Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 8 - 3/8/2019
Manage a tavern, battle evil with the power of music, and more!
03.08.19 - 11:08 PM

Welcome back to another edition of Crowdfunding Chronicles! Do you happen to enjoy medieval fantasy? Three of our titles this week fall into that genre: a tavern management RPG, a beautiful anime-style RPG inspired by the Tales of series, and an Otome visual novel. Completing the highlights are two wacky Earthbound-inspired titles, one of which will allow you to fulfill your lifelong dream of playing a bass guitar made in the shape of an actual bass (the aquatic kind). Enjoy!

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Crossroads Inn
Campaign Ends: March 14
Ultima-like tavern and path.

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One

I have fond memories of spending entirely too much time picking out and arranging furniture in The Sims. Crossroads Inn, a tavern-management RPG set in a Medieval world looks to appeal to those with similar interests.

The gameplay of Crossroads Inn borrows aspects from both traditional RPGs and Tycoon games. I'm happy to hear that it does indeed have a campaign mode with an overarching plot in addition to a sandbox mode and time-limited scenarios. Decide what kind of establishment your inn will be; will you cater to the nobility...or perhaps a much shadier sort of clientele? You'll employ and host a large variety of characters, including professional cooks, ladies of pleasure, and travelling bards. Meanwhile, random events can occur at any time. Angry wives, shady business dealings, and rumors of treasure await!

Among the development team are a number of creative types who previously worked on The Witcher games and related products. Of note is "Nerd's Kitchen," publishers of an e-cookbook based on the world of The Witcher. They will be providing a number of in-game menu items in addition to real-world recipes included with many of the pledge tiers.

Overall, Crossroads Inn looks like it's shaping up to be a polished, detailed, and potentially very addictive game. Why not stop by for a pint?

Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands
Campaign Ends: March 21
Pink-haired Faye battling a musclebound snail with the power of music.

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux

Are you in the mood to rock and/or roll? If so, this game may be for you. Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands is a colorful turn-based RPG full of exciting music, humor, and and an assortment of quirky characters to meet. The title is led by artist and writer Dan Martin and is based on his comic strips, collections of which are available through some of the pledge tiers.

Music is your weapon in Deathbulge: your party members can choose from among six music-themed character classes, with a few more added through stretch goals (including Avant-Garde and Goth). Battle the game's hilarious (and occasionally disturbing) enemies using the magical power of rock! Providing some additional fun is the game's amusing version of breaking and entering. During exploration, you must kick down doors to enter locked buildings, all the while building up your impressive kicking skills to demolish the stronger ones!

The game's humor and art style draw from a variety of influences, including Earthbound, LISA, and Sonic the Hedgehog, creating something new and completely hilarious. Make sure to watch the comical trailer video, which features a delightful talking fish and a number of fear-inducing monsters.

Leslie Wai and Patrick Henaghan provide the game's fun and exciting tunes, including a rock number you can listen to in the trailer. All pledges over $20 US will include the game's soundtrack, featuring, as stated on the campaign page, a number of "sexy bonus tracks."

Don't Give Up
Campaign Ends: March 14
Characters at a station, resembles Earthbound

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux

Don't Give Up is a fun, quirky RPG about mental illness and personal growth, presented with colorful, Earthbound-influenced visuals. The base game was successfully funded in a previous campaign last year; the developers are now raising additional funds to improve several aspects of the art, animation and music.

The central character in Don't Give Up is a game developer dealing with mental illness; his journey takes place in both Threeson, a New York City-inspired metropolis, and Limbic, the world in his own subconscious. Each of these areas will have you control a separate character. In the real world, you'll play as Tris, the aforementioned game developer, while the sections in Limbic are focused on Subris, a very stylish and fashionable purple-skinned being. The core gameplay involves battle, exploration and conversations, and includes an amusing "Smak Talk" feature where you can hurl insults at opponents to weaken them before battle...or even compliment them instead, inspiring them to become stronger.

