Here’s one of the more exciting things to hit Kickstarter in quite awhile: Armikrog, a new adventure game from the makers of the mid-90s claymation classic The Neverhood.
Gamers of a certain vintage will no doubt remember the 1996 point-and-click adventure The Neverhood. It wasn’t a big hit but it’s remembered fondly by fans, in no small part because of its whimsical claymation visuals: an unusual feature in video games to say the least. It never got a sequel, and Doug TenNapel, one of the principals on the game, moved on to other things, including Earthworm Jim; but now he’s back, along with Neverhood co-creators Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield to make a new stop-motion adventure called Armikrog.
The game will follow the adventures of a space explorer named Tommynaut and his blind, talking dog Beek-Beek, who crash on an alien world and find themselves locked up in a fortress called Armikrog. The stop-motion animation is obviously reminiscent of The Neverhood, but mixes puppetry with claymation for a more varied look. The voice cast is well-stacked too, with celebrities including Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite fame, PVP comic creator Scott Kurtz, and voice-acting legend Rob Paulsen, who has appeared in just about everything. Even Terry Taylor, who created the score for The Neverhood, has returned to work on an all-new soundtrack for Armikrog.
Armikrog is already in the early stages of development, but as exciting and (relatively) star-studded as it is, the developers say the project is dead in the water without Kickstarter support. “This game isn’t going to get made by a major publisher,” TenNapel explains in the Kickstarter. “If you want this kind of game, then believe me, this is the only way it’s going to happen.” They’re seeking $900,000, which is nothing to sneeze at, but the good news is that the fan base appears to be responding: After just one day, the Kickstarter has brought in more than $200,000.
The Kickstarter promo also offers a preview of what’s in store in Armikrog, and it looks pretty fantastic. I’m not sure I agree with TenNapel’s assessment that no publisher would touch this game, especially given the resurgence of the adventure genre over the last year or so (although he did specify no “major” publisher, so maybe he’s thinking more of Activision than Telltale). But I do like the looks of this project, and if Kickstarter is the way they want to go, I really hope they make it.
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!