Kickstart This! Lona: Realm of Colors

I like to think I put my money where my mouth is, and this is very true of my relationship with Kickstarter. You could say I have something of a small obsession with helping other creatives get their projects off the ground. I jumped on the Yooka-Laylee bandwagon, funded inverted-planet flyer InnerSpace (which is now getting a console release), and still hold out hope that Knite & The Ghost Lights will see the light of day.

My most recent campaign contribution was to the shiny PELDA Pro battery case for the Nintendo Switch, because, like Gollum, I wants it! That means I cannot really afford to fund any more games. Which is a shame, because if I could, I would be funding Lona: Realm of Colors (even if they do spell “colour” wrong).

Paint brushes at the ready…

Project: Lona: Realm of Colors
Developer: SpaceFox
Genre: Point and Click Art Adventure
Platform: PC (Win, Mac, Linux)
Funding Target: 200,00 SEK (approximately $25,045)

What Is It?
Kickstarter has proven itself to be a productive and fertile ground for games that tackle human issues in ways AAA titles simply cannot afford to. As with That Dragon, Cancer or Neverending Nightmares, Lona: Realm of Colors explores dealing with dark emotions and depression through gaming. It does this by taking the “point and click” subgenre and subverting it into something decidedly dark and yet beautifully refreshing. Lona is an artist who takes inspiration from her problems in the real world and transforms them into abstract interpretations of the stress and strife she endures. These paintings become more vivid, and eventually, she is consumed by her own creations, trapped in the art itself.

Each level has two interpretations, like the classic day/night trope used in many games. Here the two sides are chaos, represented by the white cat Mrs. Schmidt, and a dark logical world dictated by Mr. Ruppel, the crow. Players must switch between the two planes of existence and try to marry them up by moving items between them, but actions in one may also affect the other. Finding the balance between the two will reveal a different part of Lona’s story.

Why Fund It?
Point and click fans will get a click out of this game, which elevates the style of play beyond finding objects to progress the narration. All the items and settings within the 15 levels have been deliberately crafted to tell Lona’s story and to try and push the narrative through the gameplay itself. The focus is on the art and the player’s journey, so don’t expect any inventories or HUDs to block the beautiful worlds.

Very often a game will present concept art that rarely looks like the final product, but Lona: Realms of Colors has retained much of its original vision, especially the bold, dark art styles. Much of this is inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki, and the game’s art director Taraneh Karimi has even painted an homage to the classic poster for My Neighbor Totoro featuring the game’s characters. Not only is Taraneh the only artist, making it very much her vision, but she also lends her vocals to the game’s haunting soundtrack.

Best Rewards?

  • Digital copy of the game, beta access, and digital soundtrack – 125 SEK ($15)
  • Previous rewards, plus digital art book – 175 SEK ($22)
  • Previous rewards, plus digital package of signed concept art – 250 SEK ($31)
  • Previous rewards, plus four printed postcards of Mrs. Schmidt – 330 SEK ($41)
  • Previous rewards, plus three signed posters of both Mrs Schmidt and Mr Ruppel – 500 SEK ($63)
  • Previous rewards, plus a limited edition hand drawn sketch by Taraneh Karimi– 640 SEK ($80)
  • Previous rewards, plus the chance to name a monster (limited to 150) – 1,230 SEK ($154)
  • Previous rewards, plus a Lona action figure and Mrs. Schmidt figurine (limited to 20) – 1,600 SEK ($200)

Until Next Time…
I would be remiss if I did not at least mention Celestian Tales: Realms Beyond. It looks very similar to I Am Setsuna, which I am currently enjoying on the Switch, and were it not for the tiny font of the writing, I would have happily chosen it as a Kickstart This! project, but for ardent RPG fans, it could be worth a look.

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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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