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 Blake Hester, Joe Buchholz, Luke Walaszek, Joseph Knoop, Marcus Stewart, Parker Lemke, 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

Dreamland
Developer: Oniric Interactive
Fundraising Goal: $5,411
Funds Due By: June 16, 2016

Dreamland is a relatively simple game looking to achieve anything but. Created by a team of medical experts and game developers, Dreamland looks to help children going through painful medical procedures. Using a simple and peaceful design, the game looks to hinder fears, pains, and anxieties children may have during their treatments. A virtual-reality game, players are put aboard an aircraft that takes them to a land of floating islands inhabited by friendly dragons watching over the magical crystals keeping the islands afloat. Players’ objective is to rid the islands of unwanted berry intruders by using an apple cannon and the help of the dragons.

GameBob Handheld 8-Bit Entertainment System

Developer: Home Run Games
Fundraising Goal: $80,000
Funds Due By: July 4, 2016

On the hardware side, Home Run Games is looking to create the GameBob, which can play cartridges from the Nintendo Entertainment System, but on a handheld scale. They’re asking for quite a bit of money, but seeing the GameBob up and running in their prototype video adds a layer of faith to the project. Taking a very similar shape to Nintendo’s Game Boy, the GameBob features a 3.5 inch LCD screen, a USB charging port, and even two controller ports for NES-style rectangle controllers. Home Run is hoping to bring back a feeling of nostalgia with their project, giving a more authentic NES experience than delivered by emulators.

Gotta Go
Developer: Dire Nerd Studios
Fundraising Goal: $6,000
Funds Due By: June 28, 2016

Gotta Go is one of the most relatable games we’ve ever seen. It’s all about fighting through a busy office in a desperate attempt to get to and go to the bathroom. It hits almost too close to home. Players must maneuver through an isometric maze of cubicles as male or female protagonists Gus and August, avoiding chatty coworkers that engage the player in dialogue trees, and fighting against the Gastric Gauge and their body’s instinctive nature to just go. Failure to reach a toilet in time leads to a messy embarrassing voiding of the bowels and public shame. Furthermore, developer Dire Nerd is using Gotta Go to raise awareness for stomach cancer, supporting the company No Stomach For Cancer.

Guardians Of The Rose
Developer: Broc Copeland
Fundraising Goal: $7,500
Funds Due By: June 22, 2016

Guardians of the Rose is the next in a long line of retro, 2D-inspired games that take a familiar art style and add an extra layer of beauty, such as Hyper Light Drifter – also a Kickstarter success. A 2D open-world adventure game much in the style of the Legend of Zelda series, players are allowed to choose their own ways to play the game, from which directions they explore its open-ended world, to how they tackle its main and side-quests, to whether they want to be good or evil while pursuing its ultimate objective of restoring peace to the land. The game is being designed by Broc Copeland, who’s employed members of his young family to help with development. While his wife helps with beta testing, his young son Ender acts as art director, sitting in Copeland’s lap and telling his dad what to draw “literally pixel by pixel; color by color.”

Lumbermancer

Developer: Roger Biersborn
Fundraising Goal: $15
Funds Due By: June 25, 2016

Lumbermancer is an interesting case as far as Kickstarter campaigns go, because, well, the game is already finished. Its creator, Roger Biersborn, is using the platform more or less as a means for distribution and advertising for his game. Players will have to simultaneously control two characters, the Lumbermancer and the small logs that can do his bidding, through a 2D adventure. The ultimate goal in Lumbermancer is to get the Lumbermancer to a sandwich. According to the game’s Kickstarter page, the stakes are low, it’s just lunchtime. That being said, the journey will be dangerous and the Lumbermancer will have to rely on his log companions to help him fight ghosts, monsters, and even the devil, which try to block his way. According to Biersborn, the risks behind funding Lumbermancer are pretty slim. “The game is done! The rewards are made and ready to ship! So you won't have to wait a long time, and unless I die, you'll get everything for sure!” he writes.

Nimbi
Developer: Mortar Boar
Fundraising Goal: $22,416
Funds Due By July 9, 2016

Nimbi is a game out to reclaim your childhood innocence. Nimbi takes place in the imagination of a child named, appropriately enough, Nimbi. The child must explore 10 different cartoony levels of his imagination, that are both bizarre and charming, collecting animal onesies during his adventure and gaining special powers and abilities that will help him on his journey. The game currently boasts “astonishing environments,” puzzles that will make players think as if a child would, and a kitten companion, which is awesome. 

Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom: A Visual Compendium
Developer: Bitmap Books
Fundraising Goal: $36,733
Funds Due By: July 1, 2016

Though already funded, we felt it was worth including this upcoming book because it’s just really cool. Bitmap Books’ unofficial book covers the history of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and its tentpole games, such as The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Double Dragon, and over 100 more. The book features high-quality glossy photos and art, as well as a forward by Kevin Bayless, an ex-Rare developer currently working on Yooka Laylee. Bitmap Books has done similar releases for the Commodore 64, the Commodore Amiga, and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Saurian
Developer: Urvogel Games
Fundraising Goal: $55,000
Funds Due By: June 23, 2016

Saurian is all about dinosaurs. It has already been in development for three years and hopes to replicate, as accurately as possible, a real prehistoric era where players exist and survive as dinosaurs. The game has already met its goal and its Kickstarter pitch video shows a great deal of completed work and impressive visuals. It has features the involvement of RJ Palmer, who has become renowned for his realistic Pokémon drawings.

Transmission
Developer: Paper Unicorn
Fundraising Goal: $84,000
Funds Due By: July 7, 2016

Transmission asks players to discover the past of a mysterious planet, all the while confronting their own. Using a beautiful hand-drawn art style, similar to that of Broken Age, developer Paper Unicorn looks to craft a sci-fi world rich for exploration, reminiscent of the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey – which it cites as an influence. Set from an isometric point of view, players will have to be smart with their approach to combat in Transmission, crafting special equipment and weapons to help them fight the creatures and guardians of the planet. They will also have to search through interactive environments and solve puzzles littering the strange world during their explorations. 

Wotan
Developer: Wolf Of Victoria
Fundraising Goal: $11,000
Funds Due By: July 6, 2016

Wotan looks like it takes place in Lisa Frank’s nightmares. It’s a colorful, yet dark, beat ‘em up in the vein of games like Streets of Rage II and King of Dragons where combat isn’t actually the only option. Putting players in the shoes of the titular Wotan, a former gang leader, players will be given the choice of spilling blood in their wake or making decisions that will sidestep combat entirely. Boasting a large cast of characters where every friend can be a foe and vice versa, players will be able to take to the streets on foot or bike, building up character stats, and creating alliances or enemies. A demo of the game is currently available.

ZED
Developer: Eagre Games
Fundraising Goal: $48,000
Funds Due By: July 1, 2016

ZED is an “unpredictable, nonviolent” adventure game by Chuck Carter, whose past work includes Myst, the Command & Conquer series, and even NASA and National Geographic. With ZED, players are invited to explore Carter’s new world, helping a dying dreamer create a legacy for his grandmother by solving puzzles. Interestingly, the dreamer, not understanding why the player is there, can set obstacles in the way of the player, hindering their process. A demo for ZED is currently out now.

 

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