There was a time when I thought Puzzle Quest and the like formed a signpost pointing to a bright future, in which themes and genres would become the bricks in a huge architectural toy chest. Who wouldn't want to play a pinball game in which highscores and skillshots translate into the bank balance and item unlocks for a family of Sim-like Little Computer People? Or a game in which solving logic puzzles makes a car go faster and faster and faster until Lewis Hamilton throws a strop.
When I first read about Moon Hunters, I thought it would be something along those lines. Play a puzzle thing with some RPG-lite conventions attached to it and 'construct' a mythology. Then I watched the Kickstarter pitch video (it's already funded) and gawped in amazement.
Why, that looks like a top-down action RPG as delicious as Titan Souls, with optional co-op for up to four players, and this whole myth-making malarkey balanced on top like a succulent cherry. Here's the skinny:
An ancient, occult world: the gods and their creations yet walk among us, and our prayers do not always go unanswered, for better or for worse.
Local co-op like never before: playing alone is fully supported. But if you invite your friends, you won't just be bashing enemies, you'll be creating legends together.
Build your mythology: Your actions show if you are more of a Trickster or a Saviour or something else entirely. At the end of your journey worthy heroes become a constellation in the night sky, your deeds recounted for the ages.
Different worlds, persistent myths: Seeing one aspect of the mystery in its entirety only takes a couple of hours, but to truly understand what's happened, you'll need to play a few times. Meanwhile, each time you play, the constellation of your character's legend carries over, as part of your tribe's developing pantheon.
Short-form playthroughs attached to a longer meaningful persistent world, or character. That's another signpost to a possible future, I reckon. The Kickstarter hit its target of forty five thousand Canada Bucks in no time at all (a couple of days) but an extra fifty grand would see the addition of online multiplayer for the PC version.
The game is linked with the Square Enix Collective. The developers spoke to Cinema Blend about that particular kettle of kokopu.
Now as far as Short and the rest of the crew at Kitfox Games are concerned, this is basically just free publicity for the team and the game, as they've received more than 300 sign-ups for the e-mail newsletter just by being on The Collective. It's a heck of a lot of more beneficial than no support at all. Short also states that The Collective has been nothing but good to them.
Let's hunt the moon.