Hyper Light Drifter Gets New Release Date, Is Not Hyper

Art that makes you crave it.

Old facts: Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action RPG with i) beautifully drawn and animated pixel art ii) a Kickstarter campaign that asked for $27,000 and received $645,158 iii) the best videogame name around. New facts: i) Hyper Light Drifter won’t come out in June as originally planned ii) a closed beta will arrive near June instead iii) the development team are targeting an end-of-year date for the release of the final game.

Hows, whys and new images below.

Images first, because really that’s all I care about.



Right. The delay is half that normal thing, and half that very specific thing. The normal half: getting more money than they ever expected has caused the scope of the project to change. More than that, the team don’t want to rush it out the door in a sloppy state, as they might have had to do back when they were impoverished.

The original approximation of a June release was for a game developed with just myself and Beau Blyth, something much smaller; I would have been creating art for the next six months, with much rougher edges and animation. Since we have been given this remarkable opportunity, the project has evolved, requires polish and finesse that I was not originally afforded. We are able to make the experience whole, into the full vision I had wanted it to be.

The other is that the game’s creator, Alex Preston, has health issues that prevent him from pushing himself too hard. Preston spoke to Nathan late last year about how those health issues had informed the design of the game. You can also watch Nathan play an extremely early build of the game over here.

Keep an eye on the Hyper Light Drifter’s Kickstarter page for more updates/stunning artwork.


  1. Lemming says:

    I really like that first image, but I wish the two statues weren’t just flipped copies of each other. The moss(?) being identically mirrored keeps drawing my eye and bugging me.

    Really looking forward to the game, though.

    • lautalocos says:

      i didnĀ“t notice that until you pointed at it. the ilusion of perfect visuals has been ruined :(

    • The Random One says:

      All the boy scouts are going mad, shouting “Everywhere I turn to is West!”

    • Teovald says:

      He mentioned in the update that it was a work in progress.
      I am guessing that the mirroring will be fixed, that’s the first thing you notice when you pay attention to that scene.

    • SillyWizard says:

      You bastard. Can’t just keep your mouth shut so the rest of us can continue enjoying ourselves, can you?!

  2. Anthile says:

    Graphically it reminds me quite a bit of Sword & Sworcery (no, don’t auto-correct that to Worcester, firefox). I wonder if that is intentional?

    • Prolar Bear says:

      Same here…I like this style but I think this game could use some more originality.

      Sword & Worcester could be the next the big thing. A game about knights who use swords and liquid condiment in their adventures. You should trademark it!

  3. internisus says:

    Interesting; that lines it up with Radio the Universe’s just-announced schedule as well.

    Speaking of which, I still for the life of me can’t understand why that game doesn’t get 1/20th the press that this one does.

    • Salix says:

      I think it’s because the guy behind RtU hasn’t been pushing it all, he seems fine just getting the money and making the game without trying to publicise it.

      • lasikbear says:

        Which is such a shame since he(she?) writes the greatest updates of any of the Kickstarters I backed.

    • daphne says:

      Thank you for this. It’s usually my job to nag RPS about RtU in HLD posts, but you did good work here.

    • vivlo says:

      it’s a good thing that each Hyper Light Drifter news has a comment about that one, then. At that point it’s like if advertising the first is automatically a reminder of the latter !

    • DantronLesotho says:

      I can think of one reason; I went looking for the release date information and it was nowhere to be found, not even on the official website…

    • twaitsfan says:

      Wow – RtU looks amazing. Sigh – I seem to only find out about great kickstarter projects until after they’re funded. Any suggestions for good online sources for kickstarter coverage?

  4. Luciferous says:

    I’m okay with them taking all the time they need, getting that amount of money will have really opened up new possibilities for them and if it takes a bit more time to get to us then it is okay.

  5. araczynski says:

    yeah, looks like they stole sword & sorcery’s art style. not implying sword and sorcery invented the style, but just seems too similar for me to want to ‘support’ that kind of ‘un’ originality.

    • DantronLesotho says:

      uh, it looks nothing like sword and sworcery other than they use big pixels and an excited animation style

    • Cinek says:

      ??? I just googled for some screenshots from sword and sorcery and it looks NOTHING like HLD.

  6. The Random One says:

    “Is Not Hyper”? What does that mean? I thought it was serious and they were changing their game’s name to just Light Drifter.

    Here, this is the headline you wanted: Release Date For Hyper Light Drifter Slightly Drifts. YOU’RE WELCOME MR MANAGING EDITOR

  7. belgand says:

    This actually raises an interesting point: when a game is Kickstarted and proves more successful at raising funding than anticipated what will that do to the final product? Some stretch goals seem to have been well-crafted along these lines, but in many cases it seems like this sudden unexpected windfall might turn out to be a bad thing. The developer can get overly ambitious now with all the extra money available to them and maybe the game loses something in the process.

    I’m not saying this is necessarily happening here, but it bears consideration. At what point is it simply enough for the developer to make the same game (or maybe with a bit more polish), but take the extra funds as a higher “salary” due to the greater initial sales? When you reach a certain level of Kickstarter sales you’re also looking at fewer potential sales. If you cannibalize all of that money in order to make the game then you’ve spent the majority of your profit on your development. Sure, you’re not in the hole, but you might not be able to use that money to fund anything in the future.

    • KillahMate says:

      Yeah, but on the other hand a game with higher polish and production values is likely to sell more when done than the smaller one would.

      • drvoke says:

        These are both great theories, and I’m just excited to see which one turns out to be true. Kickstarter is still an experiment, with few games upon which to base our assumptions. Exciting times!

  8. Driscoll says:

    Looking good!

  9. hey_Im_Wyatt says:

    Game has that archaic rustic feel. I’m loving it [unlike when I eat McDonald’s]. Man I wish I was more involved in the Kickstarter world, it seems like there is so much great work being doing there.