Tina Olah
Crowdfunding Chronicles Volume 16 - 7/19/2019
This week there's lots of detective work, plus a healthy dose of Lovecraft!
07.19.19 - 5:56 PM

Welcome back, dear readers! It's a good time for detectives, as two of our three highlights this week follow the adventures of problem-solving sleuths. Rounding things out is a grim fantasy RPG full of Lovecraftian horrors, thankfully rendered in a pixel format so your nightmares won't end up being too intense. Read on, friends...dark mysteries await!

Highlights: Ongoing Campaigns to Keep an Eye On
The Hand of Glory
Campaign Ends: July 27
A city street by the sea.
Platform: Windows, Mac, and Linux. Stretch goals add PS4 and Switch.

Fans of graphic adventure games full of occult elements, world-spanning mysteries, and quirky private investigators, take note! The Hand of Glory, a colorful point-and-click adventure inspired by Gabriel Knight and Broken Sword, may be relevant to your interests.

The game mainly takes place in Miami and Italy, and starts with the kidnapping of Kathrin Mulzberg, heir to a vast sum of riches. Throughout their mission to find the wealthy young lady, main characters Lazarus Bundy and his companion Alice find themselves wrapped up in conspiracies and occult mysteries reaching back centuries.

While Lazarus is primarily a detective (and never seen without his beloved bike, Greendart), Alice is a student of kinesics, the analysis of expressions and gestures. You'll be using both of their skills to help solve the game's mysteries! Additionally, if you find yourself partial to Alice, one of the campaign stretch goals adds a New Game + focusing on her adventures in Rome.

Finally, a fun little bonus for history buffs: The Italy-based portion of the game focuses on a small Medieval town known as San Leo. The developers managed to receive official patronage and cooperation from the real-life town, lending plenty of historical and visual accuracy to the in-game locale.

Hill Agency: BARK & Byte
Campaign Ends: July 31
Mostly black and white VN-style image of a female detective and her client.
Platform: Windows and Mac

A Cybernoir detective game inspired by pulp novels, Hill Agency: BARK & Byte stands out from others in the genre by featuring an entirely Indigenous cast, while being set against the backdrop of a futuristic Indigenous nation.

The story follows a female detective known as Meeygun Hill, tasked with discovering who murdered a client's sister. Though the exact gameplay is still a WIP, one thing for certain is that the final game will not require any violence on the player character's part; you'll need to solve cases through investigation, dialogue, and a bit of in-game paperwork instead. The developers cite Oxenfree and The Shivah as inspirations, though the screenshots definitely indicate the influence of visual novels as well.

Potential backers should note that pledges do not actually include a finished copy of the game, as the final version may end up being very different from the current WIP. The purpose of this campaign is mainly to fund the game's prototype; once this is achieved, the developers plan to secure investments from other sources and potentially find a publisher. Rewards for the current campaign include playtesting access, exclusive project updates, and if you're feeling especially generous, the option to have your name on a street sign or your likeness featured as an NPC.

Campaign Ends: July 26
Conversation inside a creepy pixel-graphic temple.

Platform: Windows, Mac and Linux. Stretch goals may add Switch.

Inmortis starts off with an unearthly and somewhat bittersweet premise; you've been brought back to life after being sacrificed to sinister deities, and although you've gained the gift of immortality, your mind and body is slowly being corrupted. Find the cultists responsible for your sacrifice and decide how to deal with them in a dark fantasy action RPG inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and the Warhammer setting (and, no great surprise, the Dark Souls games).

No two playthroughs of Inmortis are quite the same. Your gameplay decisions, particularly whether to banish or absorb the cultists you encounter, will affect both yourself and the environment. Additionally, your corruption level is increased each time you die, a feature which has both drawbacks and benefits. In particular, a high enough corruption level may grant you vampiric abilities, acidic blood, or other random afflictions...though always with a cost!

Inmortis includes plenty of character customization; play using the build you desire, with a huge variety of weapons, armor and skills to choose from. Your character's appearance will even reflect your equipment choices; a popular feature of Western RPGs now available in a pixelated format.

Overall, I'm quite impressed (and somewhat terrified) by what I see. If you happen to be similarly intrigued by the game's grim character, environment and boss designs, I'm pleased to announce that most pledge levels include a digital artbook. Take care not to read it before you go to bed!

Noteworthy Updates: News from Finished Campaigns

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.