Kickstarter Picks: Shadowrun Returns

One of the coolest things about Kickstarter is that it’s granted new life and second chances to game franchises that were seemingly dead in the water. The latest ’90s-era video game series to rise up for a gasp of air is Shadowrun. Though Shadowrun is still a popular tabletop RPG campaign, it’s been a while since we’ve seen the series take on a digital form. With any luck, that will change with help of the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter.

A first-person shooter game based on the Shadowrun universe did in fact show up on the PC and the Xbox 360 in 2007, but Jordan Weisman, the series’ creator, hopes to return to the franchise’s 2D roots with Shadowrun Returns. Weisman says the game will be a “graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat,” and should be great fun for old blood and newbies alike.

Shadowrun Returns takes place in a world where technology and magic melded following the awakening of mystical powers in the year 2012 (hey, is this game trying to tell us something?). Suddenly, elves, dwarves, and orcs walk amongst men, great dragons fly the skies, and trolls have come out from behind their computer screens to creep along the streets.

Slipping in and out of the shadows and alleys are the Shadowrunners, freelancers who do everything from dirty work for the world’s mega-corporations, to protecting citizens who are otherwise vulnerable. Weisman and the Shadowrun Returns team at Harebrained Schemes promises a story-rich game based on the Shadowrunners’ deeds and their fascinating world.

If the Kickstarter is successful, Shadowrun Returns will be released on Apple and Android tablets, as well as PC. And if you pledge your support, here’s what you’ll get. For $15, you’ll receive a DRM-free download of Shadowrun Returns for the PC, plus a wallpaper for your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device. A $30 pledge will net you a special starting ability in-game, plus an illustrated PDF version of a Shadowrun Returns short story anthology. For $100, you’ll get a hardcover version of the Shadowrun Returns anthology, and your name in the game’s credits.

Here’s the biggie: for $10,000, Mike Mulvihill, the previous head of Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp., will come to your house and run a tabletop game of Shadowrun for you and five of your friends. Rumor has it that he might even bring Cheetos.

Want to see the shadows come to life once more? Visit the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter page.

Project Name: Shadowrun Returns
Platforms: PC, Apple and Android tablets
Funding Needed: $400,000
Funding Acquired (as of this writing): $91,330
Days Left: 24

Kickstarter Picks is a series on Gamezebo that profiles 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!

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