The pre-release months of a new console cycle are a great time to look back on gaming’s rich history, and this week’s Kickstarter Picks are fully on board.  Whether you want to play through the progression of platformers, revive a classic psychological horror adventure, or support the update of a Nintendo 64 masterpiece, we’ve got you covered.      

Rather than profiling a single Kickstarter project, future Kickstarter Picks articles will be rounding up a bunch of great games that we feel are worthy of your backer dollars. Like the new format? Have a project you think we should be aware of? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

 

BiT: EvolutionEvoland‘s “evolution of adventure gaming” premise was an immediate draw for gamers from the age of NES to PSX.  BiT: Evolution offers a similar appeal to a slightly older demographic, exploring platformers and styles ranging from the Atari 2600 to the SNES.  Players will begin BiT: Evolution as a puck from an early video game version of hockey who has found his way outside the game and into the “world of code.”  This technical behind-the-scenes provides a way for BiT to travel between games while upgrading himself with spare lines of code collected along the way.  BiT must use his newfound abilities to gradually traverse more involved levels, fighting off enemies from pixelated Pitfall-esque scorpions to laser-spewing Mega Man-style robots.  With a demo of some early levels already available, BiT: Evolution looks poised to combine tight gameplay with touching nostalgia—plus, a floppy disk reward tier!  We are so in.

 

Operation Moonfall – There are two great reasons to support the Operation Moonfall Kickstarter project: first, you love The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask, and second, you want to help spread that love to as many gamers as possible.  The Operation Moonfall community and petition began in 2011, shortly after Ocarina of Time was ported to the 3DS.  Its goal is simple: encourage Nintendo to also bring Majoras Mask to the handheld system.  While there are a number of ways to show your support on their Facebook page, the Kickstarter Project offers a tangible way to demonstrate your intentions and to receive something in return—specifically, a gorgeous screen printed poster featuring the eponymous mask and creepy, ever-falling moon.  If the Kickstarter project is successful, Operation Moonfall will send a signed copy of the print, along with the name of every backer, to the offices of Eiji Aonuma, Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime, and Shigeru Miyamoto to demonstrate the support and passion players have for Ocarinas lesser-known, but much-loved, successor. 

 

Every Day is Play – We’ve sung this tune before, but to reiterate: there can never be too many movies / books / non-game media about video games.  As an over 50 year-old art form, we already have plenty of history and progression available to chronicle, and more coming in every day.  Every Day is Play is one gorgeous, in depth addition to that much-needed database of knowledge.  Similar to the I Am 8-Bit series, its focus is on the artists, writers, developers, and other creators that have built works inspired by our favorite pastime, featuring everything from fan art paintings to multiplayer trash talk rap lyrics, hardware modifications to in-game mods.  The 200+ pages of curated and formally presented works will be interspersed with interviews and feature articles that provide a “snapshot of video game culture,” providing an homage to both the games represented in the art and the gamers who turned their passion for those games into something equally beautiful.

 

Super Goal RunSuper Goal Run has a lot of potential avenues for appeal: retro 8-bit fans, sports fans, and tycoon fans.  The main gameplay is split into two sections, featuring a simulation-focused career plot followed by actual soccer matches.  Players will need to manage their team through contract negotiations, training sessions, and earned promotions during the career session, improving their skills and marketability.  The soccer matches play out less like a Fifa-esque total game, and more as one-off, mini-game challenges.  Forwards will need to pick the best strategy for approaching a defender; keepers will need to make split-second decisions before diving.  The choices made and results of a game will improve a player’s standing, making them more likely to receive sponsorships, promotions, and be able to afford more training and improvements.  All of this is packaged in a highly detailed and extremely charming 8-bit wrapper that manages to present recognizable soccer stars like Ronaldinho and show off even the pained—and adorable—expression of a player who’s just been kicked in the face.

 

Shades of Sanity– The psychological horror adventure game has become slightly more common since Sanitarium‘s release in 1998, but its “spiritual successor,” Shades of Sanity, aims to bring the same level of horrific confusion and distrust of your own character to the game’s forefront.  You play as Joe, a concert pianist with schizophrenia who has found little relief from his hallucinations in therapy.  Desperate for a fix he has some control over, Joe decides to seek out his estranged wife, Kim—the one person who always supported him—and hopefully reconcile.  But as Joe arrives at Kim’s place, he gets the feeling that this is not actually her home, and the strangers he sees inside are not just hallucinations.  In the first-person role of Joe, players will be forced to deal with the world from his unusual point of view, unsure if what they are seeing is real or not.  The tension that accompanies this, along with the strange and possibly hallucinated world around him—blood pouring from a faucet, doors opening and closing on their own, coffins falling from the sky—creates a surreal and suspenseful atmosphere reaffirmed by supernatural puzzles that go beyond merely finding the key to unlock a room.  With members of the original DreamForge Sanitarium crew on board and a solid base already built, Shades of Sanity is an extremely promising entry in the horror adventure game, and one we can’t wait to see—or imagine—more of.