Pixel Art. Action RPG. Inspired by games like Baldur’s Gate. Up to 4-player co-op. Solving mysteries as detectives in 1920s Massachusetts?
I’m sure you weren’t all that surprised or drawn in until I got to that last part. And that’s where Witchmarsh stands out. Recentlylaunched on Kickstarter by Inglenook games, this action RPG treads unfamiliar territory for video games and does it in style. 1920s America is not exactly a traditional environment to drop an Action RPG, but once you see the beautifully animated pixel art in action, all reservations will be thrown aside and replaced with awe.
Witchmarsh is seeking to draw from classics of the genre as well as applying some of the more modern aspects such as branching dialogue and co-op multiplayer. Promising a large character customization pool and a “dynamic hidden item system”, Witchmarsh also seems to push for replayability.
While these aren’t out of the ordinary for the genre these days, it’s the setting and story that drew me in almost immediately. Witchmarsh tells the story of a strange kidnapping spree which has led to the “Witchmarsh Twelve” disappearing under mysterious circumstances. You play as private detectives who are on the case and you must fight your way through a beautiful pixel-art version of 1920s Massachusetts.
Sporting a jazzy soundtrack by Gunpoint composer Francisco Cerda and a classic PC pixel art style filled with excellent animation work, this game looks to not only provide a lot of variety in how you play, but also give you plenty of interesting visuals to indulge in as you explore the world.
The game’s character customization seems fit for building to your own play style as well as crafting your own unique builds and challenges, but a character template will be provided for less experienced players who don’t wish to play around too much with customization, allowing for accessibility as well as room for challenge. There is also a focus on using different character skills to uncover hidden loot, which lends itself to co-op gameplay and experimentation.
Rounding out the combat and RPG adventuring is a detective system to uncover the mystery, focused on clues and leads which can bring you to new plot points. The clues seem to allow interpretation for more depth to the detective aspects as well, which will be a unique feature for this genre.
Almost hitting 50% of it’s funding a mere three days into it’s Kickstarter campaign, there is no doubt this game will be funded and then some. With stretch goals promising to add even more depth to it’s content, this is sure to be one to look out for if you’re into action RPGs with plenty to do.
Witchmarsh is being developed by Inglenook and will be published by Starbound developer Chucklefish. No information yet on console releases, but the game is slated to be released on PC and Mac judging by the Kickstarter rewards, with a push for a Steam launch in the future. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter, as well as follow the developer on Facebook and Twitter for more information and take a minute to watch the Kickstarter trailer to see this game in action.