Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 10 - 4/12/2019
Running the gamut from cat cafes to the embodiments of sin.
04.12.19 - 12:05 PM

Could it be...? We've managed to reach the tenth installment of Crowdfunding Chronicles! Thank you, dear readers, for following us into the double digits and hopefully many more! We have quite a diverse selection of titles in this week's lineup; whether your tastes run toward cute kittens in pastel-colored forests or malodorous, axe-wielding pig monsters, we hope you find something to your liking!

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Calico: Magical Girls Running Cat Cafés
Campaign Ends: May 1
Girl riding a giant cat through a forest.

Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.

I have a strong urge to start up a "Cutest Game of the Year" award just so I can give it to Calico, an adorable, pastel-colored cat café sim inspired by Sailor Moon and Animal Crossing.

You play as a magical girl in charge of rebuilding a dilapidated cat café found in the heart of an enchanting little village. Your tasks include furnishing and decorating the establishment, creating desserts and drinks, and most importantly, recruiting some new feline friends (among other four-legged companions) from the nearby wilderness.

All of the in-game animals are interactive. You'll be able to pet, feed, and play with them while keeping an eye on their moods and personality quirks in the meantime. Thankfully, this is a happy, stress-free game without consequences for not attending to your animal friends; you can just relax and enjoy all the cuteness! As an added bonus, once you get a hold of a certain magical potion, you'll be able to ride giant versions of the cats and some other animals. Living the dream!

While the campaign has already reached its initial target, the first stretch goal to be announced is a 3D playable character creator, with more tiers to be revealed shortly. Finally, if you're a fan of the music from Dark Souls or the NieR games, it has been confirmed that performer Emi Evans will lend her talents to one of Calico's tracks. There's a lot to be excited about here if you need a healthy supply of cuteness in your life!

Campaign Ends: April 26
Table and chairs in a gloomy steampunk building.

Platform: Windows, with VR support (Oculus and VIVE). macOS and PS4/PS4VR considered as a stretch goal.

I first heard whisperings of this title approximately a year ago. Considering it had a steampunk theme and was being made by the developers of Myst, I knew I had to keep my eye on it. Firmament is an original first-person adventure game continuing in the studio's tradition, though in this particular case it's being made for VR from the ground up. Thankfully, if VR is not to your liking, Firmament can still be played without.

The story is intentionally being kept under wraps at this point, though the hints given in the trailer have me very intrigued. The game starts with you waking up in an icy cave and discovering a frozen body accompanied by a mysterious steampunk apparatus; contained within is an urgent message detailing your mission. The device will accompany you throughout your journey, serving as a tool for solving puzzles as well as a steady companion. In addition, while the focus of the trailers and campaign page is a frozen, wintery world, your journey will extend across a variety of locales, all of which are filled with plenty of curious steampunk technology.

Several of the campaign's pledge levels will include exclusive DLC in the form of skins for your steampunk device and other in-game items, as well as (drumroll please) a digital artbook. Always a favorite of mine! If you're in need of a day trip to some lovely locales full of mechanical wonders or happen to be a fan of that little-known game called "Myst," I highly recommend keeping an eye on Firmament!

A Horde Too Many
Campaign Ends: April 28
Cartoon lumberjack fighting against zombies.

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

Sometimes it's refreshing to see post-apocalyptic and zombie-themed games that are on the lighthearted and quirky side of the genre, A Horde Too Many being an excellent new example of this. While this game does contain plenty of violence, having all the characters depicted in a cute, South Park-like style makes all the gore and gunplay significantly less stomach-churning than in more realistic titles.

The game is a side-scrolling zombie action RPG with plenty of features and gameplay styles, including survival, base building, and tower defense. You'll be managing a group of survivors and developing their abilities, while providing them with adequate food, water and shelter. Exploring the hostile post-apocalyptic wasteland will bring opportunities to find raw materials and new characters to recruit, though take note: it's more difficult to keep everyone in your crew happy with a growing population!

Combat is party-based, and you can choose up to 4 unique characters to join your battle team, including archers, snipers, and plaid-shirted lumberjacks. (Or angry hipsters? Hmmm...) Other than zombies, your party will meet a few other factions out in the wilderness. Not all of them are friendly.

If this has you excited and impatient, worry not; all pledge levels over 5 EUR include Horde Tactics, a tabletop card game adaptation that you can try immediately through a digital version. Backers pledging over 40 EUR will receive the physical version of Horde Tactics, an excellent choice for entertaining party guests. Make sure to have some brain-shaped desserts on hand!

Sin Slayers
Campaign Ends: May 7
Battle screen with medieval warriors fighting orcs.

Platform: Windows, macOS and Linux.

Sin Slayers, being developed by Russian studio Black Tower, is a dark, medieval RPG featuring turn-based battles and randomly generated terrain. The detailed pixel graphics and isometric maps really caught my attention; the overworld brings to mind the Sega Genesis title "Rings of Power," an unusual little game which I hope at least three of you have played.

The story begins when a party of warriors find themselves trapped in a gloomy underworld known as "The Valley of Fallen Sinners" with no recollection of how they ended up there. The only way to escape? Finding and defeating a group of malevolent demon lords based on the Seven Deadly Sins.

Battles in this game involves plenty of strategy and skill management. During each mission, you'll be selecting three characters out of a possible ten, leaving the others to guard the Old Church, where you can recover health and restock your supplies between campaigns. The battle system also involves an interesting twist on difficulty settings; as you progress through the game, your decisions will fill up a "Sin Bar." If you happen to be very naughty, then combat will become more challenging...but will also bring bigger rewards.

From what I've seen so far, Sin Slayers looks to be an absolutely...sinful delight (excuse the terrible joke) for fans of grimdark fantasy and turn-based RPGs. And if you can't wait, you're in luck: A prologue version, titled Sin Slayers: The First Sin, was just released yesterday and is available on Steam!

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

  • Attention, fans of Tangledeep (Campaign Page)! Legend of Shara, a full expansion for the game, is now available on Steam and GoG, featuring a new storyline focusing on the title character!
  • Tales of the Neon Sea (Campaign Page), a beautiful pixel-graphic cyberpunk adventure, will be coming to Steam on April 30th. An excellent choice for fans of Blade Runner and cute kitties!

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.