Be Like Levine: Chaos Reborn Prototype Released

Statistically speaking, you are probably not Ken Levine. That’s fine. I’m not him, either. And neither is Graham. But thanks to all the silicon and electricity and stuff, you can at least be a bit like him. One of the ways in which he’s been special recently is in the role of cheerleader for the Chaos Reborn Kickstarter, where he’s been championing Julian Gollop’s return. He has already played (or should that now be ‘Let’s Played’?) the hexy beast, and now you can too. Head here to grab the time-limited prototype of the strategic wiz thing, and bring some friends.

At the time of posting, Chaos Reborn has taken just over $135,000 of its $180,000 goal with seven days left, so they’re probably getting quite tense over there. What better way to prove to the world that you can make what you’ve promised by letting everyone play it? I do wish more Kickstarters were in that position when they start asking for money.

The prototype supports multiplayer fights of 2-4 people, and allows you to create and join games. It is missing all the single-player content, and won’t be around forever, so if you want to try it before it goes away you’d better do so as quickly as possible.

And if you hadn’t seen it, here’s proof that Ken has had his mitts all over it.


  1. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Another way you can be like Levine is by laying off all your staff every time you finish a game because they can’t stand to work with you and it clears up all the HR problems you’ve caused.

    Also this game isn’t very good, glad I didn’t see Julian Gollops name and just throw my money at the screen.

    • not-the-beez says:

      Do you always throw money at screens when you see his name? What if there’s no screen at hand? Or you have no money? What if I change my name to Julian Gollop, would that incite the same response from you? I’m just curious.

    • Jim Reaper says:

      Actually I think the game is very good, even in this early state, and well worth people throwing money at it. They’re welcome to try it first anyway. Been playing it every night this week.

    • Thesingularity says:

      You play Ken Levine the secret owner of Take Two?

    • Distec says:

      Give it a rest.

  2. Rikard Peterson says:

    I’ve been playing it since the week-end (the prototype was released to backers then), and have had lots of fun with it! It’s amazing how polished it feels despite being just a prototype (the only issues I’ve encountered are some problems with the game’s server and some people being AFK). This is without a doubt the most fun that I’ve had playing an online game with strangers.

    I really want the Kickstarter to succeed. (And much more so after this prototype was released, as unlike most people that I’ve met in the game so far, I’d never played the original game.)

    • Jim Reaper says:

      Indeed, special mention must go to the people I’ve been faced off against in the game this week. They’ve been very polite & nice, even while I was setting them on fire with my dragon.

  3. RedViv says:

    This is a really neat protoSCIENCE-IS-INTERESTING-AND-MAGICALtype there. Can’t say I feel much STEP-AWAY-FROM-MY-DAUGHTER-THING-YOU-DIRTY-FAN-ARTIST like Levine, I think.

  4. johnkillzyou says:

    The level of mindgames and probability means this game is worthy of being called the Poker of strategy games. A must play in its prototype phase.

  5. altum videtur says:

    For some reason I was hoping this news article would be about Chris Avellone and was thoroughly disappointed when I made the connection in my head that “Ken Levine” is not a cypher for Chris Avellone at all.


  6. Tom Walker says:

    Promising, but thus far not as much fun as the original:

    link to

    • StevieW says:

      Oh wow – that link has Deathchase… Chaos can wait. If anyone wants to develop Deathchase for the oculus rift, please do so. Now.

      • Tom Walker says:

        I just played you at this!

        Yeah, I got Deathchase on a YS cover, once upon a time. It’s amazing how much of a community feeling that magazine seemed to engender, despite readers not really being able to communcate with each other. It’s also interesting to see how many of us have ended up kicking about around RPS.

        • StevieW says:

          Haha really? I’m watching the game counter and I’m surprised there haven’t been more played.

          I was obsessed with YS, I’m almost certain all my old mags are kicking around in my folks loft – I should dig them out but I’d probably lose an entire day to nostalgia!

          • dazman76 says:

            I don’t think that’s something you’d regret :) Find yourself a spare day, and get on it.

    • Caiman says:

      It only contains a fraction of the spells, and none of the polish of the original (yes, for an old 8-bit game, it was pretty polished at the time), and it’s still great fun so I’d say yes, it’s promising. Been playing it for several nights now obsessively, I really like it a lot. It does depend a bit on who your opponent is and the luck you get, I’ve seen new players get wiped out in a couple of moves, I’ve also seen new players beat three other more experienced ones, it’s a lethal game at times.

      • Tom Walker says:

        I’m assuming most people on there played a lot of the original, so experience at that must count for a fair bit.

        I’d quite like to see a mode where you could enable the original bug-cheating, like getting your illuisions blobbed and then rescuing them as real creatures, or using the info screen to attack thin air and escape the clutches of the undead.

      • TheTingler says:

        Remember this is only a prototype to show that the game works at all, if the game was complete he wouldn’t be doing a Kickstarter!

  7. StevieW says:

    I’ve been playing it all night, and prototype or not, it really is very good. It keeps the original Chaos feel very well.

  8. McGuit says:

    I’ve been playing it every night since the proto emerged and even in this pre alpha state it is quite good.
    Julian Gallop is a real talent and worth taking a flyer on as compared to say Peter M. who promises a lot and delivers short of that time and time again.

    I’ve funded at the $100 level and frankly that is a lot of coin for me at this point in my life.
    I don’t regret if for a moment.

