Spotlight on Steam Early Access and Kickstarter

On a weekly basis games are flooding the market place from every angle. As gamers, we are often bombarded with marketing on the new AAA title hitting this week or slick new indie darling that is simply a must own. Often times games that appear in early access or Kickstarter can fly under the radar. We have collected a few titles released into early access on Steam and currently running their Kickstarter campaigns to spotlight on a regular basis.

As with all early build games, these games can change quite a bit between now and final build. These are some games to keep an eye on and try out when you can, however always keep in mind that these games are work in progress games, and should be treated as such. In most every case the developer is eager for feedback on how to improve the game and listen to suggestions, so check out some of our most recent picks.

Radical Heights

The biggest splash in early access in the past month comes from BossKey, the developers of the highly enjoyable (but lightly played) Lawbreakers. Looking to cash in on the battle royale craze that both Fortnite and PUBG have popularized; Radical Heights offers more of the same with an 80s aesthetic. The free-to-play game is currently available to download on Steam and although still a very early stage of development, has shown some traction around the community. Definitely keep an eye out for the game as it only improves with more updates and content.

The game is not recreating the wheel, but it has highly skilled, very knowledgeable people working behind the scenes and the game will continue to evolve and grow as the feedback comes in. If there is one thing you should know by now, it’s never to count out Cliffy B.

Escape Doodland

Escape Doodland, which is currently in the middle of their Kickstarter bid, is a 2D co-op auto-runner with some of the most creative art to come along in quite a while. The style is similar to notebook type sketches that come to life with crazy creatures and a world that would fit quite nicely into (Alice in) Wonderland. The game’s developers have said the game itself is already complete with the Kickstarter money being used to cover multiplayer functionality and music costs.

The game is scheduled for release later this year and with a very attainable goal, hopefully will include those extra features they are hoping to add before release. The aesthetic of the game may not be for everyone, but no one can deny it’s creativity and root for small developers creating and pushing their dream and vision to the masses.

Faeland

Stop me if you have heard this one before, a pixel art, open-world Metroidvania game! Despite that often overused genre, Faeland really stands heads and shoulders above the rest. The visually stunning game features RPG elements that looks to elevate it above just another cookie cutter game in the genre. While looking at the gameplay videos it reminds me a lot of Zelda II in its atmosphere and play style. The game has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal however with a launch date at the end of 2019 this may be a title to bookmark for later. Faeland could be a real gem you don’t want to sleep on, even if its going to be a long year and a half until you get to explore just how dazzling it can be.

Although we are adding a spotlight to this game, it comes with a bit of a disclaimer. We normally would not recommend a game that is not playable with such a long lead time, Faeland gets an exception since it has already reached its goal and will be moving to production. The game, if delivered looks fantastic and should be a solid game, however always be wary of games with long lead times when it comes to shelling out money.

Fatal Velocity

For gamers looking for something a little more fast paced, Fatal Velocity has arrived to impress with its dizzying aerial combat. The physics-based action uses grapple-based combat and jetpacks to create a fun and fast paced first-person experience that feels like a shooter with Spiderman abilities.

The game, developed by Jaime Smith of Range Plus One Inc., has been in development for several years as it tried to find just the right fit to bring the vision developed back in 2013 to life. As a small developer, challenges have been many and all credit should be given for the game being playable on Steam Early Access and a genuinely fun experience. Jaime Smith still understands that development is still ongoing for Fatal Velocity as he told us:

I have been trying to learn from other games, whether it’s how to talk to and grow the community, get the player’s honest feedback, running playtests, posting new content to keep the community engaged and maintaining a transparent relationship is key. There’s an infinite amount of information to take on – so right now it’s just learning as I go. Unfortunately I don’t have a development budget so my range and capabilities are extremely minimal. We are considering running a Kickstarter or Patreon to help accelerate the development of in-game content like environments and player armors to really start identifying the game’s style. Of course down the road I would really want to go for a dedicated server system, modding and tournaments to really kick things off!

One of the biggest takeaways from playing the game is that it would seem to lend itself perfectly to VR. While the idea of VR Fatal Velocity is salivating, Jaime Smith is sure to keep the core of the game at the forefront before going down the VR rabbit hole:

Movement in FV is critical – I spent many hours perfecting the feeling of the pull/grapple swinging and jetpack. There have been many requests to implement VR (since the controls would lend themselves well to the game’s overall mechanics and dual hand setup) and I would absolutely LOVE to do so! But, before I promise anything I’d like to make sure it’s possible and fun. I’m very hesitant on promising content if I’m unsure if I can deliver. You can be damn well certain that if VR is suitable for FV there will be a huge announcement!

Along with a free playable demo, the full version of Fatal Velocity is available now for Steam Early Access and keep an eye on our official The Game Fanatics Twitch channel for your chance to win a Fatal Velocity key.

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