variety of items ranging from missiles to plasma cannons. If the controls match the quality of the graphics, GRIP could prove addictive when the game releases in mid-2017.

Overfall
Developer: Pera Games
Fundraising Goal: $65,000
Funds Due By: September 18, 2015

One of the more ambitious roguelike titles in recent memory, Overfall's procedurally generated world is massive and dynamic, with the ruling factions changing based on how the player interacts with them. This game also features hand-drawn art for more than 80 characters and over 100 locations along with interactive story encounters and a handful of character classes.

Poi
Developer: PolyKid
Fundraising Goal: $80,000
Funds Due By: September 3, 2015

Inspired by the likes of Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, Poi is a 3D platformer sporting bright graphics and smooth animations. The game's premise is simple: Players must navigate across six worlds as they search for explorer medallions. These worlds include varied locations like rumbling volcanoes and flying pirate ships alongside time-tested obstacles like boiling lava, slippery ice, and pattern-based spike traps. In terms of platforming difficulty, Poi offers both wide-open spaces for exploration and challenge-focused areas for only the most dedicated of gamers.

Spark The Electric Jester
Developer: Felipe Ribeiro Daneluz
Fundraising Goal: $7,000
Funds Due By: August 26, 2015

With fast-paced levels, sharp controls, and branching paths, Spark The Electric Jester apes the best parts of classic 2D Sonic. Yet the homage to Sonic stops there, as this action platformer also features precise combat. Along with a three-hit combo, Spark can equip weapons, charge up beam shots, and use jump-kicks. Additionally, different costumes give Spark different abilities, such as the purple Gravity Jester outfit allowing him to fly. Regarding bells and whistles, Spark The Electric Jester combines cute pixelated graphics with a retro soundtrack.

Tower 57
Developer: Benitosub
Fundraising Goal: $49,460
Funds Due By: September 2, 2015

In this twin-stick shooter, players must infiltrate and destroy Tower 57 before its inhabitants enact their plan to destroy the player's home tower. From a gameplay standpoint, Tower 57 features destructible environments, six playable characters, and an assortment of intriguing guns. The tesla connectors, for example, shoot out two orbs that stick to enemies, creating bursts of lightning when the orbs are close to each other. The developer intends Tower 57 to be played with a friend, and thus some of the weapons were designed with co-op in mind. Although the crossbow may not deal a lot of damage, it pins enemies to the wall and thus allows teammates to kill them.

Tsioque
Developer: OhNoo Studio
Fundraising Goal: $35,000
Funds Due By: September 5, 2015

Tsioque offers a gameplay experience somewhere between an animated cartoon and a point-and-click adventure. The cartoon feel arises from the fully voiced dialogue and hand-drawn animations, while the game aspects come from the possibility of death and a soundtrack that changes based on the player's actions. Additionally, OhNoo Studio has experience with this genre, as the developer's debut title was the point-and-click adventure game Tormentum: Dark Sorrow.

The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods
Developer: Chris de Castro
Fundraising Goal: $11,571
Funds Due By: August 27, 2015

Unlike the majority of the games on Kickstarter, The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods explores a real-life setting. According to the developer, hipsters like to drink in Trinity Bellwoods, a park in Toronto, Canada, and they often forget to throw away their beer cans. This game charges the player with cleaning up the mess and then selling the discarded cans to make money. With an upbeat soundtrack and a vibrant art style, The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods already possesses an impressive level of polish.

[NEXT UP: Peruse the numerous games that have been successfully funded through Kickstarter, and track their progress after funding is complete]