A few keywords to get you interested right from the start: 16-bit, metroidvania, pixel art, Gradius, open-world RPG. Still salivating? That’s exactly why games like as A.N.N.E exist. The Kickstarter project by Gamesbymo looks to combine some very well-loved game genres into a stunning platformer/RPG/shmup experience. A.N.N.E is a love letter from gaming’s history, and it doesn’t attempt to shrug off even a bit of nostalgia as it makes its way to modern players.

A.N.N.E is structured around a platform-adventure base with a heavy focus on exploration. Put simply, the developers want you to be able to travel around and take in the sights, with plenty of eye candy to encourage you to do so. Enemies and puzzles block your path, forcing you to eventually hunt for items and level yourself up. Using your ship “The Great Whale” you can bring out the big guns (literally) to blast enemies or carve paths through the landscape. You can even lift heavy objects to make platforms for your character to cross, or just pick up and throw boulders because it’s a cool thing to do.

It’s impossible to talk about A.N.N.E without drooling over the artwork. The backdrops are simple but stunning, and the pixel environments are drawn with lush detail and soft gradients that make everything come to life. The game even runs in 720p, ensuring you really will get an eyeful the moment you start the game.

A.N.N.E is set for a PC release in early 2014. There are over half a dozen stretch goals that ensure some nice extras in case the funding goes well. Support for Mac and Linux systems are the easiest goals to meet, with OUYA, Wii U and PlayStation Network support coming later. New game modes, local co-op and other bonuses are also in the planning stages, so the better this Kickstarter project goes, the better A.N.N.E can be!

Kickstarter Picks is a series of features on Gamezebo that will profile Kickstarter projects in the world of video games. We’re doing this in the hopes of calling attention to interesting projects in need of funding, so please, if a game looks like something you’d want to play, don’t hesitate to lend it your support!