Back to Back: indie RPGs to check out

Welcome once again to Back to Back, our periodic review of all that is indie, RPG, and in search of crowdfunding!

Of those games whose campaigns ended since our last edition, Apexicon succeeded, as did  Legends of Persia, Serpent in the Staglands, and (thanks to an impressive last-minute rally) Treachery in Beatdown City. Only Flying Hamster II, The Great Gaias and Prisonscape failed to hit their goals.

Already, we have a new batch of challengers up and ready to go:

  • Bob’s Game – a 2D title that is ostensibly an action RPG, this game has a looooong and weird history. By most accounts, Robert Pelloni has been working on this title since 2003, and…well, just read. This is either a highly postmodern meta RPG that is about creating video games, or else it is a self-serving egotistical wankfest. (Perhaps a smidge of both?) Bob’s Game has 13 days to raise about $6,300.
  • Chronicles of the Rift – does this sound like a game? It isn’t. Chronicles of the Rift is actually a customizable 3D, isometric, party-based RPG engine for Unity with a RTWP (real-time-with-pause) combat system. You can try out a demo in-engine right here. Creator Daniel Swiger plans to release the engine for free; it has reached its token $1 funding goal, and the number of systems he can cram into the engine depends on how much money he raises beyond that.
  • Courierpreviously covered here, Courier is a 2D Zelda-alike that has you exploring the world, delivering packages, collecting stamps to boost your health, and resolving conflicts non-violently through puzzles, dialog, and special defensive and avoidance abilities. It has 15 days to raise a little over $22,000.
  • Forward to the Sky – a 3D Zelda-alike in which you scale a mammoth sky tower, slay skeletons and solve puzzles. It has about a day and a half to raise a bit more than $2,600.
  • Heart Forth, Alicia – a 2D side-scrolling Metroidvania RPG with some really gorgeous pixel art. Heart Forth, Alicia is now more than 300% funded with 6 days left to go.
  • Omori – a surreal jRPG–I’m sold already, frankly, but there’s more. It’s horror-themed, too! Omori is nearly 300% funded with 27 days left on the clock.
  • Popup Dungeon – a roguelike which attempts (with somewhat limited success, IMO) to evoke the feel of a physical board game. More interesting is that it allows you to “create any weapon, ability, enemy, or hero imaginable.” The game will provide an option to auto-download new user-created content during each run so there are always new things popping up during your crawls. Cool stuff. Popup Dungeon has 9 days to raise a little more than $9,000 if it is to hit its goal.
  • Shiness – despite the name, this is not a game about fear of talking to people. Rather, it’s a 3D jRPG being created in the Unreal 3 engine. It appears to have a lovely cel-shaded art style reminiscent of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, as well as real-time combat with quicktime events. Shiness has 29 days to raise a little more than $85,000.

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