Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 11 - 4/26/2019
What do a stately giraffe, vampire hunters, and Hiroki Kikuta have in common? They're all in this week's edition!
04.26.19 - 9:53 PM

The night time is the right time...for RPGs! At least, that seems to be the running theme this week, as not one but two of our featured titles are named after that particular stretch of time. Rounding out our nocturnal selections are a card-based strategy RPG that looks to take some inspiration from the classics and a point-and-click murder mystery starring a very distinguished giraffe. Enjoy!

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Grand Guilds
Campaign Ends: May 10
Conversation between anime-style characters in a tavern

Platform: Windows and Switch. PS4 and Xbox One are being considered.

Grand Guilds is a strategy RPG with polished 3D graphics and a card-based combat system. This story-driven game follows Eliza, a disgraced former knight who joins a guild to atone for her past mistakes and before long finds herself on a world-spanning quest. While the game takes place in a Medieval-style fantasy setting, you'll also see some martial arts and steampunk elements (Please give a warm welcome to your new airship, Mami. Not the name I would have chosen, but it'll do).

During the grid-based battles, you'll need to form a team of three characters out of a possible nine. Each of your party members has a separate skill deck, and new cards can be acquired during missions or through levelling up. Personally, I love what I see of the isometric battle maps; they remind me of classic PlayStation strategy titles, such as the beloved Final Fantasy Tactics. Meanwhile, character portraits are rendered with anime-esque artwork, and you'll be seeing plenty of them during the game's visual novel-style conversations.

Grand Guilds had a previous unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign, though many improvements have been made since then; feel free to check them out in the new demo. Most of the funds raised this time around will go towards 2D and 3D art assets, in addition to more music and sound effects. If you're curious about the soundtrack, I highly recommend watching the trailer, which features a stirring orchestral number by composer Eduardo Lopez.

Hunt the Night
Campaign Ends: May 5
Pixel graphic church interior

Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, and Switch.

The gothic, Castlevania-inspired title artwork of Hunt the Night immediately attracted my attention, and the detailed pixel graphics and grotesque boss designs further solidified my interest. The game is an action RPG inspired by Dark Souls and Castlevania, following a female knight named Vesper through a gloomy Victorian gothic setting.

The fast-paced battles will have you switching between Vesper and her shadowy twin Umbra, who wields a plethora of darkness-based powers. Although Hunt the Night is described as being intense and difficult (the influence of Dark Souls might have given this away), there will thankfully be a "normal" mode for less proficient players such as myself. Huzzah!

A familiar face for classic RPG fans, Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta has offered his talents to the game's soundtrack, joining main composer Jesús. Finally, if you need more dark, gothic artwork in your life, I'm happy to announce that most pledge levels will include an artbook: digital, softcover, or hardcover, depending on your contribution.

Kingdom of Night
Campaign Ends: May 18

Gloomy bedroom in pixel graphics

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

A Diablo-inspired action RPG, Kingdom of Night is a love letter to the '80s — a totally rad (heh) choice for fans of Stranger Things and Stephen King.

Set in a suburban neighborhood, the storyline is sure to sound familiar to fans of '80s horror; you play as a teenage boy named John, and you're on a mission to rescue your friend Ophelia from a demonic cult. Choose one of many well-known character classes given a modern makeover (including knights and barbarians), and prepare to fight zombies, shadows, and terrifying bosses based on Biblical demons...a few of which appear just a little NSFW.

A fan of tabletop RPGs? Then I have some excellent news! Much like the kids in Stranger Things, you'll be able to enjoy some nostalgic dungeon crawling using a D&D 5E-compatible sourcebook (and artbook) included with most pledge levels. Finally, it just so happens that '80s-style synthesizer music is a great weakness of mine, and I'm happy to report that you'll be hearing plenty of it in this game. Totally tubular!

Lord Winklebottom Investigates
Campaign Ends: May 17

Conversation between anthropomorphic characters

Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, and Switch.

Have you ever found yourself thinking, "Gosh, I haven't played nearly enough games featuring anthropomorphic axolotls?" If so, I have some exciting news. Lord Winklebottom Investigates is a charming, animal-filled point-and-click adventure set in the 1920s, inspired by Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and classic monster movies.

You play as Lord Winklebottom, a very dapper giraffe wearing a monocle and a top hat. You've been called to a mansion on a dreary island to investigate the murder of one of your old friends, Admiral Gilfrey: the above-mentioned axolotl. A variety of anthropomorphic characters will be introduced to you along the way, including an ocean-loving terrier with an eyepatch and a pipe, and a pigeon donning a fedora.

All the work so far, including the beautiful hand-painted art, has been produced by a single developer, Charlotte Sutherland (aka Cave Monsters). Funds raised in this campaign will go towards voice acting, programming, and the nostalgic 1920s-style soundtrack. If you happen to be particularly generous, pledging at one of the higher levels will give your own furry (or scaly) companion the chance to be featured in the game, either as an image (a newspaper photograph, for example) or as a murder suspect — a particularly ideal role for your cat!

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

  • Dark Devotion (Campaign Page), a grim medieval RPG, is now available on Steam and GoG. Fans of side-scrolling action and grotesque monsters, take note!
  • After a few months of silence, a new update is available for The Office Type (Campaign Page), an upcoming dating sim that will finally offer you the chance to romance your pen or calculator. Check out the post for some new background art, info on the cosplay contest, and more!

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.