In a world of hard competition, no less within the realm of gaming, it is important to spread the word if you see something you like and want it to be known. I know that Kickstarter has gotten a bad reputation over the last couple of years, in part due to mismanaged projects that after years of development didn’t keep their promises, or developers who simply just took the money and ran.
I curiously scour the platform regularly in search of new interesting projects I want to support, and yes, I have been burned too. I too have thrown my hard earned cash at projects that ended up in the drain, sometimes because of the above, other times for unforeseeable reasons that were out of the developer’s hands. And I know that because of all the controversy, many have reached the point where they write off anything related to Kickstarter, and understandibly so.
Yet… I keep coming back. Why you ask? Because I have faith. Yes, there are some bad apples in the basket, but I don’t want to let that discourage me from supporting projects I legitimately believe in. Sometimes you get burned, other times you don’t, Kickstarter is by all definitions a gamble, and some firmly stand by the principle that they don’t want to put money in anything they are not guaranteed to get, but with Kickstarter specifically it is my stance, that if no one is willing to put their blind trust into these young ambitious developers, then they won’t get the chance to prove their worth in the first place.
Which brings me to my point; I believe everyone deserves a chance here in life, including gaming, so when I find games like these, you can bet I am going to scream their names from the nearest mountain top! I would therefore like to take this opportunity to present you with 2 ambitious Kickstarter projects that I wholeheartedly believe in, the first one being Hazelnut Bastille, a new Zelda-like, which is heading for a Switch near you if they hit their stretch goals.
Hazelnut Bastille is a top down action-adventure game with gorgeous pixel art, an original story, and a soundtrack composed by the man behind the score of Secret of Mana, Hiroki Kikuta. The people at Aloft Studio are crafting this gem in the spirit of the games of the 90’s that they loved and grew up with, and to meet that goal, they are going all the way!
But why take my words for it, when I can let the developers speak for themselves? Here is an excerpt from their Kickstarter page that I will also add a link to in the bottom of this article:
Hazelnut Bastille is a game title being developed for PC, Mac, and Linux. We are also hoping to bring it to the Nintendo Switch and other consoles on the same timescale, with your help! Hazelnut Bastille is a lush, topdown Zelda-like ARPG. It features a complex, characters-driven narrative that deals with timeless life and social issues. It features a real-time, highly tactical combat system where the player needs to carefully read the screen and look at each room as a novel challenge. There is also a central focus on sequential and lateral thinking puzzles, which ramp up in difficulty quickly as the player is introduced to new ideas.
Best of all, all of this is presented in a glorious 16-bit character, where everything from the art style and content, sound, music…. even the camera and transitions are authentic to the game experiences of 1994. In our quest for period greatness, we have even enlisted the help of one of the great composers straight out of this time, the famed Hiroki Kikuta, best known for his Secret of Mana OST at Square in ’93. And the similarity isn’t merely skin-deep. We have striven to deconstruct the classics of the SNES to extract all of the superior design principles behind their mechanics and level design, to understand exactly what made them so peerlessly great, even by today’s terms. We hope you will come with us in our quest to bring the rigor and polish of the past back to today’s gaming scene!
If you are still not fully convinced, they even have a free demo worth 3 hours of exclusive content that is not going to be present in the final game itself. Hey, can’t argue with “free” right?
More info, as well as a link to their demo, is available at www.kickstarter.com. As of this article, this game has 31 days left of its campaign.
Unspoken Chronicles: Nora
The second project is a game called Unspoken Chronicles: Nora by Howly Games. Back for a second attempt after a failed campaign back in August, this one is a 2D platformer with gorgeous handdrawn graphics, set in a universe inspired by Norse mythology, which I hear is all the rage these days. I will provide a link to their Kickstarter page down below, and this project too comes with a demo that you can try out if you want a taste of what could be.
Unspoken Chronicles: Nora is studio Howly Games’ first, in development for PC but with ports for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One planned if they reach their stretch goals. So if you like what you see, please go support the game at www.kickstarter.com. As of this article, this campaign has 11 days left to meet its goal.
I am personally absolutely loving what I see here, I wholeheartedly believe in these projects, and I wish the developers all the best in their Kickstarter endeavors.