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Loot, Pillage, Fund: The Banner Saga's Kickstarter

Turn-based combat, a low-fantasy approach to vikings and a scenario that is more concerned with surviving a world’s end than preventing it. That’s what The Banner Saga promises, as well as beautiful animation, conversations with consequences and a changeable world that doesn’t revolve around the player. It’s the kind of shopping list I so often take to the supermarket, only to return with the ingredients for a tasty Thai curry having realised that while the constituent parts of food can be purchased, concepts cannot be bought until they are given form. But they can be funded. Yep, it’s Kickstarter time again.

The multiplayer component of the game will be released for free this summer, so the Kickstarter is aimed at people interested in the bulk of the experience, which will be single player. The team is made up of three ex-BioWare chaps with plenty of industry experience, and John Watson who is designing the game’s tech also worked at NASA. That probably makes him seventeen thousand times more intelligent than me.

There are, as is the case with Kickstarter projects, plenty of goodies on offer, many of which are artistic treats. Indeed, it’s probably the artwork that has helped the project to stand out; it wouldn’t look out of place in a fondly remembered cartoon of olden times.

Behind the art lurks the promise of yet another game that could be wish fulfillment for those making it and those who eventually play it alike. Judging by the $15,000 they’ve already raised, aiming for $100,000, it seems I’m not the only one who’s been clamouring for more turn-based tactics in my life.

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Adam Smith

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