Heartbound is a RPG being made for PC and Mac by developer, Pirate Software. The team have taken to Kickstarter to raise the humble $5000 USD goal in order to make the game. In only a few days, almost the entire amount has been raised meaning that this crowdfunding campaign will unlikely be a heart-breaker.
The story features Lore and his faithful companion, Baron, as they tackle the darkness outside and within. The dynamic between the protagonist and his dog will seemingly be at the forefront of the game as the former has a bleak personality whereas the latter has an upbeat personality.
In fact, the way that Lore interacts with others will affect how the story plays out. If he isn’t able to keep his negativity at bay, it will taint his worldview spillover into the game world.
While Heartbound is listed as an RPG, it has a system more akin to Undertale than traditional titles in that genre. This is most obvious with the battle system, which sees enemy fights handled through Wario Ware style mini-games.
There will be no leveling up or healing items and if you fail, the game continues without a game over. However, winning these shooter style micro-challenges will give you more information on the opponents you encounter throughout your journey.
Other features include:
- Follow Lore and Baron on their adventures through time and space.
- Change the story through exploration and interaction with the world. Not just through major dialog events but small things like leaving the lights on, investigating a book, or ignoring that viking brand dog food.
- A massive series of optional cryptographic puzzles that can be solved as a community.
- Varying environments with unique pixel art, an inspired soundtrack, and tons of extra socks.
- That awful feeling when you do something terrible to someone who loves you.
- More gags than you can shake a stick at. Binder can lend you one of his if you don’t bring your own
- Rebuild the town of Animus as you help it’s denizens conquer their fears or fix their relationships.
- Collect mounds of secret goodies to help you through the trials and troubles ahead.
- Learn about others by living through their memories if you defeat them in combat.
A beta is available on the Kickstarter page for PC and Mac so you can give the game a whirl before donating. If the campaign is successful, the team at Pirate Software is hoping to release Heartbound by December of this year.
The artstyle (especially the character portraits) and mini-game battle mechanic takes this game beyond the usual indie RPG trappings. Also the fact that the protagonist’s mental health will change how the player is able to interact with various things and people makes me even more intrigued for this offering.
The campaign ends on March 26th so you’ve still got time to become a backer and accompany Lore and Baron on this unique adventure. The Kickstarter video is available below: