Kickstarter Picks: Monochroma, Lioness, and more!

Like a gamer bride getting ready for the big day, this week’s Kickstarter Picks has something old, something new, something borrowed, and something BOO.  It also has exactly one terrible play-on-words, and you’re already past that.  Now we’re free to focus on five very deserving, pun-free projects.

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!

BANSHEE – Although Banshee‘s Kickstarter page is subtitled “The Game and Feature Film,” the crowdfunding goal of £14,500 is specifically targeted to making the ambitious Facebook game a reality.  Based off the world and characters from the team’s recent film of the same title, Banshee is a competitive multiplayer horror game that pits humans against spirits in a highly atmospheric city.  With Slender Man and Amnesia: The Dark Descent acting as inspirations for the game’s fright-level, and early scenes showing off a dark world illuminated only by small clusters of flashlights, Banshee could easily bring Facebook playtime to new, Left 4 Dead-style horror heights.

MonochromaMonochroma will inevitably be compared to two specific games, and has made no secret of these on its Kickstarter page: Limboand ICO.  But with the pedigree both of these indie puzzle-platformers bring, the uncanny newcomer could have worse company.  Set in a 1950s corporate dystopia that begins as an innocuous farm, Monochroma follows the journey of two brothers who witness an atrocious crime and must find a way to reveal what they’ve learned to the world.  The older brother, controlled by the player, must carry his injured younger brother by piggyback throughout the game, setting him down in order to climb obstacles and open up paths for both.  The younger brother, afraid of the dark, can only be set down in areas with light, and must always be picked back up—you cannot finish the game without him.  The entire story is told without text or cutscenes, relying solely on the brothers’ experiences during the game, the atmospheric environment, and the emotions elicited from the player.  With a demo openly available on the Kickstarter page, it’s easy to make an early decision on Monochroma: yes, please.

SOS: Ship of SacrificeShip of Sacrifice has one obvious, immediate draw: artwork strongly inspired by the Mother/Earthbound series.  Just behind this nostalgic aesthetic pull, though, a clever co-op game is taking shape.  Designed specifically for two players—no more, no less—SOS begins right after your cruise ship collides with something, starts sinking, and a waterborne virus begins spreading among passengers.  The pair of players will be tasked with escaping their cabin and finding a way off the ship while learning exactly what course of events led to this tragedy.  The puzzle-based gameplay is inspired by classic point-and-click adventure games and will require collaboration between the two characters, who achieve different results from interacting with objects.  Choose your co-op partner before backing for double the support!

World’s Largest Museum of Pinball – Even if you’ve never enjoyed the tactile satisfaction of smacking the flippers on a physical pinball machine or earning a free ball off a perfect nudge, pinball machines have influenced your gaming experience.  The World’s Largest Museum of Pinball wants to celebrate the historical impact of pinball with an 18 acre campus featuring over 500 pinball machines.  But unlike most stodgy, no-touching museums, visitors are welcome and encouraged to play the exhibits in this way-too-fun field trip destination.  You’ll have to travel to Banning, California to enjoy over 50 years’ worth of pinball history, but the World’s Largest Museum of Pinball will be open year-round and home to competitive tournaments: not quite e-sports, but p-sports.

Lioness – Disclaimer: Lioness doesn’t technically need your support.  It met its funding goal three days after launching on Kickstarter and continues to steadily climb.  It is, however, deserving of support, and the bonus rewards for pitching in are pretty swell.  From the fairly minimalist Kickstarter description, Lioness is a narrative-focused adventure game that aspires to create a different experience for every player.  This experience will include journalist Eggert Kirby researching seven missing persons, a nicotine-addicted cat, the yakuza, and interdimensional coffee.  The story will unfold across seven separate “sessions” through the seemingly standard requirements of character interaction, exploration, and problem solving, which will almost definitely be anything but standard.  Continuing the theme of “7s,” for a $7 contribution you’ll also receive a braingale collective bundle of 7 short, experimental games that will not be accessible outside of the Lioness Kickstarter, as well as two additional games from the upcoming “cutthroat EP.”  In case you lost count, that’s ten games, and one nicotine-addicted cat, for $7.

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