April 22, 2013 7:25 PM | James Monkman
"Your favorite 8-bit and 16-bit era games mashed into one!" is a bold promise for any developer to make, but it's one that Gamesbymo's A.N.N.E. project could possibly deliver if the seamless mash-up of space-shooter and exploratory platforming ends up being as fun to play as the short reveal trailer suggests. Recently launched on Kickstarter with a modest $70,000 target (with stretch goals up to $180,000 offering conversions to a range of platforms including the WiiU, PS Vita and Ouya) the game received a lot of interest at PAX East, and its Steam Greenlight pitch has so far received nothing but praise.
Pixel art purists may be initially put off by the modern art style with no anti-aliasing, but this is actually key to the design as the 2D perspective smoothly zooms in and out depending on whether or not you are on foot exploring the planet or flying above the surface blasting aliens in your cute little shuttle. Other notable features include the use of collectible crystals as both experience points and in game currency (with which you can upgrade your character and shuttle separately), the ability to move heavy objects around with your craft (with real physics) and a heavy focus on open exploration.
The indie metroidvania genre may well be saturated with games and projects all desperately striving to be the next Doukutsu Monogatari, but could this inspired mix of game styles give A.N.N.E. the edge over the competition? I certainly hope so, if only because I find the synopsis of a robot rebuilding his loved one such an endearing concept.
Sadly there is no public demo available for download, but pledges of $75 and above will (at some point) grant backers early access to the Beta - as well as a gorgeously presented boxed 'cartridge' edition. On the other end of the scale, $10 rewards backers with the DRM free PC version on release, with a target date of early to mid 2014.
Check out the A.N.N.E. Kickstarter page here.