By John Walker on May 23rd, 2012 at 6:00 pm.
The scarcity of good word puzzles on PC is a SCANDAL I tell you. But coming along to rescue this situation are the two fine men behind Kingdom Of Loathing. Word Realms looks like exactly the right game to exist, an RPG in which you use the magic of spelling to cast spells and magic. With a story! So, it’s a bit Bookworm Adventures, clearly, and that is only a good thing, because PopCap keep making more bloody match-3 games instead of only generating me more Bookworm Adventures, as should obviously be their singular task. Word Realms has been secretly in development for a few years, and is due to be released this October. And there’s inevitably a Kickstarter.
I’m frankly astonished that a Kickstarter from the KoL people wouldn’t instantly get its target quadrupled in the first half hour, but instead it’s modestly crept to $40k of its $100,000 goal. With 29 days to go, it seems reasonable to expect it will get there. But get where?
Originally intended as a single-player prototype for an MMO, the project has taken four years so far (developed alongside the upkeep of KoL), including eight mini-games, puzzles, cutscenes and extras, as well as an endless mode for when the multiple-ending story is over. And that project is almost done. So why the Kickstarter? Because the MMO plan is still in place. Soooo, this is slightly weirdly a fundraiser for the online version, in which the minimum pledge tier is $11, paying for the solo game. Pay more and you can get in the beta. Then they’ll take reaching their $100k as a sign that it’s worth pursuing the more elaborate version of the game, and use the funding to pay for that. And they’re making plans for what they’d do if they reached 400% funding, so clearly they’re optimistic.