As mentioned earlier, the goal of this new campaign is to improve the base game. Money will go towards new musical tracks, improvements to boss sprites and animation, and, if enough funds are raised, the current pixelated character portraits will be replaced with clean, cartoon-style illustrations.

Eternal Radiance
Campaign Ends: March 14
Anime characters at a port, ships in the background.

Platform: Windows, PS4, Switch

Eternal Radiance is an action RPG with beautiful anime art and visual novel-style character interaction, largely influenced by the Tales of series. Previously seen on Kickstarter as Destiny Chronicles, the prior campaign unfortunately did not achieve its target. Thankfully, additional progress and gameplay improvements have been made since then, and it looks like this new version is already well on its way to reaching its stretch goals.

Eternal Radiance stars Celeste, a young lady who embarks on a journey to become a knight while attempting to track down a mysterious thief. The story is primarily character-driven, and features skit-like conversations between party members as popularized by the Tales games. Combat is fast-paced and action oriented. You control Celeste while the AI takes over for your additional party members. Towns, meanwhile, are displayed in a visual novel style and offer plenty of quests for you to take on, some of which uncover details of the world's lore.

Eternal Radiance is a large game: the first half will be released on Steam Early Access, with the subsequent content to come out episodically until completion. Overall, I'm quite happy to see this title back on Kickstarter and even happier to see that it has already achieved its base goals. The graphics are beautiful, reminding me of the Atelier series in addition to Tales, and I definitely love the steampunk and Lolita-inspired costume designs (more will be added if certain stretch goals are reached). I can't say that I'm too excited about the final stretch goal of a hot springs side story, though perhaps that is something more to your liking. At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing how Eternal Radiance shapes up!

Queen of Hearts
Campaign Ends: March 18
A row of attractive fantasy men.

Platform: Windows, macOS

Queen of Hearts is the first visual novel by Tango Dream Games, based in Singapore. You play as a teenage girl engaged to a young king, in a beautiful Medieval world designed to appeal to fans of Western-style fantasy. In a pleasant (or distressing) turn of events, you're set to have five attractive gentlemen escort you to the palace to meet your future husband. Will a surprise romance ensue? Or will you continue on your path towards marrying royalty?

Your romance options include characters of several fantasy races, including a half-dragon, an elf, a centaur, and even a boring human or two, all of them rendered in a beautiful painted art style. The backgrounds are quite the treat as well. The base game features scenery painted in a simple style, with stretch goals adding more detailed artwork. The examples on the campaign page highlight the more intricate art; unfortunately, no comparison shots of the original style are present. If you like what you see so far, the digital artbook included with most pledges is sure to please, and even includes several early concepts of your canine sidekick. Dogs are important.

In terms of gameplay, Queen of Hearts features over 30 different endings, both good and bad, and approximately 20-30 hours of playtime. Whether this estimate is for one route or multiple playthroughs is not clear from the campaign page, though I would assume multiple.

This is definitely a game I would play for the art alone. Hopefully, the campaign will be able to reach its stretch goals so we can enjoy the more detailed backgrounds. Although I haven't yet decided how I feel about romancing a centaur, overall I look forward to meeting the game's intriguing gentlemen!

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

  • Monster Prom (Campaign Page)'s cute and creepy Second Term expansion is now available on Steam and GoG! Prepare to meet Zoe and Calculester, your two new love interests, along with plenty of additional content!
  • Varnhold's Lot, the new DLC for Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Varnhold's Lot (Campaign Page), is now available on Steam and GoG. This DLC features a complete 6-12 hour side story and much more!
  • Trüberbrook (Campaign Page), a sci-fi point-and-click adventure taking place in 1960's Germany, will be coming to Steam and GoG on March 12th! Following that, expect digital console releases on April 17th and physical editions (PS4 and Switch only; sorry Xbox One fans) on the 18th!

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.