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Kickstarter Weekly: Prisonscape and The Breakout

Dig Your Way to Freedom in These Two Games by on April 9, 2014  

I know I’ve said in a previous article that each Kickstarter Weekly feels like an adventure for me; however, it’s double-edged sword. Sometimes I feel like I’m bound by crowdfunded chains, toiling around in Kickstarter’s prison yard with nothing else to do. In between searching for Kickstarter projects, I’m always covering my other ideas for articles with a blanket or a poster, hoping that the Koalition’s editors don’t walk by my cell at the wrong time. That’s why I decided to pick two games about escaping prison for this week’s article. Prisonscape is an RPG with an uncompromisingly brutal representation of prison life; The Breakout is essentially a point-and-click adventure game inspired from the The Great Escape.

Who said I wrote my introduction for my 19th Kickstarter Weekly the way I did because I found two games about imprisonment? I never said it! You can’t prove it! I’m innocent, I tell ya!

Prisonscape

Project by: Lunar Enigma

Goal: $49,500

Current Funds: $3,262

End: May 9, 2014

Prisonscape is one of the most brutal old-school RPGs I’ve ever seen. You remember Chrono Trigger? Well, Prisonscape has very similar graphics. What’s the difference, you might ask? Well, apart from the fact that it takes place in prison, it is also significantly more violent than Chrono Trigger. Just imagine if Crono’s slashes actually had real consequences beyond eliciting numbers that indicate the amount of damage sustained, and all of this violence is for keeping yourself alive–not for saving the world. That’s Prisonscape.

Prisonscape is not so much a game about morality as it is a game about looking out for your character in a harsh environment—much like Lisa the Painful RPG. The main character is unmistakably guilty for murder. He’s small-time, so the majority of the game is determining how your character will develop and adapt to his new situation. It’s your choice whether you want to be a businessman, snitch, or just a ruthless fighter among other possibilities.

Combat uses a turn-based system with and emphasis on dirty fighting. Players take the items they have access to and craft their own shanks for battle. You can fight solo, or you can bring in a group of your henchmen. You can find a trainer to train you, or you can learn by simply starting fights. You can easily pick a fight with the guards as well, but they have more devastating equipment. You can even fight more intelligently by observing your opponent’s fighting style and exploiting their weakness. There are also QTE combos that are similar to the ones found in Mario and Luigi: Super Star Saga. I may not be able to play those games again after I’ve used similar combos to stab someone repeatedly in the throat in Prisonscape.

I respect Prisonscape for the same reason I respect Lisa. Both games are not about introducing moral systems designed to get you the best items depending on which side you choose. The only thing you need to worry about is the exact option you need to either stay alive with as many advantages possible–keeping your friends alive is simply a bonus. The funds will be used to allow the team to work full time on the game. Many of team members have been part of other successfully funded Kickstarter projects, so there’s a good chance they’ll finish the game.

The Breakout

Project by: Pixel Trip Studios

Goal: £49,500

Current Funds: £4,700

End: May 12, 2014

Remember when World War II FPS games were all of the rage? Then they seemed to die down, paving the way for modern FPS games. While I’m glad there’s no longer a market saturated with WWII shooters, I also think that WWII is still an interesting setting for video games. For instance, Pixel Trip Studio’s Kickstarter project, The Breakout, uses the one genre that would be perfect for creating a game similar to the Great Escape: point-and-click adventure.

The Breakout may not have you engaging other prisoners in turn-based combat, but that doesn’t mean that this point-and-click adventure game is any less brutal. You play as Lt. Guy Kassel, an ex-thief who turned his life around after meeting his wife and joining the airfoce. His plane gets shot down, and he’s taken to the most malicious prison camp, Verdammen Hof. Any escape attempt warrants death, but Guy, with his military and criminal background, may have the wits to dig farther than any other prisoner yet.

You’ll be doing vastly different activities during the day and night. By day, Guy will be gaining the trust of the other prisoners and observing the guards’ routines. By night, Guy will sneak around the prison, collecting items and picking locks as needed. There will also be elements of the occult, so Guy will notice some terrifying oddities that will make him want to dig even faster.

Currently, the studio has written the story and are working on the gameplay. They don’t have a playable demo yet, but they do have a video on their Kickstarter.  While the demo is only a minute long and doesn’t show much of the mechanics, it does show off the interesting art style that looks like Broken Age in the WWII era. Regardless of the lack of footage, The Breakout still sounds like a promising project, and any funding goals can help make it look more like the excellent trailer. The final thing to note is that the developers do have plans to release a playable demo this month.

Other Projects?

Have you seen any interesting projects on Kickstarter that you think deserve mention? Are you a developer who is currently running a Kickstarter campaign? Let us know in the comments section, or send an email to garrett@thekoalition.com.

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