5 Unique Indie Projects You Can Back Right Now (Sep.2013)
One of the beautiful things about Indie Game Developers is that they are often willing to pour their heart and soul into game concepts we don’t get to see often. However, the struggle they face in putting unique games in our hands is usually caused by the fact that they are pouring their heart and soul into game concepts we don’t get to see often. I’m sure most of you reading this know that many publishers see “unique” as a synonym for “risk”, and the unfortunate truth is that you rarely become a big name in the gaming industry (or any other form of entertainment media) by taking risks.
And that is where crowd funding comes in. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow independent developers to take these concepts to the masses, and let the audience decide if the project merits backing. It’s a beautiful thing when you think about it.
If you’ve never browsed crowd funding projects before, you could be missing out. So, what follows will be just a taste of some projects I find exciting, in the hope that you may find yourself inspired to back a project you believe in.
It should be noted, that none of these developers have any sort of connection to Extended-Replay. Their mention here is soley by virtue of the merits of their individual projects.
Knite & The Ghost Lights
This is a side scrolling adventure that follows Knite, a little marsh imp who, like many of his ancestors, is a Ghost Piper. Ghost Pipers play melodies during full moons and other special nights to guide the lost souls of sinners, self-killers, heretics, witches, abandoned babies, and other people who died in the woods through the darkness. When Knite plays his melodies, some of these souls will have the chance to be reborn as innocent souls. The game’s back story is massive and details, and it would take an entire article just to scratch the surface. Luckily, I don’t have to! You can read all about it in the Mistland Wiki!
What sets Knite & The Ghost Lights apart from the outset is the visual style. The entire world of Mistland, from the characters, to the set pieces, to the props, is literally hand crafted. Beautifully detailed stop motion miniatures were made by hand and photographed, giving the game a rich sense of depth and whimsy.
You can learn more about Knite & The Ghost Lights, and become a backer HERE.
What do you do when an evil guy in metal suit named Mr. Chrome steals your girlfriend? You cry. A lot. That is unless you’re an 8-Bit spite named Mr. Boops in a 4-player beat ’em up platformer! In that case, you team up with three other 8-Bit sprite buddies and juggle your enemies to unleash awesome combo attacks. Oh, and you also try to be careful, because this platformer has friendly fire enabled!
Right from the outset, you can tell that this is a game that doesn’t try to be anything besides fun. It has a simple premise, and adds a nice twist to a classic genre. The graphics, music, and gameplay are all reminiscent of classic 8-Bit games, when technological restraints demanded that fun factor be first and foremost.
Also, Mr. Chrome is kind of a dick to his minions.
You can learn more about Monochrome, and become a backer HERE.
Before you ask, no, this is not another Minecraft clone. Far from it. Profectus takes retro 3D graphics, puzzle platformer action, and story driven RPG elements and gives us a game that looks to be greater than the sum of it’s parts. Even in it’s early stage of development, the levels are varied and pleasing to the eye, and the developer states that each level is more than a series of platforms, puzzles, and traps, but is tied directly to the plot. The use of lighting, fog, and other visual tricks really brings out the flavor of the levels as well. Add in the looting system and the ability to change weapons and skills, and Profectus could potentially be very high in replay value.
The story is probably the least unique element. You play a heroic warrior named Profectus, and your world is about to be invaded by goblins, and orcs, and possibly other unpleasant things. So, your King has asked you to assemble the parts of a key that unlocks an ancient weapon that will save the day. Old hat, yes, but if the gameplay mechanics and action are as fun as they look, I can forgive a familiar story.
You can learn more about Profectus, and become a backer HERE.
Memories of a Fisherman
Right off the bat, the developers want you to know that you won’t be a warrior or hero in this game. You’re a fisherman. Not a particularly tough one either. Seems that you’ve returned from a fishing trip to find every gone, save for a deceased farm boy who had the presence of mind to transcribe his horrific fate in beautiful calligraphy. With your family missing, you feel it’s your duty to find them, and investigate the horror that stuck your home.
I know what you’re thinking. You’d just get in your boat and leave, rather than risk meeting the horror that wiped out the island face to face. Well, we’ve been over why game protagonists never do the sensible thing, remember?
Memories of a Fisherman hits a lot of the right buttons for me. You have survival aspects, explorations, dungeon crawling, and a mystery to solve. Plus, you’re being stalked. Watching the trailer gave me a distinct Amnesia: The Dark Descent feeling, and for some reason that seems like something I want to subject myself to. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered why my character doesn’t just grab a torch off of the wall rather than plunge into darkness. And, what do you know? Apparently you can grab a torch off of the wall. How can you not support such innovation?
You can learn more about Memories of a Fisherman, and become a backer HERE.
This project is a little different than the other projects on this list, in that it’s already available on Steam. So why is developer CodeBrush seeking crowd funding to continue developing the game? Simple, because they don’t want their Free-2-Play game to go the Pay-2-Win route. If you have the same love/hate relationship with F2P games that I do, you already know why. P2W is a shortcut to quick money making for game developers, and it has turned many promising games into shells of their former selves as players battle to see who has the bigger wallet. Trying to take the high road certainly makes this project worthy of a mention.
Aside from that, Archeblade is a really cool game. A team based third person fighter based on the Korean fantasy novel Archblade, it has a very nice Street Fighter or Tekken like feel to it. Combos and special attacks aren’t key bound, requiring skill to execute them. Add in Capture and Hold, Team Death Match, Last Team Standing, and Free-for-All game modes, and Archeblade is is an action packed game that, once again, strives not to be Pay-2-Win. I literally can not stress that enough.
You can learn more about Archeblade, and become a backer HERE.
Indie gaming is very important to us here at Extended-Replay. We truly feel that Independent Developers, driven by passion and a belief in their concept, are driving the gaming industry as a whole forward by proving ideas that AAA publishers won’t take a risk on. However, Indie Devs are completely reliant on the support of gamers to see their projects through, and, more importantly, continue to make unique games. Everyone reading this can help the Indie Gaming scene flourish simply by supporting the games you enjoy. Participate in crowd funding, buy a legitimate copy of the game, spread the word on social media, or even just show your friends the games you love. It doesn’t take much, but when everyone gets involved, big things happen.
Until next time,