Kickstarter Kompliation: June 2019 edition
Retro games, board games, and a shooting series returns for one final time (again)
Do you feel the thermometer rising? It's not just your imagination: the weather is heating up as summer approaches (also the planet is hotter than ever)! With the arrival of June it's time for another gathering of gaming crowdfunding campaigns with our usual disclaimer: we have no insider information or financial interest in any of these projects, and no one at Retronauts has been compensated for including anything on this page.
R-Type Final 2
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Steam
Campaign ends: June 11
Estimated delivery time: December 2020
Minimum pledge to receive the game: ¥3,300 (about $31 US)
If you've been enjoying R-Type Dimensions EX and wondering "hey, what about a brand-new R-Type game? It's been a while!" I'd like to thank you for speaking in such deliberate, cliched speech patterns to make my job easier. Also I have good news: Granzella is launching a Kickstarter to create R-Type Final 2, the most egregiously titled video game since Final Fantasy II (JPN).
If that corporate name sounds familiar, Granzella was founded in 2011 by former Irem employees right after that company decided it didn't want to make video games anymore. R-Type was one of Irem's most popular franchises, so this is less a "spiritual sequel" as it is a legit continuation of the series by much of the same people a decade later. In keeping with Irem tradition, R-Type Final 2 was announced on April 1 of this year, befitting that company's legacy of self-satirical jokes. However, it was soon made clear that this was not a joke, and now you can pay your real money to prove it.
Campaign ends: June 14
Estimated delivery time: September 2019
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $10
Here's a project that's a curious mix of old and new trends: an 8-bit video escape game. Players are trapped in a room and they must solve a series of puzzles as a ticking clock counts down. Developer Khan Games promises a challenge, stating that they "wanted to err on the side of too difficult rather than too easy" but clarify that the difficulty is puzzle based, not a matter of reflexes or twitch action. NEScape is allegedly finished already and works on a real NES along with most emulators/clone consoles (it even supports the SNES mouse) and this Kickstarter is only "to raise funds for cartridge, box and manual production."
Note that the $10 tier is for a digital ROM copy of NEScape. Physical collectors will have to donate at least $60 for the cartridge version.
Space Invaders: The Board Game
Platform: any hard surface
Campaign ends: June 15
Estimated delivery time: July 2019*
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $0*
This might strike some younger Retronauts readers as odd, but time was everything got its own board game adaptation - including video games! When I was a youth I had physical tabletop versions of Pac-Man and Zaxxon which I enjoyed almost as much as the real thing (if nothing else, the Zaxxon game came with a cool toy version of the eponymous villain). So when I saw a Kickstarter for a board game interpretation of Space Invaders, you best believe I put it on my list for review.
Space Invaders: The Board Game, unlike its digital ancestor, supports 2-4 players and is card-driven on a board with an outer space background and a few plastic flourishes. All backers receive a digital version of the game that they can print themselves, although the campaign states that this offer is free to everyone who requests it (hence the asterisk on the date and price above).
Space Invaders: The Board Game is expected to launch next year for the public but backers who pay at least $30 should receive a physical copy by the end of 2019.
Platform: Commodore 64
Campaign ends: June 16
Estimated delivery time: December 2019
Minimum pledge to receive the game: £15 (about $19 US)
How's this for a retro, retro game Kickstarter: developer Jonathan Woods ("a fully qualified aeronautical engineer" with "a masters in mechanical engineering design") started making his own Commodore 64 game in 1995 called Colony only to revisit the project in 2018, deciding to complete it and release it to the world as Parallaxian. The game is a 2D free-scrolling shooter (think Defender, not Galaga) with lovely parallax backgrounds - hence the name - with an added feature where the pilot may disembark and fight enemies on the ground.
The £15 tier is a digital-only rewards that requires use of an emulator, but backers at the £40 and £50-level can get the game on floppy disk or cartridge, respectively. Heads-up: the physical editions are PAL-only, not NTSC*
*Anyone excitedly reading about a Commodore 64 game in 2019 knows what that means, right? Right.
Platform: Steam, Sega Genesis, Atari Jaguar (!?)
Campaign ends: June 27
Estimated delivery time: August 2019
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $5
Here's another project with a long backstory: Switchblade was originally an 8-bit game for the Atari ST in 1989, later ported to other home computers. In 2018, Piko Interactive acquired the rights to a trove of classic video games and started porting them to Steam. Now in 2019, Piko wants to start making action figures based on the properties they own, and first up is...Switchblade. So this campaign is mostly about a toy based on a 30-year-old computer game, but anyone who back at the $5 level will get a copy on Steam.
But this is Retronauts, not Re-toy-nauts. I'm here to point out that at higher tiers backers can receive a Sega Genesis port of Switchblade or even an Atari Jaguar port! And if this Kickstarter really takes off and all stretch goals are met, Piko Interactive will make an LCD-handheld version as well. Just think: by the end of this year you could be playing this forgotten video game from 1989 on three obsolete platforms.