Back to Back: Indie RPGs to fund
“Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in!” Al Pacino delivered that famous line in The Godfather Part 3, concerning his abortive attempts to quit the mafia and live a normal life. I invoke that line now to describe my desire to not post Back to Back installments every single week–and yet, I feel like I have to because the Kickstarter campaigns just keep coming. I can’t so much as scratch my nose without an email about a new campaign showing up in my Inbox. I guess this is where all the missing campaigns were hiding out during those sleepy summer months!
Since last time, Age of Grit, Moon Hunters, and Phoenix Dawn each ended successfully funded–none ended while failing to hit their goals. That’s pretty darn good, but there are a bunch of additional projects that are going to end very soon, as well as a bunch of brand-new projects in need of support. Let’s take a look at the current field!
- Band Saga – this music-themed action roguelike-like has just now barely passed its $29,000 funding goal, with 32 hours left on the clock.
- Battle Chef Brigade — think Iron Chef crossed with a side-scrolling action RPG, all beautifully animated in a high-resolution anime style. This one’s just hit its $38,000 funding goal with 27 days remaining.
- Bedlam — a post-apocalyptic strategy roguelike being created in the Banner Saga engine. You’ll be managing supplies, recruiting denizens of the wasteland, and fighting turn-based battles against four factions: marauders, cyborgs, mutants and AI. Battles will feature permadeath and “no turn-order.” (That last part means it’s like chess, in that you move one character per turn, and it can always be whichever character you want.) Bedlam’s raised over $51,000 on its way toward a $130,000 funding goal. 24 days remain to get it there.
- Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King – this cutesy, flower-themed Zelda-alike is now just a little over $31,000 shy of its $45,000 funding goal with 17 days left to go. Having now read the game’s Kickstarter page more thoroughly, I realize that my description from last time didn’t quite do the game justice (in part, I think, because all the cool parts are inexplicably left out of the game’s pitch at the top of the page). This isn’t just a Zelda-alike; this is a Zelda-alike with an unpredictable child narrator who occasionally chimes in with unpredictable elaborations on the story, causing whatever scene you’re in to change on a whim. This needs to be funded.
- Celestial Tear: Demon’s Revenge – Celestial Tear just can’t seem to catch a break. This demon hunter-themed jRPG needs to raise a little under $10,000 in the next 54 hours to be funded.
- CodeSpells – this wizard-themed scripting sandbox program has raked in over $128,000; 3 days remain.
- Cube and Me – a pet simulator / procedurally generated dungeon crawler with real-time combat, Cube and Me has raised a little over $4,300 out of its $15,000 goal; 4 days remain for it to make up the difference.
- Fortune’s Tavern — if Fortune’s Tavern is inspired by anything, I’d have to imagine it’s Recettear. Manage a tavern, build new rooms and expansions, and try to appeal to clientele from one (or two, or three) of three warring factions. The campaign promises aRPG side quests you can control yourself a la Recettear. The only thing that keeps me from being unreservedly enthusiastic about the game is that it uses RPG Maker, complete with its default graphics. Then again, you can’t really expect them to accomplish a complete graphical overhaul with a £2,800 budget. This has 19 days and £1,345 (read: $2,180) left to hit its goal.
- Graal Seeker – since we covered this Arthurian fantasy strategy game last time, Graal Seeker has slowly inched its way up to €1,304 raised. Unfortunately, this means it’s only raised 13% of its €10,000 goal. 24 days remain for it to raise the additional €8,700 ($10,980) or so that it needs.
- Graywalkers: Purgatory — a post-apocalyptic strategy RPG with an angels-versus-demons motif. This is the game’s second attempt at securing funding, and with a much smaller $40,000 funding goal this time around, I reckon it has much better odds of succeeding. Graywalkers has raised about $12,450 of its $40,000 funding goal with 34 days left on the clock.
- Hartacon Tactics – for reasons unknown, strategy RPG Hartacon Tactics has so far attracted only 6 backers since we looked at it last time. That’s unfortunate, because the game looks rather promising. It needs to raise €20,000 ($25,240) in the next 21 days to hit its goal.
- Hipster Town Tactics – sadly, this hipster-themed strategy RPG is faring about as well as Hartacon, with a mere 6 backers to its name and 15 days left to hit its $40,000 funding goal.
- Ironcast – this steampunk-mech turn-based tactics game has just now squeaked across the finish line with 3 days remaining.
- Legena: Union Tides — previously covered here, this fourth-wall-breaking jRPG is having a much better go of things this time around only two months after its first campaign; Legena is now more than halfway to hitting its £1,000 funding goal with 29 days remaining. Noticeable improvements to its graphical style and a more aggressive marketing campaign seem to have made the difference here.
- The Secret Testament – this “Epic Bible RPG” seems to be struggling to get funding, which is unfortunate, because the game seems kind of hilarious. It has 14 days to raise just under $1,000.
- Star Traders 2 – as I predicted last time, Star Traders 2 looks poised to just barely hit its funding goal. It has 3 days remaining to raise its final $3,500.
- That Which Sleeps — previously covered here, That Which Sleeps is turn-based fantasy strategy in which you play an ancient evil on the verge of awakening. You send sinister agents to prepare the world for your coming (but quietly, so as not to attract too many heroes bent on stopping you). I think this game sounds awesome, personally, and Kickstarter seems to agree–it’s already more than 200% funded with 22 days remaining.
- Warlocks — this shooter-y, co-op, 2D, side-scrolling action RPG is now down to its last 48 hours with $5,200 or so left to raise.