Brian Fargo rocked Kickstarter and the gaming world in 2012 when his company launched a project to make Wasteland 2, a modern reimagining of the classic ’80s sci-fi PC game. Along with Double Fine’s Broken Age, it kicked off the first wave of big, ambitious video game projects on Kickstarter, bringing in $2.9 million in pledges. Today, 26 years after the first Wasteland was released, and 16 years after that game’s fictional apocalypse, the wait is over: the finished sequel is out in the world for everyone to play.
It’s a big day for gamers, and especially for the 61,290 backers who helped make Wasteland 2 happen. To celebrate, we invited some of those backers to talk about favorite Kickstarter-funded games they’ve been playing while Wasteland 2 has been in the works. Here are their picks, which you can play right now on Steam:
Kickstarter has launched many great games that now stand proudly beside AAA titles on Steam, but closest to my heart is Sunless Sea. The depth of story and setting, the engaging narrative, and the creeping weirdness of the world of Fallen London translated beautifully from browser-based card game to interactive exploration.
Shadowrun Returns is a grand story-driven RPG that can be modded to a great degree, that plays on almost any device, and is quite challenging to boot. It realized all this on a small budget (and it helps that I took part in providing it).
One of my favorite Kickstarter games is Shovel Knight, for those times when you are really raging out about how lame Destiny is, and want to get back some of that NES good good. I mean basically, they’ve continued the tradition of NES sprite 2D platformers with the added gloss of nostalgia! (Seriously, don’t go back and play actual NES games. It’s pretty bad.)
For me clearly it is Battle Worlds: Kronos! The revival of turn-based tactics. I long waited for some true successor to the Battle Isle games, and this was it, finally!
My favorite Kickstarter-funded game that has released on Steam has got to be Quest for Infamy. It’s a well-crafted love letter to fans of the Sierra adventures of yore (in particular the Quest for Glory series). Anyone with fond memories from the heyday of point-and-click adventures should check it out!
Distance combines racing and platforming with a cyberpunk aesthetic, and it basically tickles all the pleasure centers of my brain at the same time. And this is coming from somebody who generally hates racing games.
This project shows how self-imposed creative constraints can result in great work. The team of Rusty Moyher, Shaun Inman, and Matt Grimm put together six games in six months. Every game is expertly executed within the limits of the retro-game aesthetic, while looking and playing very differently from each other.
Mika Flinkman, Joensuu, Finland
Pick: Shadowrun Returns
There are a few things that make Shadowrun Returns a great game: The setting and plot, especially in the add-on Dragonfall DLC campaign, are really interesting and the combat system works really well. (The Director’s Cut promises to make it even better.) And as an RPG fan I really like the way character advancement is done.
While I’m looking forward to playing Wasteland 2 and a number of other games, I’d have to say that I’ve had a lot of fun with FTL. I really enjoy roguelike games in general, and it’s one of the better (if not only) starship simulators.
Mercenary Kings is a super-fun throwback to Metal Slug, with gorgeous animation and character design. Hopefully it’s done well on Steam; it seems too niche to have been made any other way than Kickstarter.
Post a comment below and tell us about your favorite Kickstarter-funded video game. If you liked this post, you should read the one where we asked game creators for their picks. And you might find some new favorites on our Play Now page.
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