Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 7 - 2/23/2019
With everything from steampunk, detectives, farming, and cyberpunk, there's something for everyone this week!
02.23.19 - 2:36 PM

There are too many tropical islands and green, summery locales featured in this week's games. Considering that it's still snowy and disgusting where I live, this is exceptionally frustrating. Steampunk and cyberpunk themes round out the rest of these selections; overall, a visually stunning lineup. Check out what Kickstarter has in store below. In the meantime, I'm gonna look for my swimsuit and sulk.

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Ada
Campaign Ends: March 7
Finding a pile of paintings in the wilderness.

Platform: Windows, macOS, and Linux initially. PS4, Switch, and Xbox One versions planned for the future.

I love all these surreal, pixelated game worlds that have been appearing as of late...the strange vistas seen in Hyper Light Drifter, Dead Cells, and the upcoming Undungeon included. Ada is another title in this vein, an open world action RPG by Polish developer Jakub Hakiel.

Not much information is given about this game's story, though it stars a female protagonist named Ada (surprise!) and focuses on exploration. As you journey through the overworld and various mysterious ruins, you'll run into flashbacks that reveal portions of the world's history...and considering the game's strange visuals, this is definitely a world I want to know more about. Brief looks at Ada's campaign page and official Instagram account (which you can find at @hazygamedev) reveal a number of unusual sights, including giant spiked bears, green crystal golems, and floating islands, which always make for delightful vacation spots. Personally, I'm getting hints of Crystalis and Albion in the screenshots as well...particular favorites of mine!

As far as game features go, the various zones are procedurally generated and can be explored during the day or night. You can craft potions using alchemy, collect skill cards to equip and use in battle, and choose how to interact with the many NPCs, each with their own unique storylines. Not to be left out is the wonderful music, particularly the stirring track featured in the trailer. I heartily recommend checking out Ada if you're in the mood for a strange, 80s inspired game world to explore!


Born Punk
Campaign Ends: March 7
In a dark apartment.

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS, Android

The cyberpunk genre and point-and-click games make an excellent combination. Born Punk is a new title of this sort, promising a story full of hope and even humor, a nice contrast to many of the grim and gritty cyberpunk tales currently available.

Born Punk follows Eevi, a former hacker whose brain implants have been infected by a mysterious entity. Your goal is to figure out exactly what this entity is and how to deal with it, a mission that will eventually lead to uncovering secrets which could impact all of humanity. The game will take you through many futuristic locales, including the island city of Bornholm and the strange world of cyberspace. You won't be able to visit every location in a single playthrough; there are many decisions to make, and different ways to complete your goals.

The game features a large cast of characters, all of whom are fully voiced. As well, a number of the musical tracks are composed by Jeff Kurtenacker, who worked on WoW and Wildstar; stretch goals will have Jeff compose all of the game's instrumentals. Speaking of those stretch goals, while the base game itself has been fully funded, if the final goal is reached, the developers promise to double its size. Exciting!


Chained Echoes
Campaign Ends: March 7
Characters in a royal hall, including a wolf with a cape.

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux. Stretch goals add PS4 and Switch.

It's no secret at this point that I'm quite a fan of the steampunk genre. Chained Echoes, a turn-based RPG, combines steampunk and traditional fantasy elements, such as knights and dragons, in a beautiful 16-bit presentation.

Prepare to embark on a lengthy, story-driven quest that looks to take inspiration from Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Xenogears (three cheers for mecha suits!) and adds a satisfactory amount of customizable airships. The graphics look absolutely beautiful; I definitely look forward to exploring the various environments, including a cliffside decorated with floating crystals (a personal favorite). Above all else, it looks like one of the protagonists is a large, adorable dog wearing a green cape. What role he plays in the story remains a mystery, but I am looking forward to our official introduction.

Depending on the particular enemies encountered, battles will involve the use of your airship, your mecha suit, or your human suit. While combat is turn-based, enemies will be visible on the map, and you can use the environment to your advantage. In addition to being able to customize your airships for combat, you'll also be able to equip your mechs with parts and weapons and use them to fight larger foes.

The way I see it, Chained Echoes looks like a must-play for fans of classic SNES RPGs, steampunk technology, and beautiful pixel art. I believe I shall go find a green cape for my dog and get ready for exciting airship adventures!


Maupiti Island
Campaign Ends: March 2
Characters standing in front of an ocean.

Platform: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android. Stretch goals add PS4, Switch, Xbox One and VR.

Although I've never had the chance to play the original Maupiti Island released in 1990, I remember being very curious about the title. The graphics always reminded me of NES first-person point-and-click classics such as Shadowgate and Deja Vu, games which I spent hours and hours on. For those of you who also missed out on the original, or consider it an old favorite, developer Cup of Games is bringing us a new 3D remake.

The story follows detective Jerome Lange, who is forced to take shelter at Maupiti Island after a dreadful hurricane interrupts his voyage to Japan. Upon his arrival, a woman approaches him and asks for help in finding her missing employee; the mysteries start from there!

Maupiti Island is played from a first-person perspective and features traditional point-and-click gameplay: look for clues, collect information and objects, and question the many characters. As in the original game, each character has their own schedule, and the main investigation must be solved within three days. It's not clear how the time limit will work in this new remake, but in the original game, time would pass while walking around, waiting, or taking actions, and multiple playthroughs were needed to see everything in the story. Additionally, the original game could come to an early end if you weren't careful.

Personally, I have always found time limits and surprise death scenes to be exceptionally frustrating, though others may appreciate the challenge. In any case, I'm still curious about trying this remake considering I missed out on the original. Fans of the classic version will want to keep their eyes peeled!


Summer in Mara
Campaign Ends: March 7
Cute 3D farm!

Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, Switch. Stretch goals add Xbox One.

I've had my EYE on this title for quite some time now, so I'm happy to see that it's finally on Kickstarter. Summer in Mara is an adorable farming and crafting game taking place in the same universe as Deiland; this time around, you play as a young girl named Koa with her own entire island to take care of.

In addition to farming, fishing, crafting, and building, you'll be able to explore the ocean and visit other islands with your boat, or go for a swim. I highly recommend the latter option, as the underwater graphics are quite beautiful. In fact, the entire game is graphically stunning, taking inspiration from Zelda: Wind Waker, Harvest Moon, and Studio Ghibli films.

Studio Ghibli's influence is particularly evident in this game's fantastic concept art and character designs. As your island is located on the planet Qu, you can expect to see many different alien races, including a lovely variety of anthropomorphic and oceanic individuals. If you've never befriended a cute little lady with a seashell for a head, now's your chance! This is a game I would play for the unique character art and beautiful graphics alone.

Although the campaign has already reached its target, stretch goals will add, among other things, a new location and an Xbox One version. In addition, many of the higher-level pledges include a plushie of the aforementioned seashell girl. I, for one, am looking forward to spending an enchanting summer in Mara!


Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

The upcoming 2.0 patch for The Bard's Tale IV (Campaign Page) will now include even more features, transforming the game into...*drumroll please*...The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut! This patch will be available in June 2019, coinciding with the Mac and Linux release of the game. Check out the campaign's update page for more info!


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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