Kickstart My Hearts: Games for Goodness’ Sake


Need something to throw money at?


Well you better brace your wallet for impact anyways because it is time for the crowdfunding report from the number one in faecal flinging entertainment. Except this time we will try to keep it less messy and more gaming related. For now…

Let’s start with the already successful stories (keep in mind that dollar figures may or may not be $US).

Games for Good 

Now many of you would already be aware of Extra Credits and the amazing series that this team does where they look deeper into video games and the culture that surrounds them. If not, why are you reading this article when you could be watching them!?! **Please still read this article…*** Seriously though, I’m a big fan of their work and you should be too.

First up, this project is not a game but is about defending the medium we love. It is also about creating innovative games that push the medium forward without losing the fun and spreading the word on huge amount of good that games can do.

“…we really can together change this conversation from how games are destructive to how can we make the world a better place through games.” – James Portnow, Extra Credits

The good news is that this project had been funded with $54 572 raised; already above its goal of $50 000. With 20 days left it will be interesting to see just how much support they get from the wider gaming community. Seriously this thing has the potential to explode in the most fantastically colourful way possible.
God speed James. God speed.

Project Phoenix

Project Phoenix

What do you get when Western and Eastern developers/artists/composers (with credits like Final Fantasy 1-10, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Valkyria Chronicles, L.A. Noire, Starcraft II series, Assasin’s Creed II, Diablo III, Halo 4, World of Warcraft series, Crysis 3 and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) combine with the promise to make an authentic JRPG with Real Time Strategy elements?

Absolute Crowdfunding Bliss.

“Project Phoenix is a JRPG with a squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West.”

In about 24 hours and the project has already reached $247 258, soaring above its initial goal of $100 000 where a lot of its staff would be donating their time and money (and really, many of them still are). A lot of cool stuff is in the stretch goals with double the character & monster models with extra Uematsu music at $300 000, customisable character creation at $650 000. Even MORE content is offered if it manages to stretch all the way past goals to $1 650 000 with special additional side-stories, a fully explorable overworld and a special musical collaboration piece of Eminence X Uematsu X Kurlander.

I think I’ll call this one already as the next big Kickstarter record breaker, as there is still 28 days to go and the crowd’s funds show no sign of stopping.

Ghost Song: A Journey of Hope 

Ghost Song

I know there’s some fans of Metroid, Dark Souls and Castlevania out there; well your prayers have been answered in indie game form. With the distinct ‘metroidvania’ feel, this story is meant to be experienced in-game with the lonely vibe that screams something bad is gonna happen.

“A beautiful 2D sci-fi metroidvania about love, hope, and redemption.”

With 22 days to go they are already funded and at their 2nd stretch goal, sitting on $26 393 out of $15 000. There are still some cool stretch goals, like ‘Enhanced Pet System’ ($30 000) where the little creature that follows you evolves differently depending on what you feed them, ‘Overtime Mode’ ($40 000) where after the credits you’re put in the shoes of another character and will play certain key events from an new point of view with a new gameplay style, and of course the Wii U goal ($60 000).

Nintendo: this is what happens when you don’t make the games we want you to make. They are still made; you just don’t get a cut or the kudos.


And now we go onto the games that haven’t reached their goal yet.
But come on, they look pretty cool right?


Laika Believes 

Everybody loves dogs. Everybody loves space. Naturally, the emergence of the adventures of Laika the Soviet space-dog, is something that we can all understand. Discover the alternate future of the world ruled by an imperial USSR as Laika (one of the first animals in space irl) returns to fight for what is right…and bears…she fights bears with lasers.

“This dog speaks, wears silver armor, and has an arsenal of mysterious weapons. Abram calls her Laika.”

With $6 270 out of $20 000 pledged with 19 days to go, this project is look set to blast off. This project was originally posted with a goal of $100 000 but the group had received enough private funding to make the initial aim lower. So they kindly reposted with the lower aim of $20 000 as they didn’t want the community feeling they would rip them off. There are still plenty of stretch goals to be had and the story seems so crazy that it just might work dammit!

Stunt Runner – A Hilarious New Take on Physics Puzzlers 

Ever wanted to play Lemmings with a washed-up, Harrison Ford-esque stunt actor. Well now you just might have that chance. Enter Stunt Runner, a whacky physics puzzler that pits you as the director of Smash Johnson’s latest stunt filled flick.

“Lemmings meets The Incredible Machine gameplay. Help stunt actor Smash Johnson make his epic comeback to the big screen!”

Now the current pledges are sitting at $3762 out of $55 000. They have 22 days to go so it is still possible if this game finds its audience that it’ll make it to the other side. They are also on Steam Greenlight and have some interesting extras for the stretch goals (ominous background tones or cinematic camera mode anyone?). Well worth a looksy.

Black Talons 

I certainly love my customisation in games. However, when customisation meets interactive choice-driven gameplay something magical happens. This is what the team at Camel 101 is doing. Black Talons is an RTS game with emphasis upon your actions having real consequences in the battles & wider situation around you. This is combined with squad management & customisation.

“Do you enjoy strategy videogames like X-COM? The powerful machines from Mechwarrior? Sci-fi universes like Stargate? Black Talons gives you a bit from all of these, mixed up with real time tactics veterans in mind.”

This one is a hard one to call. They have 25 days to go and $7 478 has been funded out of their goal of $100 000. It certainly looks to have the potential to be big and a lot of work has been done already. We salute you Black Talons, hope your supply drop comes soon.

Edo Superstar 

You don’t think I’d miss the chance to make the obligatory monkey themed mention would you? Meet Masaru, the small-town, ninja monkey with a heart of gold. He quits the shadows and now he wants fame and glory. Become Japan’s greatest, woodblockiest fighting superstar in this beautiful fighting RPG on iOS/Android/PC/Mac.

This is from Jed Henry, the guy who created the awesome video-game-themed woodblock art. He’s making this game to further help the struggling Japanese woodblock community. I’d have to agree with his cause, as I think this art style has a lot of potential, especially with what he is doing with the medium.

Now there are 23 days to go and $20 231 out of $65 000 has been pledged, but dammit, I believe in you Masaru! I would say that these guys are going to make it, especially if the last minute funding rush happens. Amazing t-shirts & prints are available and pledges get you access to a download link when the game comes out. This will be available for a limited time and is not guaranteed, so make sure you keep an eye out. Stretch goals show they have a lot planned for this game if they receive the support, with extra chapters, Animals of the Zodiac arcade ladder mode, and Player vs. Player mode.

Monkey lovers everywhere, UNITE!