    Agree with Craig P’s comment when he said it is a shame that more Kickstarted projects don’t give you something/anything to touch and feel.
    Seems like so many other projects offer dreams and portents of the future.
    Really hoping that this funds in time.
    Be a shame to miss out on Chaos Reborn.
    Come on folks…pitch in
    (P.S. this is not Ken Levine….)

  9. caff says:

    Gollop can do no wrong. Turn based strategy games are good. Bye.

  10. Emeraude says:

    I find the fact that this isn’t yet funded immensely depressing. But then I’m part of the problem.

    • spleendamage says:

      I’d have funded Gollop just for saying “Hey, I’m thinking I might make another game.”
      The guy has made several of my faves.

      This is way beyond what most Kickstarters come to the table with.

      • Emeraude says:

        Yeah, I’s want to help with this project just for the way it’s been handled. Very professional (in an non-marketing way) and respectful. And that prototype is just great. But add to that that it’s Jullian Gollop ? (how in hell are we not hearing more in support from other already established Kickstarter projects kinda leave me scratching my head.) And really I’d be expecting a lot more for that project… maybe the genre *is* too niche and dead ?
        Or maybe everyone’s just as broke as I am.

        Really not liking those in-game backer rewards though. Rubs me the wrong way.

        • TheTingler says:

          I backed it just because of Julian Gollop (and because of the promise of a proper RPG campaign with the mechanics), but I admit Chaos doesn’t hold the same excitement that a new X-Com or something like it would. It doesn’t have to be anything like X-Com in terms of world, his Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars game on Nintendo 3DS had definite X-Com styling in terms of gameplay but more modern and was fantastic.

          I’m just hoping he’ll go from Chaos Reborn to something original and even better.

        • Excelle says:

          I’m not sure why it bothers you so much. A lot of Kickstarter games have some form of ingame rewards included. I’m quite enjoying stomping around Planetary Annihilation with my exclusive commanders for example. And I got exclusive cars in the Carmageddon Kickstarter.

          If it were pay to win, I could understand, but that is not the case.

          • Emeraude says:

            Well, as someone who is against DLC in general, and pre -order DLC in particular – anything that fractions the base game really – I can’t say I feel like supporting the practice when it infects patronage borne projects.

            Add to that, I do think my friends convinced me on that one point: any such project should end up open source.

  11. Steven Hutton says:

    Does the kick starter for this still allow you to pay different amounts of money to get access to different (gameplay relevant) content? Because that’s a deal breaker for me.

    • UnstableVoltage says:

      Nope, there’s no pay to win. Some of the different tiers of the KS do start you off with access to different gameplay modes – but those are all still available to all players through playing the game. The only things that backers get that non-backers don’t, is a few unique cosmetic things – and a one time ability to create a 3 item gear set (choose it’s name and assign stats based on a point spending system). But all players will still be able to find and use gear, including those sets made by backers.

      • Steven Hutton says:

        So all you get for paying more is early access to a game mode that everyone else has to grind to unlock, in game XP, in game currency, a set of new gameplay relevant items (custom stats) that everyone else has to grind to unlock, a permanent minimum rank and all the benefits thereof (gold, xp).

        Good thing there’s no pay to win. I was starting to get worried.

        • nickylee says:

          Of course since all of these benefits are for the singleplayer/co-op portion of the game, I’m not really sure what the problem is. I do have an issue with the fact that it’s not made clearer on the Kickstarter page (although the information is there, either in updates or buried in the page).

          Pay-to-win is generally considered to be giving someone a clear edge over another human opponent via monetary means.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            No, the problem isn’t about multiplayer games. It’s about game balance. Where is the fun?
            Is it balanced for fun before or after the pay wall? Usually after.

          • Steven Hutton says:

            Are you sure? it really seems like the game mode being described is part of the multi player ranking system

          • nickylee says:

            I’m pretty damned sure. The mutiplayer portion of the game will be pretty similar to the prototype. Any equipment/buffs your wizard character has becomes irrelevant when playing multiplayer. The rankings you mention are the status of your wizard character in the singeplayer campaign where you can go from an apprentice all the way to a god. The multiplayer competetive rankings will not be affected by this.

            As for game balance and pay walls… well… there isn’t a pay wall. If somebody wants to start the singleplayer portion of the game as one of the higher ranking wizards then more more power to them I say. Seems like you’d just miss out on the satisfaction of getting there yourself to me. I have very little reason to suspect this will affect the balance of the singleplayer campaign at all.

          • nickylee says:

            Turns out I was wrong: You don’t even start at a later stage of the game, you still start as level 1 like everyone else, Julian Gollop has updated the KickStarter page with some clarification: link to

  12. Excelle says:

    I’m thinking of chucking a bit more cash at this if it helps it get funded. I honestly didn’t think it would be this hard given Gollop’s strong name.

    Chaos is basically my favourite game of all time (I have it on my phone for Gollop’s sake!), and I’m very much looking forward to this. Although frankly he could have just included online multiplayer in a port of the 8 bit version and I would have bought it :)

  13. Erinduck says:

    Ken Levine’s name occurs more in this article than THE GAME’S NAME AND THE NAME OF THE GAME’S DEVELOPER.

  14. 88GJS88 says:

    I’ve just put myself up to the $50 level – and the only reason I’m stopping there is because my ability to actually play this when it comes out will depend on my ability to get a decent PC in the intervening time. Even the few games I’ve managed by chugging along on my laptop it’s been great fun.

    Also, I don’t mean to betray the RPS ethos….but this would be a truly excellent game on tablet. $240k for the second stretch goal looks like it could unfortunately be out of reach unless something amazing happens, but it seems like such an obvious fit.