Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 14 - 6/17/2019
In which the ubiquitous slime strikes back!
06.17.19 - 9:48 PM

Welcome to the 14th installment of Crowdfunding Chronicles! Today we introduce four stylish, spectacular, and super games, all strangely starting with the letter "S." Splendid!

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On

Shishi: Ballad of the Oracle
Campaign Ends: June 20
Cute round character in a forest

Platform: Windows initially. Switch and Xbox One versions will follow.

Shishi: Ballad of the Oracle is a colorful, cel-shaded RPG with a focus on accessibility. A non-linear adventure set in a Celtic-inspired world, Shishi has you play as a cute, potato-like character named Elia, a mystical oracle with the ability to see alternate timelines.

The Zelda series has been cited as one of Shishi's influences; you'll definitely notice this in the game's puzzle-filled dungeons, where your magical abilities are used to solve various challenges and find hidden treasures. Meanwhile, the turn-based combat has you battling against a plethora of adorable baddies, including sinister cacti and turnip creatures — very reminiscent of the Atelier games, in my opinion!

Montreal-based developer Shishi Studios aims to provide accessible features in all of their projects. This debut title features customizable controls and the option to use either a regular Xbox controller or the adaptive controller (including one-handed mode); additionally, the graphics settings include colorblind and high-contrast options to assist visually impaired players. Personally, I think these sound like great steps towards making games accessible to everyone!

SKALD: Against the Black Priory
Campaign Ends: July 2

Classic Ultima-style overworld graphics with a ship sailing towards an island

Platform: Windows initially. Mac and unspecified handheld devices are being considered.

This is turning out to be a great summer for Ultima-inspired games. May introduced us to Nox Archaist (featured in Crowdfunding Chronicles vol.12), and now a somewhat more sinister tale, SKALD: Against the Black Priory, makes its entrance.

Taking place in a dark, grim world, the game opens with a team of knights setting sail to investigate an island monastery where dark sorcery may be taking place. Unfortunately, a violent storm destroys their ship along the way, and you are left as the sole survivor of the crew...and the only hope for the mission. Find new allies on the island, each with their own personalities and goals, and discover the monastery's secrets!

SKALD features turn-based combat, which can be set to an automatic mode if you'd prefer to speed things up. Outside of battle, the game offers plenty of exploration, dialogue trees, and difficult choices inspired by classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. While the base game is already fully funded, stretch goals will add new locations and character classes.

Also worth mentioning is the game's appropriately grim soundtrack, featuring music by Romanus Surt (also known as Surt R) and sound design from Edwin Montgomery (whose work can be found in InXile's Wasteland remaster). Be sure to check out Surt R's excellent '80s-inspired samples on the campaign page!

Campaign Ends: June 27
Knights in a courtyard, surrounding a slime

Platform: Windows. Stretch goals add Switch.

Dear readers, what are your thoughts on slime? Specifically, slime of the fantasy RPG variety? If sentient ooze happens to be among your favorite RPG mainstays, then Slime:Evo has you covered (in goo).

Set in author Jeffrey "Falcon" Logue's Slime Dungeon Chronicles universe, the game is a Metroidvania title featuring an ever-evolving slime as the playable character. Bouncing your way through four large dungeons (with a fifth to be added through stretch goals), you constantly learn new abilities and switch between a rainbow of different slime types in order to progress. I have to say, when I saw this title in action in the campaign's trailer video (and Instagram clips found at @slimeevo_game), I couldn't help but think of classic Kirby games.

Though the Slime Dungeon novel series features over 100 different species, it's unclear how many will be present in this game. Hopefully, we will see many unique puzzle-solving or environment-influencing abilities, at any rate. Additionally, if you're worried about playing as a brainless mass of ooze, I wouldn't be too concerned; the game features a number of moral decisions for you to agonize over. Will you become a slimy god, or a disgrace to all slime-kind? Only slime...ahem...time will tell.

Small Saga
Campaign Ends: July 4
Epic battle between a cat and a knife-wielding mouse

Platform: Windows and Mac.

A turn-based RPG with pixel graphics and an attractive isometric view, Small Saga takes place in London and is told from the perspective of an adorable little mouse named Verm. Sadly, Verm has had his tail stolen and must travel far and wide to reclaim it from the Yellow God of Death; not a very friendly deity, judging by that sinister name.

If you happen to be a rodent enthusiast, like myself, you'll be very pleased with the variety of small whiskered faces in this game, including a Plague Doctor rat, a squirrel in a Harlequin suit, and a musically talented dwarf hamster. Squee!

The game itself will take players around 8-10 hours to complete, including sidequests. Thankfully, there are exactly zero random battles, and grinding is not be a requirement. Levelling up is based on a card system, though at this point, it's still unclear how exactly that will work.

Finally, if you enjoyed Avian Attorney, a bird-centered courtroom game with beautiful Victorian-era artwork, you'll be happy to hear that Small Saga's developer is none other than Jeremy Noghani, lead game designer and writer for said feathered drama.

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

  • A new campaign has launched for Ada (Campaign Page), a game we covered in Crowdfunding Chronicles vol.7. Be sure to check out the much-improved page if you need more strange '80s-inspired fantasy in your life!
  • Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King (Campaign Page) is now available on Steam Early Access. If you're in the mood for dark fantasy adventures, take a look at the store page!

Disclaimer: While it's possible some of us at RPGFan may be backers of the games mentioned in these articles, this does not influence our coverage or our featured game choices. We make our selections simply based on the active campaigns we feel our readers might find interesting, and we are not given special access or perks by the developers.

tl;dr: We think these games show potential and want to share them with you.