Age of Grit isn’t afraid to have its cake and build a mighty machine of gears and steam engines to devour it too. On one hand it wants to be a classic cowboy story about helping folks and fighting bandits in the wild west. On the other, it’s a game about flying a steampunk airship, shooting others down and managing a crew. Rather than attempting to jerry-rig this into our history, developers iqSoup have built their own land inspired by the railroad age. It’s on Kickstarter after $12,000 (~£7,300) and on Greenlight. You’d think they’d already have all the Steam they’d need, eh? EH?
They’re putting a lot of thought into the universe; this map of the world is cool. The main character, the captain of the vessel and who you’ll be controlling, is a veteran of one of the wars from the “hundreds of years of history” they’ve prepared. Over on the updates page they’ve been fleshing some of the other characters out similarly. There’s a certain level of cliché, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. iqSoup have created their own setting, and a little familiarity helps to bridge the gap.
As for how it will play, you’ll be jetting around the world battling other sky-cowboys and smuggling goods: Firefly without all that pesky space. You can upgrade your ship through salvaging parts off defeated foes, as well as buying from traders. Battles are turn-based, using pressure as a resource to spend on attacks and repairs. This can be saved up between turns, allowing for more strategic decisions.
Interaction with characters and exploring settlements will switch to a first-person adventure game with dialogue trees and choices. Rather than handing out quests with objectives, iqSoup want players to think for themselves and interact with the world to get things done. Their example is a miner who has extra dynamite you could smuggle – he doesn’t have a specific buyer and won’t help avoid the authorities, that’s all on you.
It looks likely to make it thanks to at least the base goal, which is explained in the FAQ at the very bottom of the page and basically comes down to the project lead not paying himself. The get-the-game tier will set you back about £7.