It's been a while since our last Kickstarter update, so this one will incorporate plenty of successes and failures covering campaigns that have closed, in addition to some new projects currently battling towards the finishing line. There's at least one more game on the way to Wii U, at least.
As before the 3DS is pretty much absent, as it seems the realities of developing for the handheld — which doesn't support many off-the-shelf development tools in the vein of Unity — are making its appearances rather rare. We do have some gaming culture projects, however, which should be of interest.
So below is our long overdue Kickstarter update.
Pixel Galaxies: Enemies Aren't Forever — Wii U included in core goal [approx $1,300 of $6,000 target raised, 5 days to go]
A colourful shooter that we covered at the campaign's launch, this is an intense pixel-based arena shooter that draws inspiration from games such as Katamari & Super Hexagon.
Chances of success: Momentum is poor, but with such a low target there's always a chance.
UCraft — Wii U included in core goal [approx $1,250 of $20,000 target raised, 2 days to go]
A title drawing heavy inspiration from Minecraft, this attracted headlines and attention as a standard project, thought its bold aims of a Winter 2014 release were pushed back to next year, after which this campaign emerged. Developer Nexis Games has made big promises with this game, though at present the studio doesn't have a track record of success to back up those claims.
Chances of success: Low, with a shortened funding window and limited momentum, this looks unlikely to hit its target.
Animal Gods (Reborn) — Wii U included in core goal [$26,775 of $26,000 target raised]
This is a 2D top-down action/adventure title that promises a large open world to explore — combat is real time, and the storyline revolves around exploring a fantasy recreation of 16th Century England in a bid to rescue and revive Animal Gods. With a variety of different moves included this looks quite impressive in its early stages.
Chances of success: Confirmed for Wii U, but it couldn't have been much closer.
Nintendo 64 Portable Console - Build Your Own Kit — [$5,404 of $5,000 target raised]
The purpose of this project is to provide a more affordable means for N64 fans to have a portable N64, basically taking the IKEA approach. For less than most modders request for a portable N64, this kit includes substantial instructions, a whole lot of parts and — for a relatively small extra amount — an N64; alternatively you can use your existing system.
Chances of success: Funded.
No video pitch is included in this campaign.
RETRO Video Game Magazine - Year 2 — [approx $36,000 of $20,000 target raised, 4 days to go]
We reported on this campaign as it marched towards success, and it's comfortably secured another year of magazine issues. Bi-monthly, the magazine's content naturally focuses on retro games, systems and culture, though modern titles with clear old-school influences and links are also covered.
Chances of success: Funded.
You Are Now EarthBound — [approx $193,000 of $100,000 target raised, 9 days to go]
The work of game merchandise company Fangamer, this has been a hugely successful project. The product itself is a pack of various items — The EarthBound Handbook is a companion guide to the game, an 80-page EarthBound Zine, video documentary 'EarthBound, USA' which will include an interview with Shigesato Itoi, and 'The Psychokinetic Album' of music remixes.
Chances of success: Funded.
Impact Winter — Wii U included in as $150,000 stretch goal [£21,270 of £95,000 target reached]
A fresh arrival from Mojo Bones, an experienced developer that recently brought the brilliant Siesta Fiesta to the 3DS eShop. This is an entirely different proposition, as it takes place in a post-war nuclear winter — the interesting approach is that your task is to survive (and keep your group alive) for 30 days. Resource management and strategy seem particularly important, as you manage your group of survivors, deal with unexpected events and explore the surrounding area with the help of a robot assistant.
Chances of success: Following the missed target Mojo Bones is investigating its options.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King — Wii U included as $250,000 stretch goal [$20,364 of $45,000 target reached]
This looks like an utterly charming action RPG, with pixel-based visuals shown off to great effect in the pitch video. There are very clear moments of inspiration from the 2D top-down Legend of Zelda titles, particularly A Link to the Past, including some of those famous mechanics. Despite those familiarities there seems to be a neat twist that the plot is based off storytelling in-game, with some twists and unexpected developments promised.
Chances of success: Despite the failed campaign FDG Entertainment has stepped in to fund this and the developer's next project. What that'll mean for the Wii U version is unclear.
Pending for Wii U
Aegis Defenders — Wii U included as $150,000 stretch goal [$145,815 of $65,000 raised]
Already a significant success in its campaign, this looks like a stylish tactical platformer in which two players co-operate and use various items for self-defence and navigating the environment. The pitch trailer shows promising use of these mechanics with some attractive visuals.
Chances of success: Paypal donations are slowly taking the developers towards the Wii U goal, but as yet it's not been reached.
Ray's the Dead — Wii U included as $65,000 stretch goal [$51,773 of $30,000 raised]
Another success story, this game has eye-catching visuals and a neat hook as you raise the dead — hence the wordplay in the title — to accompany you on an adventure; it seems to be part exploration, part strategy as you lead and hurl an undead army into action. It's all with the goal of exploring Ray LaMorte's backstory.
Chances of success: Pre-orders from the game's website will apparently count towards stretch goals, so there's hope yet for a Wii U version.
Let us know what you think of this current crop, and as this list is inevitably missing some entries feel free to drop tips in the comments that can be added here or included next time around — next time should be much sooner than with this update.