A bin-man, a talking rat and a smoking jacket walk into a bar - less a joke, more a setup for an adorably grimy SNES-styled RPG. Kingdoms Of The Dump hit Kickstarter today, where its devs, Roach Games (a pair of real-life janitors writing what they know, I suppose) are asking for funds to see it to stinky fruition. It looks a charmer, too - a high fantasy adventure set amongst the Dump Kingdoms of the Lands Of Fill. Someone's gone and taken out (and not returned) the king of Garbagia, so it's up to young Dustin Binsley and friends to clean up. See a lovely trailer below.
There's a lot of games out there claiming to be 8-bit or 16-bit styled, but few nail the SNES look this well. Were it not for a few slightly too-well-animated combat sprites, I would believe that this was a long lost Super Nintendo game. The music even sounds like it's using its well-weathered sound chip. That's not to say the game isn't doing its own thing. There's an interesting grid-based combat system, and you can go clambering around its complex overworld using different characters to access new areas, but it feels old in the best possible way. Like a prototype someone dug out of the rubbish.
But what really defines the game is its silly, strange setting. The Kickstarter page goes into detail on each of the kingdoms - Garbagia, Detergeos, Buggaria, Carpentos and Mammalon. It's a trashy fairytale, with backstory like the dogs of Mammalon (led by The Great Dane, obviously) being poorly recieved in Carpentos because they like chewing on furniture legs. There's even an order of cowboy librarians (with one Walker Jacket - a Garmentian from the town of Needlepoint - being a playable character) that stalk the land for overdue books. It's fully committed in a way I find utterly endearing.
This one has been in the works for a while now, and I've seen some work-in-progress shots on Twitter befrore. Being an old-school RPG developed primarily by two people (who are also janitors), it's a long way from completion. Stretch goals are playing it safe, too. $5000 above the target and they'll rope in Secret Of Mana composer Kiroki Kikuta to do a single guest track. At $20k above target they'll look at console ports. Beyond that, they don't want to say. I've got my fingers crossed. It takes a special sort to dedicate years to an idea this silly, and I wish them all the luck.
Kingdoms Of The Dump is on Kickstarter now, and aiming to raise $60,000 (£47,735, roughly) in order to get the game out the door and ready to be picked up by October 2022.