Zombie loving gamers everywhere will have reason to rejoice this summer as Mr. Tired Games has unleashed Undead Darlings: ~no cure for love~ on Kickstarter. In this tale that takes nods from both old school RPGs and modern visual novels, Undead Darlings lands players in the role of Reginald Happenstance, or “Reggie” for short, who awakens from a coma only to find that the world has been overrun with the undead during the time he had been napping. This being a title inspired by Japanese romance games, Reggie must not only team up with the game’s six adorably dead heroines to battle the zombie menace, but also win their hearts through visual novel style dialogue trees where the right answer can be mean the difference between life and undead.
All of this butt kicking, and zombie wooing takes place across three different modes of play. The first of these is a the above mention visual novel segments in which the player advances through large swaths of text with various characters, here represented by hand-drawn HD sprites, while occasionally answering questions and statements with one of several possible dialogue options. The right answer can improve Reggie’s relationship with each of the game’s six heroines while the wrong ones can only serve to make these adorable zombie girls angry, and none of us would want that to happen, right?
After you’ve read a novels worth of next, its time for some good old-fashioned dungeon crawling! Taking cues from games such as old as Wizardy and as modern as Operation Abyss, players will explore first-person dungeon’s through Reggie’s eyes while fending off hordes of enemies as you progress. These battles take place with each character taking an over the shoulder position in front of their stat window, a visual style, according to the game’s developers, meant to look just a bit similar to the class Sega Genesis RPG series, Phantasy Star. The game will also feature a unique battle system in which allows for characters to team up for combo attacks and the ability to increase your damage multiplier by hammering away at their weak points.
Undead Darlings also boasts a bit of an impressive staff behinds its undead facade, as both of the Mr Tired Games’ founders have worked at gaming giant Nippon Ichi Software America and thus have more than their fair share of knowledge of cutesy Japanese-styled games. Also on board for the project is pixiv, a Japanese art sharing website similar in scope to Deviant Art, artist Hitsu who will be providing the game’s art and character designs, and Mark Hamrock, a California native who be scoring the game’s soundtrack.
If the game successfully meets its $50,000 funding goal, backers will also be able to shoot for a number of stretch goals. Among these wallet punishing milestones are partial voice acting for the game’s battles and some story scenes at $80,000, a digital release of the game on the PS4 at $100,000, and even full voice acting supervised by the dubbing industry veterans at Bangzoom! Studios for a cool $125,000.
For their money, backers will be able to get a digital copy of the game for $30, and a variety of rewards ranging from art books, to posters, T-shirts, and more with each successive backing tier ranging from $50 all the way up to $5000, which will net one lucky person an in-game ballad devoted to themselves.
Only time will tell if this mixture of visual novel story telling and old school dungeon crawling will be enough to raise Undead Darlings from the grave, and $50,000 from backers pockets, but as the game did manage to net over 10,000 in just three days. Things are looking good thus far.
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