Games are Indiegogo: The crowdfunded hits to watch

It's not all about Kickstarter: you need to check out these games on its rival crowdfunding site.
Games are Indiegogo: 7 crowdfunded hits to watch © Theory Interactive
By Joe Svetlik

Kickstarter might get most of the headlines in this new crowdfunding era, but its rival Indiegogo isn’t to be underestimated. It’s a much more open platform than Kickstarter – you can crowdfund practically anything on Indiegogo, whereas Kickstarter rejects projects it doesn’t like. Think of Indiegogo as like Android, and Kickstarter as like iOS. As such, Indiegogo sometimes gets the slightly more interesting – and dare we say it, more out there – game ideas. Such as? Glad you asked.

Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn

© Big Deez Productions

If you don’t remember the original Shaq-Fu, allow us to fill you in. You stepped into the size 22s of Shaquille O’Neal, then the center for the Orlando Magic basketball team. At 7ft 1in tall (2.16m), and weighing 325 lbs (147.4kg), Shaq was one of the true giants of the game, both literally and metaphorically. But Shaq-Fu wasn’t a basketball game. Released in 1994, it saw the then 22-year-old Shaq star in his very own beat ‘em-up. And it was awful. The makers of Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn admit as much. But this is the chance to right that wrong, and make a game that would be awesome even without Shaq as the main character. The man himself is on board, and is giving his own input into the game. It sailed past its funding target, and will hit the PC, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 soon.

Lacrosse 15

© Crosse Studios

As the name suggests, this is a lacrosse game. The world’s first lacrosse console game, to be exact. The team behind it has some pedigree too. It’s released a tranche of lacrosse games on iOS and Android, including Lacrosse Dodge, Lacrosse Shot, and Lacrosse Arcade. And now it’s taking its skills to the consoles.

So what can we expect from Lacrosse 15? It’s a sports sim in the vein of FIFA, complete with quality graphics, multi-year dynasty mode, real-time RPG levelling, and the ability to customise characters. It promises to combine the character movement of basketball with the stick control, shooting and hitting of hockey. And it should be a high-scoring affair – lacrosse games regularly see in excess of 20 goals. Get ready for some fast-paced action coming to the PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3 in the coming months.

Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm

© NYU Media

The team behind this includes people who previously worked on the SNK title King of Fighters. So they certainly know their onions when it comes to beat ‘em-ups. Yatagarasu is a 2D fighting game for the PC, very much in the style of Street Fighter and King of Fighters, even down to the slightly bitty graphics. Or “high-quality old school graphics” as the makers describe them.

Unlike a lot of beat ‘em-ups which rely on tricky combos and impeccable timing, Yatagarasu promises to be accessible to everyone. The makers claim it has a simple structure, with straightforward gameplay without the clutter that comes with lots of unnecessary features. It also provides a running commentary on the fight, which is a unique feature. All new characters and features are promised, to help it stand head and battered shoulders above other beat ‘em-ups.


© Reset

Rarely do crowdfunded games look this beautiful. Reset is a sci-fi noir, a mystery, and a first-person puzzle game, all in one. The story promises to be haunting and gripping, with a completely immersive atmosphere. And it looks gorgeous.

The gameplay is unique, too. It involves you travelling back in time to solve puzzles with yourself, a bit like Back to the Future but nothing to do with your mum and dad. Here’s how it works: you mark a place in the game world, and then complete one part of a puzzle. You then reset (jump back in time) to where you marked, creating two separate timelines. Confused? It gets trickier. It’s not limited to two timelines – you can create numerous alternate realities in which to solve puzzles. Sounds a lot to get your head around. It also has Oculus Rift support, for exploring your alternate realities in virtual reality.


© Riot

A riot simulator might sound like the kind of thing that would whip the tabloids into a frenzy. But this game lets you pick sides – you play as either the rioters, or the police trying to keep them under control. The makers – including one former Valve employee – have travelled the world to experience real riots first-hand, and aim to document the experience without bias to make the game as realistic as possible. But it still has a sense of fun. The graphics are of the 8-bit style that’s very popular with mobile games at the moment, and hark back to games like Flashback on the Amiga. It’s expected to launch on iOS, Android, PC, Mac and Ouya.


© CodeHatch Corp

Gather resources, build bases, survive on an alien planet… Earth’s star is dying, and the only chance us humans have is by populating another planet. Inspired by Halo, Warcraft 3, and Minecraft, StarForge is a dark and brutal world in which each player plays out their own unique life on the planet. Its sandbox physics let you shape the world around as you see fit, and procedural weapons provide plenty of variety when things get hectic. You can create and clothe your character as you see fit, and the world has unique weather patterns and day and night cycles. It’s the closest you can get to scavenging a living without leaving your front room.

Fran Bow

© Killmonday

Well we did say Indiegogo gets the more out there projects. Fran Bow is marketed as a “creepy point and click adventure”. While its mechanics might look familiar, it’s certainly not your standard ‘go here, click this’ type of game. You play the part of a girl who’s trying to find out who murdered her parents. To do this, she has to escape a mental institution, find her cat Mr Midnight, and get back home. It’s promised to be a “trip to the deepest and darkest side of human psychology, delivered through blood and tears”. Think Grim Fandango meets Silent Hill, and you’re starting to get the picture. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

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