Brilliant... absolutely brilliant. I've always wanted a game like this, and with the publishing arm of Chucklefish lending a hand, U.K., developer Inglenook is bringing this 1920s, story-driven, murder-mystery, side-scrolling co-op RPG set in Massachusetts to life... on Kickstarter.
The game has already garnered $46,000 out of its $50,000 goal. It's likely that by the time you finished reading this, Kickstarter will be fully impregnated with the monies from the gaming community, and going through the labor of delivering Witchmarsh in a timely and applicable fashion.
The game is set to arrive at the end of this year in December, and it offers players a story-driven crime drama that sees the requirement of hunting down clues, examining the environment and even taking down baddies in either hand-to-hand fisticuffs, using projectile-based weaponry or whipping out the old page and script magic attacks.
The Kickstarter page keeps a lot of the information simple and straight to the point. You don't have to go fishing around to find out exactly what you get in Witchmarsh, as they describe it with the following statements...
“Witchmarsh puts a side-scrolling spin on classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Wizardry, without compromising on depth. The game features online multiplayer, extensive character creation, countless ability and item combinations, and rewarding boss encounters.”
Of course, there's going to be a bunch of people yelling about sprite graphics and that they only smoke the crack of visual fidelity off the buttcrack of the gaming industry's whorish AAA publishing labels, but let's be real here: Witchmarsh looks like the kind of the throwdown, guns-a-blazing, atmosphere-rich gameplay experience that you're about as likely to find in an AAA title as you would a Catholic rectory without a few Satan's Alley-style pictures of altar boys on a nightstand... or two... or three.
The game's use of new-age, richly-colored pixel-sprites is a pretty cool way to help bring the game to life without the developers requiring the technical expertise dictated with extra arms or legs to deliver a thriving and compelling art-style, or a budget that begs the use of the Unreal Engine or Unity.
Here, we have a game that looks really awesome, as the backgrounds, the use of prohibition-era brown hues and environmental designs that really make the subtle art deco atmosphere pop and trickle with all the panache of a ragtime jazz dance.
I'm excited for Witchmarsh, and I can't wait to play it. It looks like a great alternative for those looking for something like Starbound but a bit more structured and dramatic (not that Starbound can't be structured and dynamic).
If you want to see this game become a reality or you want to see a few of those extra Kickstarter stretch goals met, such as adding an additional character class to the already impressive stable of 12 playable characters, you can either learn more or put a few dollar bills down over on the official Kickstarter page.