The Best Crowd-Funded Games

Let’s be honest: it doesn’t mean a lot in today’s world to be ambitious, does it? Everyone wants to see their name on TV; be on the bestseller list; make a best-selling game that wins praise and adoration from critics and gamers alike: preferably all three. Yet only a few people actually see these fantasies through to become realities. However, nothing in this world is free – if you want to make something, you’ll have to spend a bit of money, and unless you’re rich then that means getting funding.

Fortunately, in these resourceful times we can say that we have an idea on the internet and this means that someone might give us some money to make it. This might also mean that we end with something that’s a mishmash of whatever’s popular at the time with none of the appeal of the individual components – I’m looking at you, Guncraft.

Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo provided a platform for people to broadcast their ideas to the public. The idea is simple; people pay for what they want, and then they get what they want, and then they are happy until they see the next thing that they want. The idea has worked very well and has brought us some great games- so let’s take a look at some of the best.

Darkest Dungeon
darkest dungeon
Here’s a game for the hardcore gamers out there who eat nails for breakfast without any milk, because this is a game in which the “fun” comes from not going mad and getting your guts ripped out. Darkest Dungeon is a turn-based RPG that’s essentially Final Fantasy by H.P Lovecraft after he’d just finished playing Dark Souls and Bloodbourne back to back, with a bit of Diablo and thrown in for good measure.

This game is gorgeous, immersive, and hard. Seriously hard. The “I need to have a long look in the mirror and think about what I’m doing with my life” hard; and, in true manner of From Software games, the only reward is not going mad, or not getting to see all of your hard work being undone.  Keep an eye on this one; it’s already got a cult following and it’s only going to get bigger.

Sir, You’re Being Hunted
being hunted
What a quirky little gem this is.  This game achieves something that doesn’t really seem possible- it’s both silly and scary. Being spawned in  a countryside sandbox that’s randomly generated every time, the player has to survive being hunted by the most gentlemanly evil robots that you’ll ever encounter.

You can imagine this game would be impossible to pitch to a AAA developer, which makes it even more enjoyably quirky. It’s survival horror, but with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour that both aggravates the player and entertains them. Survival Comedy, I guess.

Shovel Knight
Shovel-Knight You would have to try very, very hard not to enjoy this game. This is a love letter to the golden days of gaming; the difficulty is challenging; the game is enhanced with its precise controls and imaginative platforming elements; the game looks and sounds brilliant, and you’ll be humming the tunes for days. The story is a classic NES tale: your loved one, Shield Knight, gets kidnapped by an evil magician and so you set off to save her with your trusted shovel in hand!

This game has amassed a humongous following, and someone at Nintendo must be a fan as well, because he’s started to become an unofficial poster boy for them. He’s got his own Amiibo and there were rumours that he’ll make an appearance on Super Smash Bros. Shovel Knight has down well for himself, and it wouldn’t be without the help of the public who gave him a bit of funding on his way.

FTL: Faster Than Light
Everyone has dreamed of commanding their own starship, or at least given it a thought. While there hasn’t been a AAA game that gives the player this opportunity, FTL is the perfect game for those who see themselves becoming a starship commander someday; given that the number of starships we have right now is zero, they’ll probably have to stick with FTL for a pretty long time.

That won’t be a problem; this game can hold your attention for hours. It proudly wears its retro-indie origins on its sleeve, with the story being told through text boxes with all the characters looking like they were modelled to look like tiny Lego figures. The game plays differently every time, and its unpredictable difficulty will keep you trying and trying again.

Sunless Sea
sunless sea
Ever wanted to be a sailor in an underground Victorian London and go on a voyage into a world with a morbid dystopian lore with a steampunk aesthetics, where your crew will turn mad and eat other if you don’t manage your resources correctly and you’ll meet a number of Lovecraftian nightmares that will destroy both physically and mentally? Then this is the game for you!

Sunless Sea really captures the exhilaration in exploring and discovering a world that is both intriguing and terrifying, and it’s filled with interesting places, unique characters, and an unsettling atmosphere that will keep you on edge the whole time you’re playing. This RPG adventure is not for any faint-hearted landlubbers.

This is probably the most unlikely game on this list, because in this game you don’t have to kill anyone. There’s combat, but there’s always a non-violent option of dealing with your opponent.

Non-violent combat sounds like a joyless oxymoron, like tasteless bacon or sugar-free donut, but Undertale really makes it work. Thanks to clever, funny writing and some fantastic design, Undertale is being hailed as a potential surprise contender for Game of the Year. Many critics are saying that it’s the one of the best RPGs ever made. The funniest thing is that no one in the industry would’ve predicted that an 8-bit game with the core mechanic being not killing your enemies would be grabbing headlines in 2016 as “best game of the year.” We have crowd-funding to thank for this one.

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