A lot of attention from every corner of the gaming world has been sucked up this month by indie smash hit No Man’s Sky. While its booming success could be fantastic news for independent game developers of the future – as it finally shines a light on the achievements that some indie teams are truly capable of – right now, it’s eclipsing a lot of the other great games that are due for release. When there are so many that have little hope of ever being finished, it’s naturally tempting to want to fall back on the ones that everyone has been talking about for months already. But there are some real gems getting ready for launch right now that it would be a real shame to miss out on.
We’ve trawled through all the Kickstarter campaigns that are doomed to fail so that you don’t have to and have found five great games that you can back right now.
The idea behind New Homeland was to create a game in the style of 8 and 16 bit classic games, but with the technology available in the modern day. You wake up in a 2D world with no idea who you are or where you are and embark on an adventure to take control of your destiny in the unfamiliar land. The fully interactive world within the game allows you to choose what you make of it, with storylines available for everything from farmers to adventurers, depending how you choose to explore the world. It’s so immersive, the creators have even created seasonal weather and a day and night cycle that impacts the story.
Backer rewards range from art books and soundtracks, through multiple copies of the game, to the opportunity to design your own characters and monsters to appear in-game. The creators need €75,000 to realise their dream.
The love-child of a 17-year-old indie developer who has been yearning to create his very first game since the age of 9, Project Burst Limit aims to push the boundaries of gaming itself with its super-fast fighting. All cute cartoon characters and the kind of wicked martial arts that can only really happen in video games, Project Burst Limit began as a Super Smash Bros clone that evolved into a creature all of its own when the creator couldn’t resist adding his own unique touches. Now, it tells the story of a world where gladiatorial combat resolves all the world’s conflicts and you, the player, find yourself your country’s champion as you fiercely battle your way to victory.
The demo is already online for players to test out and the creator is asking for only $5000 to finish it. In return for backing, most of the prizes offer the chance to have your ideas included in the game, from having your face on the body of an enemy fighter, to being able to design your own character, stage and even side quest story arc.
The game that definitely feels like a meth lab was involved at some point in the creative process – in, of course, the best possible way – Bear Vs Methlab is a ridiculous, rampaging riot that smashes every hallucination you’ve ever had while tripping balls into one game. In the four-player game, you play as a fully customisable bear battling against Adolf Hitler, who has travelled through time to monopolise the world’s nastiest drug cartels. You fight, you destroy and, if too much of the bad stuff gets in your face, you chunder. Just like in real life. But as a bear. The game is fast-paced and aggressive and take you from the grim drug hideouts of New Mexico to the more outrageous settings of haunted mansions and places you can have a bit of fun.
It is originally due to be released on PC, though the developers hope to expand it to other consoles in the future. They’re asking for a relatively modest $30,000 (Canadian), with prizes ranging from wallpapers to comics, with a number of Kickstarter exclusives available. The most generous reward is a party with the team themselves complete with a fully funded 2 night stay in Vancouver.
Making full use of the disjunct and creepy capability of 2D graphics, Repression is a dark game that explores the deepest levels of the human psyche. A simple game with a story designed to make you think, you awake from a coma to find your wife murdered and your memory of recent weeks lost. Your task is to work your way through a series of puzzles and hope that something along your journey will trigger your missing memories. The art style can only be described as ghostly and, if the game is anything like the teaser video, it’s going to be one that is absolutely made to play at midnight with the lights off, if you’re brave enough.
As well as the usual T-shirts, soundtracks and, of course, copies of the game itself, backer rewards span the opportunity to be immortalised on an in-game gravestone and one-time exclusive paintings of game stills. The creators are looking to raise $24,000.
Merging the grim reality of World War II inspired conflict with an epic space setting and the joyous absurdity of classic ’90s cartoons, SpaceCats in Space! is everything your inner child aches for in a video game. The team behind it was cobbled together from experts who found each other on Reddit and is already showing great promise, with a playable demo already out and drawing in a lot of attention. The twin-stick shooter game drops you into the conflict between the SpaceCats of Meowfyre and the SpaceDogs of the Grolich Empire.
Rewards are marked by squadron badges, with backers offering higher pledges inducted into more elite squadrons. Backers also have to opportunity to get their hands on a copy of the game itself as well as a number of exciting extras, from soundtracks, art books and T shirts to dinner with the team behind it. The creators are looking to raise a whopping $75,000, but have already made a strong start.