Kickstart This! Death Story

I’m going to begin by offering an apology. A few weeks ago, I highlighted a game on Kickstart This! called Lynn and the Spirits of Inao by Bloomylight Studios. The project was cancelled after it was revealed that Bloomylight founder David Tollari had been using unpaid interns to complete the game, which is a violation of French employment laws. Like many of the games journalists who covered the project, I was unaware of these infractions, and while it may not have been something we could have foreseen, I still feel sorry for those who wasted their time on the recommendation.

So let’s move on to another project… though Kickstarter seems to have gone all dark and gloomy this week, and there’s nothing but death, death, and more death! First, I found Death of Humanity, an online multiplayer survival game from Dingo’s Nest. There is also the visual novel Undead Darlings, where you explore the funpocalypse with a group of half-dead girls?

But my choice for today’s Kickstart This! is the rather cute Death Story from Team Neko. So let’s swing our scythe and find out why it rose above the other undead offerings.

Project: Death Story
Genre: 2D Action-Adventure Platformer
Platforms: PC (Win/Mac/Linux)
Funding Target: $12,666

What Is It?
Death Story is an action-adventure platformer with a slice of RPG. If you took the cute and fun Cave Story and spliced it with Dark Souls, you would have something akin to Death Story. Here though, Death personified is not some ghoulish skeleton or a bald, break-dancing William Sadler, but rather a young girl, albeit one armed with a scythe and the Death Arcana, the power that grants Death her supernatural abilities. What this amounts to is a fast-paced, handcrafted platformer featuring over 100 items and weapons, an array of bad guys to slay, and over 20 bosses to battle.

Why Fund It?
Death Story has already been approved on Steam Greenlight, and it is not hard to see why. Not only does it feature some quick and slick animation, but the art style shows a lot of thought has been poured into the game. Each level or area has its own colour palette, as if a filter has been placed over the camera, so everything appears in a shade of blue, green, or red, depending on the theme of that level. It’s a simplistic approach that gives the game a retro feel, yet one that is utilised brilliantly.

Best Rewards?

  • Digital copy of the game – $10
  • Digital copy of the game, plus PDF art book – $15
  • Previous rewards, plus early access and name in credits – $20
  • Previous rewards, plus exclusive backer-exclusive scythe in-game – $25
  • Previous rewards, plus digital copy of the soundtrack – $30
  • Previous rewards, plus stylish T-shirt – $40 (limited to 200)
  • Previous rewards, plus physical copy of game and soundtrack, and high quality printed zine of the artwork – $80 (limited to 200)
  • Previous rewards, plus work with the developers to create an exclusive weapon – $100 (limited to 50)

Until Next Time…
One of the great things about this project, and many others, is that the rewards ship worldwide, as games are universal, and so are the people who crowdfund them on Kickstarter. You could be living in Seattle and donate to a game studio in Seoul, or tweet about a local developer in London that will be read by a generous game player in La Paz. So keep giving and keep shouting for projects you believe in.

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In addition to being Warp Zoned's UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you're inclined, visit his personal website.

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