RPGFan


Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 6 - 2/8/2019
Farmers, cannibals, and everything inbetween.
02.08.19 - 11:09 PM

The 31 grueling days of January have finally come to an end; groundhog and chocolate month is finally upon us. Join us for a look at five new games, some of which even feature a bit of romance if you're into that sort of thing. Just be wary of the cannibals lurking around...

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Cannibal Lottery
Campaign Ends: March 15
Cannibal Lottery Screenshot - Talking to a cannibal in a greenhouse

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

Cannibals tend to be a difficult sort. So I can imagine that one would find the prospect of running a planetary settlement with the aid of said cannibals (who in turn ask you to feed them exactly one citizen per month) to be pretty stressful. This is the premise of Cannibal Lottery, a visual novel based on a short story by Yamila Abraham (you can find a link to her original tale on the campaign page).

The game provides 15 chapters full of puzzles, choices, and settlement-governing tasks. You'll need to take care of the budget and the planet's resources, while interacting (very carefully) with the cannibal characters and your own personal staff. Make a mess of things, and you could be faced with a citizens' revolt, mental collapse, and other unpleasantries. Perhaps you'll even end up in someone's meal!

Cannibal Lottery sounds like a delicious time. The art style, character designs, and dark humor remind me a little of Deadman Wonderland, a unique and disturbing anime/manga series. While the campaign is still a ways away from achieving its target, stretch goals will add voice acting, additional endings, and a bit of animation. I recommend adding this strange little visual novel to your plate!

dont_forget_me
Campaign Ends: March 1
dont_forget_me Screenshot - Cyberpunk living room in pixel graphics

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux. Consoles may be possible in the future.

There are several curious new games being developed in France this year; we featured two of them in the previous Crowdfunding article, and this column highlights a third. dont_forget_me is a point-and-click title with a cyberpunk theme, made by French developer Robin "Biggs" Fau. It takes place in a version of the future ruled by one worldwide government, where most citizens have been implanted with special chips that prevent memory loss.

Much of this game still remains a mystery, though the initial details of the storyline have me intrigued (not to mention the fact that a cat is part of the development team; check him out in a handy pixelated format on the campaign page). Development is still in the early stages; currently, the demo contains only one scene and is full of translation errors (which should be corrected in the final version). Stretch goals will add an original soundtrack; if the '80s-style electronic music in the trailer happens to be an indicator of the game's music as a whole, the soundtrack will have me dancing in my computer chair for sure. Hopefully, dont_forget_me will shape up to be an adventure worth remembering, without having to resort to implants.

Littlewood
Campaign Ends: February 14
Cute town with Littlewood logo

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux. Consoles may be possible in the future.

Littlewood is the newest title by Sean Young, creator of Roguelands and Magicite (a multiplayer RPG, not the magical gems from Final Fantasy). An adorable town-building game, Littlewood has already smashed through its initial funding target, though a number of stretch goals still remain.

There's plenty to do in this game, including harvesting, cooking, crafting, and of course, running errands for the townspeople. All sorts of travellers will pass through your town; make sure you encourage them to stick around! If certain inhabitants are particularly taken by your charming demeanor, including those of your own gender, you can even date and marry them. Also noteworthy is the fact that while the game does not feature any combat (at least, none that is mentioned on the campaign page), you can battle other townspeople through a collectible card game and even participate in an annual competition.

I have to say that this game looks completely delightful. Influences include Animal Crossing, Dark Cloud, and Runescape, though I can definitely see inspiration from Harvest Moon and a bit of Earthbound as well (particularly in the graphics). If you're a fan of any of those titles, I recommend taking a look at Littlewood. In fact, you can check out the game right now by downloading the demo from the game's campaign page!

Magical Diary: Wolf Hall
Campaign Ends: February 28
Magical Diary Screenshot - Grumpy wizard professor

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

If you've ever wanted to go to Wizard School, now's your chance. Magical Diary: Wolf Hall is a visual novel/dungeon crawler that takes place in an American magic school. It is the companion to 2012's Magical Diary: Horse Hall. This particular game, in contrast to the first title, features a male protagonist, though it does continue the tradition of featuring both male and female romance options. Additionally, the romance aspect is entirely optional, in case you'd rather focus on your studies.

You raise your stats and learn new magical skills by going to class, while character interaction takes place in between classes. The dungeon crawling aspect of the game shows up during exams (yuck!) and features different ways to progress depending on your spell repertoire.

Magical Diary: Wolf Hall is made by Hanako Games, an experienced studio and developer of the popular title Long Live the Queen. The game is clearly influenced by the Harry Potter series (note the different halls and uniform colors, all based on animals); so if you've always longed for the chance to enroll at Hogwarts, Wolf Hall could prove to be a fun and magical alternative.

Maid of Venia
Campaign Ends: February 23
Maid of Venia Screenshot - 3D town on a cliff

Platform: Windows. Stretch goals add Mac, Linux, and consoles.

Do you have fond memories of classic PS1 and PS2 JRPGs? If so, Maid of Venia might pique your curiosity. It's an action RPG with a female protagonist that takes place in a traditional fantasy world inspired by anime, Zelda, and the legend of Joan of Arc. If you've heard of Legend of Venor, an indie game currently in development, you may already be familiar with Maid of Venia, as they are set in the same universe.

The game has captured my interest so far, but I feel that more information is needed on the campaign page. The story involves a brewing conflict between the Lady of Eos (ruler of the world) and her people, with the Lady's enforcer (that's you!) caught in the middle. Beyond this, not a whole lot of particulars have been revealed. Crafting, a plethora of quests, and the ability to ride giant birds are among the highlights, though it's unclear what the main goals of the game are. Will it consist of mostly short, unrelated quests, or a large main campaign? And more importantly, why do the giant birds remind me so much of Pokémon's Dodrio? Hopefully, the months ahead will reveal the answers!

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

  • Praey for the Gods (Campaign Page), a beautiful, wintery adventure inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, is now available on Steam Early Access. Find it here!
  • After 10 years in development, Sierra-style point-and-click adventure Mage's Initiation (Campaign Page) is finally available on GoG and Steam! Huzzah!
  • A late backer page is now available for Koruldia (Campaign Page), a game we covered in a previous installment of Crowdfunding Chronicles. Find it here!


Disclaimer: While it's possible some of us at RPGFan may be backers of the games mentioned in these articles, this does not influence our coverage or our featured game choices. We make our selections simply based on the active campaigns we feel our readers might find interesting, and we are not given special access or perks by the developers.

tl;dr: We think these games show potential and want to share them with you.


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