OBEy_Feature

Kickstarter Weekly: Obey, Empyrion, and Weather Zen

No, the inclusion of Obey is not meant to be a subliminal message

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The adjectives “innovative” and “unique” are found all over Kickstarter, let alone in the marketing campaigns of mainstream video games. When I look for games on Kickstarter, I don’t expect to find the video game equivalent to the wheel in terms of innovation, and I certainly have no problem covering games that put their own spin on a conventional genre. However, every other week I find three games that, while I wouldn’t necessarily describe all of them as innovative, implement fresh, interesting ideas.

Obey is a multiplayer tower-defense game that focuses on coercion rather than gunplay. Empyrion: Galactic Survival challenges you to escape a barren planet by mastering a mixture of tower-defense and crafting gameplay. Finally, Weather Zen pits you against one of mankinds greatest threats: unpredictable weather.

Obey

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By: Daniel Dez

Goal: $78,000

Current Funds: $2,576

End: November 22, 2014

Perhaps you and your friends are looking for a new online multiplayer  game, but you’re all sick of repeatedly killing each other. Perhaps you want to try something a bit  more tactical with multiple options apart from killing? In this case, you may want to consider checking out Daniel Dez’s Obey, a game that’s all about coercion.

What looks like a 3D tower-defense title is actually a deep action-strategy game. A giant weaponized tower imposes its will upon the many thin-skinned bunnies you’ll play as. The only way these bunnies can survive is by usurping the tower; however, only one of the bunnies will be able to control the tower in this multiplayer game, and, of course, you want to be the lucky rabbit to taste the Trix.

Obey is an intense game of King of the Hill in which coercion is the most practical strategy. In order to win, one of the bunnies needs to collect the most money by the end of the round, and whoever gets to the tower first receives a higher paygrade. Being equipped with the latest technological hardware, the robotic tower can easily wipe out the bunnies if it spots them. Dying also creates a risk of dropping off respawned bunnies in front of the tower, and they lose money every time they die; thus, the bunnies risk a lot should they mess up even once. This means players will need to consider going against their best interests in order to avoid losing too money, and this often means helping an opponent who is in a much better position.

I cringed when I first read the Kickstarter page for Obey. I’ve written about numerous games that I’ve found to be interesting, but I would only describe a fraction of those games to be as “unique” as their developers claim them to be. Obey is one of the games that I think is special, and you can see it in every aspect of this lone game developer’s project. Afterall, Daniel Dez is just one guy and managed to create so much.

Empyrion

By: Eleon Game Studios

Goal: £50,000

Current Funds: £8,782

End: November 27, 2014

I suppose it’s odd to think of our planet as confining; yet, we are naturally driven to explore new heights such as the moon. However, what happens when we, become stranded on a new planet and find out it feels even more oppressive than ours? This the question you’ll answer yourself in Empyrion.

The human race has exhausted Earth of its resources, and their solution is to explore space for a new home. As expected, the ship crashes and you are the lone survivor. As an alternative to wallowing in despair, you instead explore the planet for materials and other resources necessary for building a home, ship, and weapons. If you’re able to survive the planet’s inhabitants long enough to build your ship, you’ll be able to make it to the planet’s orbit where you must do all of that again. This time, however, you focus on building a mother ship, complete with self-growing food, oxygen tanks, and, more importantly, a ship that will eventually become powerful enough to take you home. Of course, the game is open-world and planets are randomly generated in order to keep things interesting.

While Empyrion will most likely appeal to fan of crafting games, it also has some interesting multiplayer features. Co-op is an obvious feature, as it makes more sense to build such complicated machinery with an ally. However, the game also features competitive multiplayer, in which players can build their bases and then use their space ships to sabotage other players’ efforts. This last feature admittedly seems out of place, but it’s there if you are interested.

As a crafting game and space simulator hybrid, Empyrion looks like it has potential. I think the game has an interesting blend of tower-defense and crafting that should help give it its own identity. However, what I think is most appealing feature of the game is to simply explore the universe and take in sights.

Weather Zen

By: Eleon Game Studios

Goal: £50,000

Current Funds: £8,782

End: November 27, 2014

I live in a state where the only consistent weather threat is the occasional tornado, and I tend to work and relax indoors; therefore, the weather typically doesn’t concern me unless the state desperately needs more rain. I also recognize that regardless if the weather is pouring down rain or bombarding us with hurricanes, it usually provides spectacles to behold, and I believe this might be what Krellware is attempting to emulate in Weather Zen.

Weather Zen challenges players to brave the often tumultuous weather that’s even more so due to the sudden imbalance between the world’s four elements. The current order of monks have become greedy and complacent, and they aren’t helping with the world’s situation. However, one young female monk is willing to brave the elements in order to discover the secrets to renewing harmony between the four elements.

In order to survive, you must effectively plan your route in this tower defense, strategy, puzzler and action adventure hybrid. You have an old map. a spirit animal, and your wits to aid you in your quest. Since each type of weather condition is different, you’ll also need to prepare and build appropriate shelters. In some cases, should the weather prove to be too difficult to endure, you can always just, well, stay inside. As with the unpredictable weather, the game is meant to provide a variety a situations for you to test your mettle, and it utilizes a top-down, map-like perspective that’s perfect for tablets.

Interestingly, Weather Zen is meant to tie into a series of games including an MMO. If Weather Zen is funded, I can only hope that Krellware’s games are just as beautiful and interesting as this Kickstarter project.

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.

 

About The Author
Garrett Glass Senior Editor
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