You may have noticed that our coverage of Kickstarter projects has cooled over the past few months, largely because so many came with dubious Nintendo-related stretch goals that they had no dream of ever reaching. We've become a bit more selective about what crowd-funded projects we cover these days, but we're allowed to go out on a limb every now and then - and this is absolutely one of those times. Indulge us.
Starr Mazer is a fusion of point-and-click adventure game and hardcore 2D shooting, with incredible pixel art and a soundtrack composed by the likes of Alex Mauer (VEGAVOX, Serious Sam: Random Encounter), Manami Matsumae (Mega Man) and Jake "Virt" Kaufman (Shovel Knight). As you can see from the video below, it looks positively gorgeous and developer Imagos Software is promising big things when it comes to gameplay, too. Starr Mazer will feature what is being jokingly referred to as "open-middled gameplay" which makes every single playthrough a totally unique experience:
Starr Mazer is driven by an Open-Middled Gameplay (OMG!) narrative. An entire playthrough of the game is like a season of a show, but each episode within can appear in almost any order. These episodes all have many entry points and exit points, but the core content of each episode is meticulously crafted. We record not only how a player starts an episode, but the decisions that player makes within, and how that player decides to end it. Your actions modify situations and outcomes of future episodes. As you complete key episodes in the overall narrative, the scenarios start funneling into one of a few logical and satisfying endings influenced by your actions throughout.
Imagos is also making the bold claim that the story "never ends" because of the unique way the gameplay is structured:
Because of the power of the OMG! narrative, each time you play through Starr Mazer it will be a different experience. Maybe in your first playthrough it's not till the end that you meet Declination Jane, the galaxy's most powerful space lord, just after she finds peace between two warring clans. You win her over, and she provides help in your last few episodes. But in your next playthrough you meet her earlier, and catch her at a bad time when she's on the brink of war. Brick says the wrong thing at the wrong time and insights her furious wrath. Now every time you cross the BARATHA DIVIDE she makes sure to send you a gift of a battalion of warships to fight your way through.
It remains to be seen if the developer can make good on such promises - or even if the game will reach its funding goal - but we're pretty hopeful. With 26 days to go Starr Mazer has done enough to convince over 1,400 people to pledge nearly $60K in cash. The goal is $160K, and while the team hasn't outlined any stretch goals as yet, it has stated:
We are currently targeting DRM free on PC, Mac and Linux with consoles, handhelds and mobile as stretch goals.There's also some secret release plan at some ridiculous stretch amount that I'm not supposed to talk about, but between you and me, it involves HuCards...
According to GoNintendo, the developers have already voiced their desire to bring the game to the 3DS - a platform that it would be particularly well-suited for, giving that the touchscreen could be used for the point-and-click segments while the upper display and physical controls would be perfect for the 2D shooter stages.
Would you be interested in seeing Starr Mazer on the 3DS eShop, or will you only commit when the developer says for sure that it's coming to Nintendo's handheld? Let rip with your laser cannon in the comments below.