Kickstarter Kompilation: November 2019 edition

Halloween is over but there's two must-see projects this month for horror lovers

November 1st. All Saint's Day. Jack o' Lantern Disposal Day. All this is true, but it's also time to read about the latest crowdfunding projects that caught our interest here at Retronauts. Several of this month's higlights have a strong horror vibe to them despite the formal end of all things spooky last night, so gather the pennies from your Trick or Treat haul and see which project appeals to you the most. As always, 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. And yes, we still support the efforts of Kickstarter employees who seek to form a union!

An Itchy, Tasty History of Resident Evil
Platform: it's a book
Campaign ends: N/A
Estimated delivery time: TBD
Minimum pledge to receive the book: $15 US

Resident Evil superfan (and Retronauts pal) Alex Aniel has been working on a history of his favorite video game series for the past two years, interviewing all the key players who made Resident Evil the memorable, genre-defining (and defying) franchise it has become. This crowdfunding campaign - which is not a Kickstarter, hence the lack of a formal end date - is how Alex is raising funds to publish and ship his book (which he says is finished) to other Resident Evil fans worldwide.

$15 is sufficient for the digital version, but anyone looking for a physical copy must pledge at least $30 for a hardcover edition (the digital version is included). Also note that since Alex is part of Brave Wave Music, there are several tiers that include full albums by Japanese video game composers, a nice bonus even though none of that music is directly connected to Resident Evil.

Dark Room
Platform: iOS, Steam
Campaign ends: November 10
Estimated delivery time: October 2020
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $15 US

I'm old enough to remember when taking photographs was complicated. Not everyone had a camera and even if they did, it might not be handy at every moment. And even if the camera was handy and the photos were taken, it took a lot of work and time to look at the pictures. When I was in school I got a taste of what that work entailed because we had a darkroom in the A/V office and the process of developing film still fascinates me today.

Lo and behold, here is Dark Room, a game that purports to teach all players how to "be a master of developing your own film and making prints" while also telling a story about a cult or murder or ghosts maybe? It's a mystery to me, a stranger who cannot play this game until it is released next fall.

Creature Keeper
Platform: PC
Campaign ends: November 13
Estimated delivery time: March 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $15 US

Creature Keeper is a cute "top-down action-adventure RPG" in a world full of creatures both benign and dangerous. Players head out into that world and by befriending certain kind critters, they become strong enough to fight the bad ones. There's also cooking and gardening and an assortment of menus that suggests this game has a lot going on besides the (already inviting) basic system of meeting, greeting, and beating wild animals.

The sole developer of Creature Keeper says the game's influences run from "Zelda, Rune Factory, and Diablo games; to Path of Exile, and Ragnarok Online." The campaign page links to a free demo which runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux, thought the campaign only promises a final version for PC as of this writing.

Project Blue
Platform: NES
Campaign ends: November 14
Estimated delivery time: Jan/Feb 2020
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $10 US (digital only)

Project Blue is a brand-new NES game "set in post-apocalyptic Hong Kong" which feels awfully pertinent to current world events. It's got running and jumping and shooting and bad robots and there's even a level editor (for PC only) that exports to a ROM file so custom creations can subsequently be played on an NES as well.

The two-person team responsible for creating Project Blue insist that the game itself is complete. They are turning to Kickstarter to raise funds for producing & shipping cartridges (crowdfunding protip: it's always the physical rewards that are the hardest and costliest to fulfill). A $10 pledge is enough to download Project Blue early next year - the campaign has already been fully funded - but NES owners who want the complete experience will need to pony up at least $60.

RepliCade: Dragon's Lair
Platform: miniature arcade cabinets
Campaign ends: November 20
Estimated delivery time: March 2020
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $90 US

Dragon's Lair was a phenomenon in early 80's arcades that, due to its nature of being an interactive movie, has subsequently been ported to every device imaginable. Now RepliCade wants to port it to your desktop or coffee table in a miniature version of its original form. For the sake of authenticity (?) it comes with a tiny LaserDisc player as that then-revolutionary technology was the beating heart of the 1983 arcade machine.

Does it matter that the impact of the gorgeous animation is sure to be lessened by being squeezed onto a tiny screen with even tinier controls? Maybe, but I'm a proud owner of a Neo Geo Mini so I'm in no position to judge anyone who chooses emotion over practicality.

Dracula: The Evidence
Platform: it's a briefcase?
Campaign ends: November 21
Estimated delivery time: October 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the stuff: $25 US (digital version only)

We love Castlevania here at Retronauts so that means we're aware of the series' roots: you can't have a vampire hunter without a vampire and Dracula is the most famous vampire of them all. Bram Stoker's original novel, which spawned the famous count and shaped most of our current ideas of what a "vampire" is, was presented as a series of diary entries, news articles, doctor's notes, and so on, a sort of "found footage" movie except it was a book - emphasis on was, because this new edition will reimagine the novel as an entire briefcase full of material for readers to examine as they see fit.

There's a bare-bones digital-only tier that offers scans of all these scribblings but for the true conversation piece/obsession unlocked experience, backers must pledge at least $360. But why stop there? For a mere $2000 the materials will be enclosed in an "engraved stone vault" along with extra items like communion wafers and "a vessel of actual Transylvanian soil." There are no stretch goals, for where else is there to go beyond dirt?