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Making Headway: FranknJohn

The number of possible title puns was overwhelming. Even this image's name is a pun. You're a pun. Am I a pun? The world is mysterious.

Hark, it’s a blast from the past. Upon reading Binding of Isaac-inspired roguelike FranknJohn‘s Kickstarter page I was worried the RPS quote present indicated we’d already written about the excellent looking dungeon splatterer. In a surprising turn for the best of both worlds we had, but it was many moons ago when Alec made appreciative noises after an encounter at Rezzed 2013. Since then devs bitSmith Games have released their previously mobile-only title, Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan, onto PC and have been hard at work improving FranknJohn. Promising hundreds of customisable heads for their terrifying monster protagonist, who detaches his for use as a weapon, they’ve set themselves a hefty task and are after £30,000 to finish the job. Pitch vid below if your neck stretches far enough.

Now that’s how you do a Kickstarter video – light humour, explains the game, asks for money, out in less than five minutes. For those after a bit more there’s a few videos over on their Vimeo channel (Vimeo still exists, I’m as surprised as you are) and you can grab a demo if you pitch in. Slightly odd decision that, given anyone can put in a minimal amount and then cancel their pledge if they don’t like it, having the demo freely available to entice folks into putting cash down is generally where you want to be.

The devs have been quite good about community interaction in the past, with votes on what rewards should be in the Kickstarter. There’s even been some livestreaming of development on Twitch, which apparently goes down every Friday.

There’s a properly huge amount of information chilling out on the Kickstarter page and, while it’s early days, I’d put them on a good shot to make their target and then some. While roguelikes have gone from rare spawn to common encounter in recent years, Binding of Isaac remains the only one that scratches a certain itch. FnJ seems to be after that same spot, both in terms of how it plays and the cartoonish gore of its asthetic, which I can only appreciate. Perhaps there’s others I’ve missed? Let me know below [Our Darker Purpose for one – Ed].

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