I write about many RPGs for the Kickstarter Weekly—typically roguelikes and JRPGs. The 21st issue is no different, although the games themselves take their own different approach to the genre. Pixel Noir takes the traditional turn-based RPG and applies it to a noir setting; Omori is a surreal psychological horror RPG. If you’re looking for something different in your RPGs, then this week’s issue is especially for you.
Project By: SWDTech Games
Current Funds: $19,445
End: May 11, 2014
SWDTech Games states on their Kickstarter that there hasn’t been anything new with RPGs over the past decade, and they hope to change that with Pixel Noir. I’m going to guess that the team doesn’t visit Kickstarter very often; otherwise, they would have seen projects like Prisonscape and Lisa. But I have to give them credit: I’ve never seen a noir turn-based RPG, and I gladly welcome it.
Pixel Noir follows the story of a private eye who experiences hallucinations ten years after he blew up a hospital. He’s dismissed from the force, but he stumbles upon a mystery that begs to reveal more about the troubled event. He takes to the dark, pixelated streets of Pinnacle City, simultaneously battling thugs and his own hallucinations.
SWDTech designed Pixel Noir to pay homage to its JRPG roots while incorporating some modern advancements. The game features beautiful pixel art that reminisces classic JRPGs, but it also includes black and white motion comics to drive the mystery. Combat looks to include traditional turn-based combat but with some streamlined features. Like any hardboiled detective, you can use the environment to your advantage such as picking up bottles or shooting chandeliers. SWDTech also promises that, despite the turn-based mechanics, battles will be fast paced.
The team tells an amusing anecdote in their Kickstarter trailer. They initially garnered interest from publishers. However, the publishers asked the team about their strategy for monetizing Pixel Noir similarly to Candy Crush. It’s no wonder that they turned to Kickstarter. If funded, Pixel Noir will be released on PC, PS4, PS Vita, Mac, iOS, and Android. Please don’t let this game become Candy Crush: Pixel Noir Edition.
Project By: OMOCAT
Current Funds: $22,000
End: June 5, 2014
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a survival-horror inspired JRPG. That said, the Kickstarter trailer for Omori is captivating. Omori’s design looks similar to Earthbound and Scott Pilgrim, but it also has trippy visuals that depict imagery seen in Japanese horror films. But that’s just scratching the surface; watch the trailer to see what I mean.
Omori actually has quite a bit of history outside of this Kickstarter. The game is based on a blog that lasted from 2011-2012. The game follows the story of Omori, an otaku who is trapped in the purgatory-like WHITE SPACE. Omori spends his days filled with depressing thoughts, accusing himself of being a horrible person while wondering if his neighbors like him. Omori’s story is supposedly finished, so
Not too much is known about Omori. The battle system looks like it’s taken a page directly from Earth Bound—even the graphics look eerily similar. The difference is that Omroi looks like it’s takes minimal approach while interspersing it trippy visuals. We also know is that it’s supposed to be a psychological survival horror RPG, and that Omori will be exploring his own memories; Omori will not be limited to just the WHITE SPACE.
Even with the lack of information, I get the feeling that Omori is going to tackle depression as one of many possible themes. While that may be off-putting for some, I think it’s an interesting idea to tackle a theme that people can easily relate to. I can only guess because the Kickstarter page doesn’t reveal too much information; however, it seems that the trippy visuals were enough to convince backers to fully fund Omori. The project has already met its first stretch goal: expanded cutscenes. The next goal is for a Mac port (originally coming to PC), and the rest of the goals are, fittingly enough, enshrouded in mystery. In the meantime, there are plenty of psychedelic tracks to check out on team’s Kickstarter page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.