In this week’s roundup of kickstarter and indiegogo projects: the stylish triangular world of aerial exploration game Secrets of Raetikon, sidescrolling cyberpunk action RPG Dex, hyper-cute strategy battle game P.A.W.S. – Prime Alien Watch Squad and plane-crash survival game Dyscourse. Meanwhile, InSomnia has gone back the drawing board. Read on to find out more.
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The art of Secrets of Raetikon answers a long standing question in the field of the classics: “If Pythagoras took all his money out of the mathematical cult that formed around him, and attempted to crowdfund an Indie game, what would it look like?”. This wonderfully angular looking game takes place in the glare of a triangular sun, featuring an alpine landscape for the birdlike protagonist to soar over. Funding-wise, Raetikon is frustratingly under target – a matter not helped by a recent incident where their PayPal password was guessed. There are still a few hours left to hop on board though, with access to the open alpha and level editor on all tiers.
The Cyberpunk aesthetic has given us some of the defining moments of movie and interactive science fiction, yet it’s not a style I would say has been overused (unlike steampunk which has infected art portfolios worldwide with a surplus of silly cogs and goggles). While there’s an argument for saying that Indie sidescrollers – particularly metroidvania style games – are a rather more common sight, Dex‘s cyberpunk dressing helps the project stand apart. All those rusty backrooms and neon-lit slums may be a welcome break from the frequently idyllic landscapes of its peers – and the aspirations of its RPG-style gameplay are also encouraging.
I’ll have to defer to PCGamesN for the best way to sum up this one: “PAWS replaces the XCOM project with teddy bears”. The thing is, I would have struggled to nail down exactly what the selling point was from the Kickstarter. While I dig the art, I can’t say that the pitch resonates with me. In fact, I suspect they’ve got it backwards: the game sounds far more appealing as a casual game that has added strategy, rather than as a strategy game that has taken away stats and controls.
Still, that’s just semantics – a Windows-only demo is available for download if you’re unsure about offering a pledge.
Rather than focussing on the resource management of other survival games, at first glance, Dyscourse seemingly has more in common with Telltale’s Walking Dead adventure game series, emphasising the human element of surviving a disaster. To an extent anyway – Owlchemy Labs are promising that their dialogue trees will emphasise divergent outcomes and that the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ style is only one of the pillars of the experience: combat, sneaking and hunting on the randomly generated island are just as important. Perhaps a victim of recent stiff competition, Dyscourse is trending a little below its target.
The formula for a successful kickstarter campaign sometimes has to be learnt the hard way: this tactical co-op RPG failed to pick up momentum towards its $70,000 goal and has decided to review its approach. As ever, things fell down a little on the details: Studio MONO have admitted that they needed to “ultimately provide a much better explanation of what InSomnia is and what it is not”. They’ve pledged to return with a repositioned campaign at the end of January.