games / Columns

The Top 8 Kickstarter Games – Divinity: Original Sin 2, Shovel Knight, More

May 7, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Divinity Original Sin 2

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! I apologize for taking a break last week but some medical stuff came up and couldn’t finish. But I’m here now to talk about some Kickstarter games I really enjoy. Kickstarter used to be all the rage a few years ago but seems to have died down some. I think it’s because a lot of the more high profile games didn’t land right, have been delayed for a while, or are just never coming out (Star Citizen, for one). I haven’t played ever Kickstarter game so I can’t comment on all of them. I have played Kentucky Route Zero, Broken Age, and Elite Dangerous but they didn’t make this list. Let’s begin:

#8: Shovel Knight

I can really respect Shovel Knight but something about it just didn’t click for me. I think it’s because in most games I prefer to play a ranged character and in Shovel Knight, it is primarily a melee-ranged battle system. I think you might get an upgrade or two that does give you some long range capability but I’m not entirely sure. Still, I like the design of the Knight well enough, the graphics are good and it is a well-structured game.

#7: The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga is another game that didn’t quite click with me. I really liked the strategy aspect of the game but the Oregon Trail-esque other half was strange. It just seemed like most of the encounters were deliberately bad and there was no possible way to play “clean”. Also, some of the language was off-putting, if I remember right. Still, the strategy game was great, and the animation was superb in the game.

#6: Project CARS

The *only* problem Project CARS had was its lack of career mode. There was some hazy system in place but it was worthless. As just a racing game though, it’s one of the best racers in the genre. First of all, even the basic game looks gorgeous, particularly during a rain race. Second, every car controlled differently and there was some odd cars to race around in. Lastly, it was just a fun game to play and give at least some competition to the Forza series.

#5: Contradiction – Spot The Liar!

Contradiction isn’t so much a game as it is an experience. I think the only FMV game I’ve ever played, prior to Contradiction, was the X-Files game released in the late 90s. What I honestly love from Contradiction is the acting. Jenks (Rupert Booth) is in line with Dale Cooper as a slightly idiosyncratic police officer. I like Anarosa’s portrayal as Emma, she brought a slightly haunted quality to her character. And both actors who play the Rand men are superb. The game has some slightly annoying UI designs, but it’s easily worth the price and I’m glad the two main actors (Booth and Butler) keep popping up in other FMV games.

#4: The Long Dark

I don’t think I’ll ever be good at The Long Dark but I love to play it. I remember reading “The Hatchet” as a kid and this game is about the closest a game has come to that book. There are some annoying odds and ends like the crafting system and such, but it’s an extremely unique experience of you trying to survive against the cold in the Canadian wilderness. Also, it has a pretty decent look, it’s not going for photo-realism or anything, but the cel-shading does make the game stand out some.

#3: FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL is a rad game to play. While it has a bit of a simple look there is a lot that you can do with your tiny ship as you run from the rebel faction hell-bent on chasing you. You’ll come across enemy ships and do battle, rescue people from plagues or stations about to blow up, and try to collect enough scrap and fuel to keep your ship relatively healthy and able to keep running from an ever-advancing enemy. Plus, if an enemy crewmember does transport to your ship, you can open the door and blow them into space. This should be a requirement in all space games going forward.

#2: Battle Chef Brigade

BCB is a delightful game that can be extremely tense at times. The gist of the game is that you have to hunt creatures for their meat. You then put that meat into your pots and pans and have to create meals based on what the Battle Chef Judges want. You create meals by way of a Match 3-like system where the meat gems can be upgraded and such by combining them together. There is pressure though because every mission does have a time limit, usually around 6 minutes or so. So you have to divide your time gathering materials to cook with vs. actually cooking the materials and trying to come up with the best meals you can. It can be a stressful game but one that is always fun to play.

#1: Divinity: Original Sin 2

The first Original Sin was neat but I thought it was kind of hard to get into. It was just slightly overwhelming in spots and didn’t do a great job explaining all of its systems. OS2 does a better job with this by not giving you full access to your powers at the start of the game. This forces you to actually get good with the basic gameplay then it (smartly) layers the more complex systems on top of this. Original Sin 2 also features some great writing and beautiful visuals which makes the game standout even more. It’s still one of the most complicated RPGs around but it is one that is also endlessly rewarding. Plus, you can talk to animals (like in the first game) and it’s still cool.

For comments, list your favorite Kickstarter games and why.

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