TBS Front Screen

Winter is For Gamers

on Tuesday, Jan. 14th

Fall is usually the time for harvest, but this winter the crop of independent video games has been strong as crowdfunding seeds sewn long ago finally bear fruit.

The first notable release was the pre-Christmas arrival of République, the stealth action game from developer Camouflaj. Today two other highly anticipated, Kickstarter-funded, games launch.

First up–only for campaign backers for now– is the game that began the Kickstarter video game mania: Double Fine’s Broken Age. Split into two parts, the first half of Broken Age will be available for the general public on January 28th on PC, Mac and Linux platforms.

Available to all today is The Banner Saga–which is the work of Austin-based studio Stoic, who I had the pleasure of interview last year in their hometown.

The game tells the story of a Viking host which travels “across a vast landscape trying to survive a looming threat.” The gameplay is a mix of story choices and turn-based tactical combat. All of this is presented in a lush art style reminiscent of Ralph Bashki’s cult classic rotoscoped take on The Lord of the Rings.

The Banner Saga is available for PC and Mac via Steam.

All of these games began their crowdfunding campaigns in the Spring of 2012, and all of them have been plagued by various delays and issues. What’s will be interesting to see is if these development cycles–18-24 months–become the expected gestation period for crowdfunded games from here on out.


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