I’m going all sci-fi on you this month. Why? Well, why not? Who doesn’t love sci-fi? I usually try to find a mix of games, a variety of genres, a cocktail of…well, you get the idea. But these games all stood out for me. They’re all being created by accomplished, talented people (of which there are many on Kickstarter) who all have innovative ideas and are passionate about their projects. How can you look into their big puppy dog eyes/project pages and refuse?
End Date: 24th July
Creator: Studio MONO
Top Reward: $3000 – authentic hand-forged Noma officer helmet
Every Little Helps Reward: $5 – exclusive downloadable content pack
What Is It?
An atmospheric single player/co-op RPG set in a “living” dieselpunk sandbox with real-time tactical gameplay. It takes place on a huge half-deserted space station called The Ark that is slowly making its way to The Evacuation Point, a distant planet. The Ark is home to the Nomans who escaped their home planet several centuries ago after a cataclysmic conflict between the Republic of Noma and the SORG regime. They are pinning all their hopes on the elusive Evacuation Point where they are hoping to start again from scratch.
The player begin the game as a Noman who emerges from cryogenic sleep and tries to understand what has been happening on The Ark for the last 20 years. Despite this being the go-to method of introduction for any deep-space story, the game appears original and intriguing.
It looks as colossal as The Ark is meant to be, with around 15-20 hours of main storyline to play through and 20-30 hours of side quests. The epic storyline is non-linear with many points of no return and deep immersive gameplay.
There’s a lot going on. The sandbox element means exploration but there will also be enemies (the aforementioned SORG) and it’s up to you how you approach combat. Everything is taken into account, from the weight of your armour and weapons (your character will have a limited inventory), to how quickly your stamina depletes. Not only will you need to survive against aggressive enemies but you also face danger from extreme fatigue, environmental injuries, hunger and sleep deprivation (it is called InSomnia after all).
Challenging games need to have pay-offs to make it worthwhile, unless you just like punishing yourself. InSomnia claims to break free from levelling systems, character classes and unwanted grind with a flexible classless system and storytelling encouraging unorthodox approaches. There will be plenty of mini-games, puzzles and Easter eggs to discover and if funding is met, stretch goals include a playable female character (woo hoo!), professional voice-overs and remote controlled equipment (double woo hoo!).
With its noir styling’s and dark ambient soundtrack, this looks to be an atmospheric sci-fi game that could keep you up all night.
End Date: 23rd July
Creator: Neovariance Games
Top Reward: $160 – high detail 3D print of special collector’s ship
Every Little Helps Reward: $5 – backer official forums badge
What Is It?
A first person shooter, space trader and sandbox all in a dynamic universe with scripted events and random encounters. Xeno Galaxies combines roleplay elements and old-school FPS with designing and building space stations, ships, automatic mining facilities and outposts with in-game advanced design tools. At the moment it’s all single player action with the ability to share blueprints with all other players via the in-game blueprint store. Each time your design is used by the game itself or another player, you earn galactic credits.
One of the most intriguing things about this game is the Holodisk reward. Hidden in the game are many secret locations. You will receive a redeem code for use at an in-game terminal which will deliver the Holodisk. This is both a gift and a risk because it will cost valuable fuel to travel to and investigate the location, and you don’t know what awaits there. It could be something nasty which will undoubtedly try to kill you or it could be precious loot. The best builders and most active community members will get codes as well.
Stretch goals include three playable alien races with their own unique styles and technologies and co-operative small-scale multiplayer.
This game has it all and I’m excited to see how it turns out if funding is successful. And, yes, there will be arachnids to kills. Which is really what we all want.
End Date: 27th July
Creator: Payload Studios
Top Reward: £1000 – be immortalised as a pivotal character
Every Little Helps Reward: £3 – a set of exclusive beautiful digital wallpaper images
What Is It?
TerraTech lets you design, construct and organise a fleet of unique vehicles to lead to victory as you battle your way across lawless frontiers of new alien worlds in a quest for glory and profit. In the distant future, Earth’s resources have finally been depleted and as an off-world prospector, it’s your job to travel to alien planets, gather up all the good stuff and blast it back home to get paid.
Construction is easy; just drag and drop blocks into place. You can equip your vehicle with all types of weapons like machine guns, lasers, cannons and mortars, to name just a few. Multiplayer also plays a big part and you can share tank designs with friends via Twitter.
This looks like digital Lego and reports are that it’s very good. Payload Studios are being featured everywhere and they have an enviable team of developers, three of who have nearly 40 years’ experience in some of gaming’s biggest franchises, including Call of Duty, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil and Fable. Their Art Director has 16 years of industry experience at Codemasters and Blitz games, working on major franchises for Disney, Dreamworks and Nickelodeon.
So it’s safe to say these guys probably know what’s what when it comes to designing fun, entertaining games. TerraTech is suitable for all ages as well so this could be one to enjoy with the kids.
End Date: 26th July
Creator: Xn Touch
Top Reward: $10,000 – fly to Israel for a week of boot camp training by ex-special forces
Every Little Helps Reward: $5 – appear of SNIPEr’s page within apps and website
What Is It?
A revolutionary shooter game where you shoot actual Touch-Reactive darts at your touchscreen device to take down epic digital targets. Use a SNIPE blaster (or another commercially available blaster) to shoot SNIPE touch darts at your tablet while it’s running one of the SNIPE apps, which run across iOS, Android and Windows.
The science part: due to their light weight and super-soft tips, SNIPE darts have an impact force of no more than 0.05 Newton, which is 20 times weaker than the weakest commercially available screen is designed to handle. The darts were tested (scientifically) by being fired at an egg from a distance of between 0.2m to 4m away. Nothing happened, though the eggs were boiled and eaten afterwards.
The first four apps to become available on release will feature many different game modes, authentic sound effects and life-like graphics. For your SNIPE blaster, if you so choose, you can have a single fire or rapid fire, and you can prop your tablet up on a SNIPE mount, of which you can choose a table mount or a wall mount.
Founded in 2012, Xn Touch is an Israeli toy company who specialise in creating interactive toys that enhance the gaming experience on smartphones and tablets. Their first product was the Fruit Ninja Slicesword, created in partnership with Halfbrick Studios.
SNIPE was born out of a frustration of playing boring shooting games on smartphones, where the only skill needed was to be able to swipe quickly. While I included this as my special bonus feature, in all honesty it was really only a matter of time someone made this. I’m sure it will be popular if and when it takes off.