The Kickstarter game that could

Crystal Catacombs is a title we’ve been following very closely here at Gamezebo.  We first wrote about it back in October for our Kickstarter Picks feature, and while it showed promise then, the game did not meet its funding goal. 

About a month ago, Maxwell Jensen, the creator of Crystal Catacombs and the co-founder of Levels for Lives, rebooted his call for crowd-sourced funding and now, with 46 hours to go (as of this writing), Crystal Catacombs has nearly doubled its goal of $7,500.  Which is, if I may say so, a very good thing for all of us.  Any gamer, especially those who grew up in the 8/16 bit era, will likely find something to love in this title.

Crystal Catacombs is, in the words of its creator, a 2D action platformer inspired by games like Super Metroid and Castlevania.  In his Kickstarter pitch, Jensen says Crystal Catacombs is his attempt at distilling the exploratory aspects of Metroid, the character progression of Castlevania, and the replayability of rougelikes into a single, 8-bit package. 

For those unfamiliar with Metroid games, they throw you into an open ended, usually cavernous world with branching paths that become accessible as new game mechanics (double jumping, for instance) become available.  Modern Castlevania games are action packed, but also feature the character building elements you’d find in any RPG, like leveling and equipping new gear. 

Crystal Catacombs

As for rougelikes, they are a favorite among the hardcore gaming crowd — their most notable feature being procedurally generated environments.  This means that every time you start a new game, the levels in Crystal Catacombs are created in a new and random way.  Every time you play, the game will be different.

For many of us, this sounds like a dream come true.  I’m very happy to see that Crystal Catacombs got the funding it needed.  It’s got it all.  The music is awesome, and, as you can see from the screenshots, its lo-fi visuals are absolutely beautiful.  The variety of level themes (jungle, ice, castle etc) will keep things from getting stale, and, from the looks of it, a wide variety of weapons, spells and enemies will help keep things fresh as well.  All said, I can’t wait to play it. 

Unfortunately, as is the case with so many awesome Kickstarter start ups, we won’t be playing for some time though.  Expect it next year on the PC, Mac and Linux, with ports to XBLA, iOS and Android possible as well.