Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 9 - 3/28/2019
This week is like duck, duck, goose, if ducks were vibrant cyberpunk dystopias and geese were farming sims... or... something.
03.28.19 - 9:45 PM

Do you enjoy urban environments? If not, I apologize for bringing you the following news: three of our four games this week take place primarily in cities, from a stylish cyberpunk metropolis to bizarre, multicolored dystopian nightmares. If this is not to your liking, then never fear, as our fourth game is an adorable farming RPG. Sometimes it's nice to relax in the countryside, provided you avoid the disgruntled, violent birds!

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Campaign Ends: April 10
Chromatose Screenshot: Characters talking in a bar, Persona-style graphics

Platform: Windows, macOS

The beautiful header graphic of this game immediately caught my eye; a multicolored array of glass shards, each containing part of a character portrait rendered in a Persona-inspired art style. Chromatose is a visual novel/RPG hybrid seen through the eyes of a young man who ends up in a coma after a dangerous fall, only to wake up in a nightmarish alternate world. Ten others have also been trapped in this dimension for their own mysterious reasons, and it's now your job to help them escape. You'll explore each character's own color-coded personal world while racing against a time limit of twelve hours before your chance to escape is gone forever.

The RPG aspects of this game come into play through the game's unique card battle system. Your decisions throughout the story will have an impact on battles; you gain new cards to use based on your personality, including ones that block attacks or repeat the effects of previous cards. What's more, if you pledge $60 or more, you'll get your own set of cards based on the in-game designs. Stylish!

The striking character artwork of Chromatose is provided by Akabaka, who also happens to be the lead developer. Contributing music to complement the game's polished visuals is a wonderful anime-inspired score by composer Yuzuki. Make sure to check out the trailer for an excellent Japanese song and a sneak peek at the game's rainbow of nightmares!

Love Shore
Campaign Ends: April 3
Love Shore Screenshot: Character standing in a cyberpunk-style bar

Platform: Windows, macOS

I've seen a fair bit of criticism towards mainstream cyberpunk as of late; namely, the genre's lack of diversity in both characters and storylines. Love Shore promises something different — a futuristic visual novel featuring a cast of predominantly POC, and all of them queer.

You'll have the choice to play as either Farah or Sam, two artificially-created humans. Their stories take place simultaneously; while playing through one character's tale, you can see the impact of your decisions on the other. Additionally, all NPCs have an approval scale, which can be affected by your interactions with them and with other characters. And, of course, you can choose to pursue a romance with any of your companions. Four options are available for each of the player characters.

I can't neglect to mention the gorgeous visuals here, featuring character art by illustrator Kabo (@friedpotat) and detailed backgrounds by Zi (@ziqqix). The presentation has a bit of an '80s vibe, with character designs inspired by more mature anime titles (no "moe" schoolgirls here!) and urban backgrounds painted largely in shades of blue and purple.

Overall, I'm definitely intrigued and highly recommend checking out Love Shore if you want plenty of diversity in your cyberpunk!

Campaign Ends: April 3
Phantasmata Screenshot: Bright, psychedelic battle scene

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

Weird and wonderful Phantasmata is the type of game that will either fascinate you or give you a massive headache. Considering my tastes generally run towards colorful sci-fi worlds, I'm going with option A.

The game is a traditional RPG set in an alternate, dystopian version of the USA. You play as a high school student named Alice, opposite an evil mayor who aims to bring the citizens' nightmare monsters to life. The world is presented in a very colorful, urban-inspired visual style. One glance will immediately catch your eyes. (Or damage them. You decide!)

Though the main storyline will only take about four hours to complete, sidequests (including character quests) bring the total playtime up to over 20. There are plenty of playable characters to choose from: witches, punks, and even a gentleman with a television for a head. Throughout the game, you need to keep an eye on Alice's psychological condition, managing her mental health using various methods. Neglecting this will have an impact both in and outside of battle. Finally, the most important feature of Phantasmata must not go unmentioned. There is the opportunity to pet a significant number of cats.

Serin Fate
Campaign Ends: April 11
Serin Fate Screenshot: Colorful pixel scene of characters looking at a town

Platform: Windows. Other platforms are being considered, including macOS and Switch.

Have you spent a significant portion of your adult life immersed in Stardew Valley or Rune Factory? If so, Serin Fate may be relevant to your interests. The game is an adorable farming RPG centering around the theme of witches. Explore lush forests filled with dangerous creatures, work on your spellcraft, and meet a number of friendly anthropomorphic characters (in addition to that strange species known as "humans").

The gameplay of Serin Fate contains many of the same features as Rune Factory, such as skill building and taming elemental creatures. Skills are plentiful, and include witchery, herblore, and mining. You'll be able to form relationships with NPCs of each major race as well (the abovementioned "humans," the cat-like "Val," and the avian "Serin"). Stretch goals will add even more options, including a home you can buy and furnish, and the ability to play through the game as one of the non-human races. Sadly, only humans are an option at the start!

Overall, I'm quite impressed by this game's charming pixel graphics and cute fantasy elements — even more so considering all the art, writing, and programming has been completed by one person up to this point (Cameron Anderson, also known as Vether). If you're a fan of farming and fantasy, give Serin Fate a look!

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

  • A new campaign has launched for The Final Hours, a game which we covered back in Crowdfunding Chronicles vol. 5. If you love anthropomorphic characters and missed the original campaign, here's your second chance!
  • Grimshade (Campaign Page), a fantasy RPG featuring beautiful isometric graphics and a firearm-wielding badger, is now available on Steam!

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.