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17

The Breakout Might Be Interesting, But They Forget To Say

This is concept art, rather than a screenshot.

Each new interesting Kickstarter seems to feel obliged to make at least one enormous mistake. The Breakout‘s – a point and click adventure from Pixel Trip Studios – is to not explain the game in its pitch video. Face and Palm, sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

However, scroll a few screens down their Kickstarter’s front page and you’ll find, buried there, what should have been at the top – in-game footage, and some gorgeous screenshots. This is a 90s-style (and hand-painted pixel designed) adventure, set in a WW2 prison camp, from which you’re trying to escape. I’m belatedly interested.

The game is about an Air Force soldier and former thief called Guy Kassel. He’s stuck in a maximum security POW camp, and he’s determined to escape. In the game, you’ll be able to solve puzzles based on creating escape equipment and attempting to use them, until eventually things start to get a little bit… spooky. None of which you’d know from watching the rather extraordinarily brief pitch video:

I agree that demoing a pnc adventure isn’t exactly glamorous stuff. Actually playing such a game is mostly about wandering and looking at things, so it doesn’t make for enigmatic content. And looking at the in-game stuff they’ve chosen, it’s a perfect example of such things at their dullest:

It’s a bloke wandering in some trees. The two combined – short bursts of the above, and other locations, mixed with voice-over and music – would have made for a far more compelling time. Not forgetting the team saying, with conviction, what they want to make and why. All that would have given people far more of an incentive to throw in the £8 or £10 a finished copy would get you. See! Only £10! It’s tempting, once you do all the work for them.

And just take a look at the absolutely lovely animation:

Do enough digging and there’s a lot to like here. But sadly that’s not how the busy crowded world of Kickstarter tends to work. I strongly implore Pixel Trip to junk and redo their pitch video, and this time remember to pitch. No stupid accents and tinny webcam mics – show the game, and say why we should care that you be able to make it.

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John Walker

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