iOS Kickstarter Roundup, Part 1: Active Campaigns

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could hit an “iOS” button on these newfangled crowdfunding sites, then sort the results by date and funding status so you could see all the weird, wonderful, or just plain kickass projects you have to look forward to down the road? That feature is either nonexistent or very well hidden on Kickstarter right now, so we decided to roll up our sleeves and dig in for some treasure hunting the hard way. Here are five active projects that caught our eye, sorted by campaign end date. This is hardly an exhaustive list due to our totally un-scientific method, so if we’ve left anyone out – projects we’ve already covered notwithstanding – give ’em a shout-out in the comments section!

Kickstarter Ends:
May 11 (Four days left)
Status: Approximately 53% funded

When your team includes people who worked on Metal Gear Solid, Halo and F.E.A.R., small scale just isn’t an option. Camouflaj, a new studio with said AAA cred, teamed up with veteran TV spot producer Logan in hopes of bringing us a game with blowout production values and a concept to match. République casts the player as a kinder, gentler Big Brother — one that uses omniscience to break people out of an ultra-wired totalitarian state rather than seal them in.

It’s an idea that’s been evolving in videogamedom for some time with mixed results — see Nicolas Delaye’s & Lexis Numérique’s eXperience112 and the campy Lifeline. Nevertheless, République’s focus on stealth – plus the fact that the lead dev’s personally worked with Hideo Kojima – leaves us optimistic that this will be the crowning title the genre needs. République can’t survive on mad props alone though, so the dev’s pulling out all the stops in the Kickstarter’s final days: starting a last-ditch Twitter campaign, announcing versions for Windows and Mac in addition to iOS, and getting top-notch voice actors David Hayter and Jennifer Hale on board. Nothin’ like a little pressure on your game project — here’s wishing them the best of luck in the final stretch!

Kickstarter Ends:
May 17 (10 days left)
Status: Approximately 38% funded

Raise your hand if you like Minecraft. Now raise your other hand if you like Steampunk. Yup, that’s what we thought, and that’s what Bytebin Studios are banking on. The devs have been crafting this cloud-based MMO adventure since September 2011 and are hoping to go full-time for the final development push. If all goes well, a beta build should be ready for iOS by mid summer.

Here’s a full rundown from Bytebin: “Deepworld is partly a love letter to the sandbox genre, but we think we’re innovating hard and fast in many unique ways. Our game is truly massively multiplayer, a persistent online sandbox universe of a scale not seen since Second Life, and across desktop and mobile platforms to boot. It features changeable world ecosystems, skill-based crafting and steam power. It will soon have mini-games like capture the flag and freeze tag, and we have awesome plans for dynamic and player-manipulatable music.”

Sword of Justice
Kickstarter Ends:
May 19 (12 days left)
Status: Approximately 3% funded

Today we learned that if you’re filming a Kickstarter campaign in Hungary, you can easily get full-size military hardware in your video. That’s what the folks at 4Flash somehow managed to do anyway. Judging from that, it’s pretty safe to say these Eidos veterans are taking their armored Real-Time Strategy units very seriously! Developed especially with fans of Command & Conquer and Sudden Strike in mind, Sword of Justice attempts to put a new spin on World War II-themed RTSs with its focus on the Eastern European theater. Multiplayer and cooperative modes are envisioned in addition to a single player campaign.

Sword of Justice’s bevy of upgradable tanks look mighty cool, which is why it’s a shame the chances of seeing it on iOS are dwindling barring an 11th hour miracle.

John Butterfield’s Battle of the Bulge
Kickstarter Ends:
May 28 (22 days left)
Status: Over 100% funded

When fortune does smile on a Kickstarter campaign the push doesn’t end there: the wargame industry gurus who joined forces at Shenandoah Studio are due to reveal one or more stretch goals now that they’ve sealed the deal.

Billed as a “serious historical simulation game,” Battle of the Bulge translates the tabletop wargame experience into something us young whipper-snappers should find enticing. It looks as if it may be the World War II-era answer to last year’s excellent Legion of the Damned — especially considering the developers’ commitment to asynchronous multiplayer. While the iPad is Shenandoah’s target platform for Bulge, it’s expected to make its way onto smaller touchscreens soon after its App Store debut.

Kickstarter Ends:
June 4 (29 days left)
Status: Approximately 43% funded

Celsius Game Studios brought the space combat flight sim Red Nova to iOS in late 2010. Now studio lead Colin Walsh is aiming for a return with an open-ended space exploration game that follows in the footsteps of Frontier and Wing Commander: Privateer. This time around he’s joined by Danny Baranowsky, who has Canabalt and Super Meat Boy among his high profile composing credits!

Drifter looks like it’s going to make it to iOS regardless of the Kickstarter outcome; the question is whether it will expand to PC and Mac any time soon, and whether Colin can get a modeler on board to pitch in with the customizable ships and slick galactic environments.