Kickstarter Kompilation: December 2020 edition

Six crowdfunding projects that look to gaming's past as we end a year no one wants to remember

Gosh! December! This year of all years is about to end, at last. Proof that every year is indeed finite no matter how awful they make us feel. Before we send 2020 packing, here's an assortment of video game crowdfunding projects of interest.

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. Also, in light of the ongoing pandemic, we recommend only backing crowdfunding campaigns if you feel comfortable with your own security and stability.

Against All Odds
Platform: Steam
Campaign ends: December 2
Estimated delivery time: October 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the game: £13 (about $18 US)

Against All Odds is a throwback to the silver age of the first-person shooter when 3D graphics were new and a bit clunky but still had a unique charm compared to the early 2D efforts. Specifically, the developers want to highlight the influence of "movies such as The Evil Dead and Dawn of the Dead, combining the action and graphics of classic games such as Half-Life and Resident Evil."

Arcade Dreams
Platform: it's a video series
Campaign ends: December 5
Estimated delivery time: June 2022
Minimum pledge to receive the videos: $29 US (digital only)

Did everyone see High Score on Netflix? As Retronauts readers familiar with the subject matter, did you find it lacking somehow, or was that just me? The notion of a "definitive documentary series that reveals the 100-year history of arcades and arcade games" sounds like it is more my speed, and that is precisely what the makers of Arcade Dreams promise. Also notable is the presence of recent Retronauts guest George Gomez on the cast list, he's legit!

Note that $29 is only enough for a digital copy of the series; backers interested in a region-free Blu-ray must pledge at least $49.

Labyrinth Sprint
Platform: Windows, Linux
Campaign ends: December 6
Estimated delivery time: August 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the game: £7 (about $10 US)
Demo Available

"Do you lie awake at night pondering on the mysteries of video games?" YES, all the time! Oh, sorry, that's the first line of the campaign for Labyrinth Sprint and I just had to share it here with you. The actual game, for the record, looks to be a curious combination of a Pac-Man maze game with a dungeon crawler.

Platform: Windows
Campaign ends: December 8
Estimated delivery time: Deember 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the game: SEK 150 (about $18 US)

BlackNoir is a double-retro project: not only is it a point-and-click adventure, but the game is set in the early 1900s. It's also a murder mystery and, as the title suggests, a bit noir. It's all the work of one "semi-professional artist from Sweden" who says he's been making games since he recreated the first floor of the Spencer Mansion from Resident Evil out of cardboard when he was 9. Nine? Nine is far too young to play Resident Evil, Tobias!

Chrono Sword
Platform: Steam, but "major consoles" are namechecked
Campaign ends: December 10
Estimated delivery time: November 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the game: $15 US
Demo Available

This is fun: I played Chrono Sword a few years ago at Busan Indie Connect in (South) Korea and here it is on Kickstarter, fully funded as of this writing! Take it from me, this is a 2D isometric Souls-like that looks good and plays well. It also involves time travel somehow? I guess the title implies that, but I never got that far in the demo I saw. Looking forward to it!

Legends of 16-Bit Game Development
Platform: it's a book
Campaign ends: December 18
Estimated delivery time: September 2021
Minimum pledge to receive the book: $30 US
Excerpt available

There's been a wonderful array of video game book projects brought to life via crowdfunding in recent years, but this is one of the more specific and niche topics I've seen: an entire tome dedicated to Treasure, the indie-before-anyone-said-indie developer of classic action games in the 1990s. And to make it more specific, author John Harrison is mostly concerned with Treasure's six games made for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. You have to applaud that level of detail.