RETRO

Kickstarter Kompilation: June 2022 edition

2D action, a queer retro JRPG, plus a DIY mod kit

Happy June, happy Pride, and happy summer-is-almost-here to those who celebrate. Me, I’m packing my long-sleeve shirts away and sobbing at the notion of the forthcoming humidity, but everyone else around me seems to love hot weather, so I hope you enjoy it. One thing we can all agree on is that video games are great and it feels rewarding to help fund a project that might not get made otherwise.

As always, we have no insider information or financial interest in any of these projects, and no one at Retronauts has been compensated for including anything on this page. Also, in light of the ongoing pandemic, we recommend only backing crowdfunding campaigns if you feel comfortable with your own security and stability.

GBA HDMI Kit (ends June 3 estimated reward date July 2022)
The Game Boy Advance was a great handheld system, a worthy successor to the name “Game Boy.” Full of wonderful pixel art, GBA games still look great today blown up on a big screen. Unfortunately, Nintendo hasn’t done much to provide those games to consumers in an official capacity. With this DIY kit, you can modify a GBA into a mini-console that outputs to a TV and lets you use a variety of wireless controllers. There’s even a port for an SNES pad!

Tape to Tape (ends June 9 estimated reward date December 2022)
Hockey is great. No, really! I can’t say I know all the rules but it’s an incredible spectacle when you see it live. There have been many video game adaptations of the sport, but I’m betting this will be the first roguelike hockey game. Yes, we’re doing roguelike sports games now, as the developers say Tape to Tape is “heavily inspired by games we love like Hades, Slay the Spire and NHL 94” (do I need to tell you they’re Canadian, because they are absolutely Canadian). Try the demo, if you’re curious.

Star Hearts: Launch Point (ends June 15 estimated reward date October 2023)
I like the way this pixel art indie metroidvania captures the general look of NES games without being beholden to sprite limits. No NES game ever ran this smoothly but gosh, don’t you wish they did? Try the demo to see for yourself.

Absinthia (ends June 29 estimated reward date December 2022)
How many JRPGs contain explicitly gay characters or themes? I know there are fans who would say “all of them” but I’m talking overt “this is a story about gay people” texts. I don’t think there are too many!
Absinthia looks to change that with an all-queer main cast, and while that’s a welcome modern concept, the graphics are a throwback to the SNES era. With a forecasted release of this December, a demo is already available.

Nine Sols (ends June 24 estimated reward date Q2 2023)
Red Candle Games is a developer I hope most people have heard of, as they continue to produce original software despite a de facto ban from all marketplaces due to actual censorship (not the fake “censorship” people tend to complain about).
For their next game, they’re raising funds directly to create “a journey of Asian fantasy inspired by Sekiro, Hollow Knight and Katana Zero.” Quite different than their earlier, horror-focused titles, but it looks gorgeous and there’s already a demo available.

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