Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms have been an excellent financial aid for certain indie games. Without the money needed to keep the lights on, the computers running and the coffee flowing there would be a ton of amazing games that would never see the light of day.
The popularity of crowdfunding has since taken off and now we see almost too many games launching their campaign each day, making it harder for people to discover their next favourite project. The idea behind this (recurring) article is to highlight a few personal favourites in the hopes of giving them a small boost and hopefully giving you, the reader, a nice feeling of generosity (and some awesome indie games to play!)
NOTE: We’ll try to focus on the projects that need the coverage and have not yet been funded.
Rift World is a magical FPS where you blast your way through low-poly enemies and obstacles and travel through rifts to find increasingly challenging levels. It has fast-paced spellslinging, floating platforms to jump and dash to and the colourful worlds are sure to please your eyeballs.
It’s in development by a small indie studio called Cerulean Interactive. It started out as a student-developed project and was created by a small, but very passionate group of people that handcrafted each level for maximum enjoyment.
I tried the free demo on steam myself and was pleasantly surprised with the aesthetic approach. I especially loved how enemies crumble into pieces when you blast them and how fast you can zap spells from both hands. They still have a lot of work ahead, most of which will be gathering player feedback and making a game that feels as good to play as it looks.
The current demo is perhaps too unforgiving when it comes to floaty jumps and falling off cliffs and the overal controls may not be there yet, but the project definitely shows promise and the Kickstarter could be just the thing this young team needs: a morale boost, the starting blocks of a community built around their game, and the financial aid to keep the lights on while they focus on making this the best game possible, based on their vision.
Frogsong is a charming and ribbetting adventure RPG that takes place in a world full of frogs. You play as Choru, a little frog with huge dreams of protecting the world. Being a tree frog, however, society expects them to lead a life of religious studies, instead of training to be a warrior. Trying to defy your fate as such a tiny amphibian is no easy task but if you want to protect your loved ones, you’ll have to step up to the plate and show them what you’re worth.
Explore a beautiful, atmospheric land and fight monsters on your journey to find your place in the world. Salia is a familiar yet distinct world full of frogs, bugs and lush plants. It’s a land filled with history, stories, and legends. As you explore, observant players will learn bits and pieces of Salia’s past. Explore sunny fields, shady woods, and charming frog villages.
The game is made by Brandon Braun, a Canadian solo-dev specialised in animation, and it shows.
It won’t take long for you to notice Frogsong’s distinct hand-drawn artstyle, featuring charming, colourful 2D animations, cutesy character designs and interesting places to explore. Along the way, you’ll talk to plenty of strange beings, learn to upgrade your blade for stronger attacks and hop around a lush world oozing with lore.
Did we mention you play as a little treefog? With. a. tiny. wee. backpack? (because that’s a selling point to me!)
Blue June is a 2.5D story-driven horror adventure with elements of exploration, puzzle-solving and stealth. You play as June, a student of the prestigious Rose Hill Academy, who’s aiming to uncover the truth that lies beneath her recurring nightmares.
The horrifying nightmares slowly pull her into the past and before long, the real world begins to feel strangely foreign. The colors, sounds, and smells are no longer the same. With every passing day, the dream world seeps into the real one and soon, she might not be able to tell the difference…
Blue June has a low-poly artstyle and uses an unsteady camera to make you feel less at ease. Add in some ambient noises and a sprinkle it with a feeling of dread and the result will leave you with an uneasy feeling that can only be remedied by seeing the adventure through until the end and watching the credits roll. (Credits that may or may not include your name, depending on your decision to back this project)
The game is being made by Tiny Dodo, a Canadian one-girl game development team with a deep passion for creating tiny little universes. Game development is what Bibi loves to do, so consider supporting the project and help make her dreams come true (but not the nightmarish ones June is suffering from)
EDITOR’S NOTE: We hope you liked this article format and that you’ve discovered a few new projects that can use your support. It’s not easy getting eyes on your indie game these days, so please consider spreading this article around to help out the developers!
Disclaimer: While I also looked around for projects myself, this time the three selected titles were suggested by a fellow indiegame lover: @TheRealmsGames. Be sure to give them a follow!