The Kickstarter Spotlight is a weekly feature that focuses on potential projects on Kickstarter that not only deserve your attention but your dollars as well. APGNation seeks to help you, the curious public, sort through the dreck and spot the diamonds in the rough. This week we focus on what might feel like the hundredth top-down twin-stick shooter to come down the line in ages but with a crucial difference. This one? This one’s made with love and apparent influences in mind. ALIEN BREED! If you know .. you just know.
Upon The Shoulders of Giants
Kickstarter, as a whole, is based around a pretty simple philosophy. We want to make a game and reach out to the potential consumers of that game for help in doing so. If you weren’t aware of it by now, then let me clue you in. Game development isn’t exactly easy. The more stories one reads about what it takes to get a single game made the more one wonders how they are made at all. The business, as it were, is rough, and it is starting to appear a lot like the other sorts of entertainment industries that have had a far longer history behind them. That said no other industry or medium is quite like gaming is it?
Kickstarter, in particular, features potential games that feature innovation and untold levels of ingenuity that would have completely melted the minds of those initial pioneers of the form. They also stand upon the shoulders of the ones who came before them, though. There would be no Shovel Knight without Capcom’s Duck-Tales nor would there be Broken Age without the myriad LucasArts titles that came before it. The same applies to upstart Pixwerk’s Tower 57. The campaign page even owns up to this fact as it is the self-proclaimed love child of Alien Breed (YOOO AMIGA BOYZ WHERE YOU AT?) and The Chaos Engine (If you don’t know the Bitmap Brothers by now you need to educate yourself). Moment one of the fantastic sizzle reel for the fundraising campaign above shows as much.
Pixel artist Cyangmou (who has worked on other titles such as Adventure Time: Explore This Dungeon Because I Don’t Know and the vastly underrated Halfway) is no stranger to pushing out artistic excellence though Thomas Feichtmeir (Cyangmou) may have outdone himself with Tower 57. The moodiness that oozes from every background, the art-deco mixed with cyberpunk noir with numerous scenes that beg to be framed and hung on the wall and the nostalgic pangs of joy that such visual splendor elicits. This game looks fantastic. The destructible environments coupled with the stunning level layouts filled arcade-style action? That is well worth a look. Those who have spent hours playing Alien Breed know exactly what I’m talking about. Those who’ve poured themselves into game after game of Speedball know exactly what Pixwerk is trying to accomplish here. The German duo of Pixel Artist meets experienced game industry veteran (Benitosub aka Marco Pappalardo) should produce one of the more memorable retro-style modern shooters this year.
Enjoy The Dystopia, Everybody!
Dystopian futures, post-apocalypse wastelands and grimdark visions of an alternate reality are never short of despair or violence. It appears that Tower 57 revels in both. It is interesting to see that, for all the set-dressing of the game’s presentation, there are some interesting ideas within the game’s core narrative as well. Tower 57’s future is one in that all that remains of mankind after great calamity struck the planet are giant chrome towers. Everything is fine now. No need to worry about poverty, when the next meal will come or even disease. This is a utopia in which we can all live in harmony so long as you don’t associate with the jerks in the next tower over. You might as well hang out with the irradiated mutants down below rather than be apart of the other Tower. This dislike has gone far beyond catty comments and not letting someone borrow a lawnmower to outright warfare.
Tower 57 focuses on the conflict between two towers, in particular, and a cast of six mercenaries. You’ve got the Beggar with a sixth sense for finding hidden areas. There is the Politician, who is a lot like Abe Lincoln, but with a flamethrower. I swear I just heard a sweet metal guitar riff in my head as I typed that. There’s also the Don, who has quite a temper on him as well. There are also three other, as of yet, unrevealed characters. Each has a unique ability that can help bring down those sycophants by revealing their darkest of secrets, blasting them all to Hell and leaving a smoking crater in their wake. Oh yeah! There are also dinosaurs too? YEAH.
The project is currently in the final four days of its campaign (as of publishing this article) on Kickstarter, which can be found here. Their goal, honestly a modest one, is around $50,000. They’re only a few thousand short at this point. Some of the stretch goals include ports of the game to other platforms such as the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U and even an Amiga and MorphOS port as well. Other potential stretch goals also allude to a possible modding tool that would be a WYSIWYG level editor with drag-and-drop capability, more floors added and then some. The team at Pixwerk looks to have put together an intriguing product thus far and our resident YouTube czar, Jesse Gomez, got a chance to go hands-on with a prototype of the game. His impressions are below or on the APGNation YouTube channel.
That will do it for this week’s edition of the Kickstarter Spotlight. We’ll be back with another pick next week. Are you a dev who wants their game featured on the Spotlight? Let us know in the comments below, hit us up via Twitter (@APGNation) or (@ScrivenerJeff) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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