iOS Kickstarter Roundup, Part 2: Coming Soon to an iDevice Near You

Continuing from yesterday’s list of iOS crowdfunding campaigns that have ticking countdowns, these are some neat-looking projects that passed the hurdle a few months back. A veritable explosion of iOS Kickstarters launched after these, so we’ll definitely need a Part 3. Check back for that tomorrow!

Last Class Heroes
Kickstarter Ended:
November 10, 2011

Aha, we thought we recognized that art style from somewhere! No, it’s not being made by Vanillaware, but the folks at Studio Kontrabida sure were inspired by the awesome high res sprites in Vanillaware products like Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Kontrabida’s iOS debut wraps the traditional high school clique rivalry into an Action RPG involving summon monsters. Hey, sounds promising to us!

Last Class Heroes is a case in point that the trials and tribulations of game development don’t magically end once you’ve pulled off some crowdfunding; Kontrabida made a tough decision to switch from cocos2d to Unity for their multiplatform needs. It’s also a great example of a dev keeping backers in the loop during the long road to completion: their post-funding updates amount to reams of explanation, video, juicy sprite designs, and the very sound work the backers paid for.

Organ Trail
Kickstarter Ended:
January 19

Storms that cancelled outdoors recess weren’t so bad in grade school as long as you had an Apple II and a copy of The Oregon Trail handy. There was something weirdly exciting about guessing who would starve or contract dysentery next, but there’s a certain something The Oregon Trail lacked. You know…zombies! The Men Who Wear Many Hats have put that to rights, trading in the Conestoga wagon for a station wagon — and when someone rides shotgun here, they’re really packing heat! The graphics may not be all that flashy, but Organ strives to capture The Oregon Trail experience in all its facets. If you have fond memories of Organ’s inspiration, you owe it to yourself to give the Flash version a spin and see how well the formula transfers to a zombie apocalypse setting.

The edition we’ll be seeing on iOS this summer is a Director’s Cut that will not only refine the Flash version, but add lots of new zombies and gameplay features dreamed up by backers. Organ’s Kickstarter raked in so many backers, in fact, that at least one of The Men Who Wear Many Hats has decided to take up the indie developer’s hat full-time and knuckle down to finish this one ASAP.

Pixel Sand
Kickstarter Ended:
February 19

The sandbox in your typical falling sand game wasn’t big enough for Trevor Sundberg and Olav Larsen. They’re taking the genre from “Microsoft Paint with physics” level to a full-fledged platforming game editor. What it lacks in polygons it should make up with tons of off-beat game mechanics. With its simple presentation but wide-open possibilities, one could imagine Pixel Sand being destined for the hands of budding child game designers. In fact, the developers want to push the lower bound on their audience all the way down to one-year olds with a simple mode designed especially for the kiddies — it’d be like training wheels or floaties, but for little gamers.

Originally intended for the PC and Xbox 360, Pixel Sand secured an iOS port with a campaign aimed at funding the necessary developer licenses and equipment. Pixel Sand also met its first stretch goal, which should lead to some light RPG elements in its game design palette. The creators were careful to project a post-Kickstarter development period of eight months, so expect this quirky title to land in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Monster Guru
Kickstarter Ended:
March 16

If you’re lamenting a lack of monster collecting and raising games on iOS, just give it a few months. Among the devs vying to blow that genre wide open are Gimo Games, a group of college students shouldering this project in addition to everything else that goes with that stage of life. It must be helpful having all those different majors together in one area though! In addition to lovely pastel artwork, the team has backup from a prolific musician who churns out mesmerizing guitar solos and satisfying atmospheric pieces if his Bandcamp page is any indication.

Monster Guru’s most interesting – and extraordinarily risky – feature is its heavy geolocation integration. To open up new in-game territory the player has to put in some real world footwork, which translates to game environments through the wonders of Google Maps. Once a new area has been accessed it can be revisited at will according to the game’s specs.