Nov 20, 2013
The 1990’s, a time where Sega meant something more than terrible Sonic efforts, and it was a time where adventure games were arguably at their most creative. Having to blend complex narratives into such a limited technological window took some great innovation and the restrictions helped for a more focused gaming experience. Recently on KickStarter there have been a lot of games that harken back to those days. This might be because the idea of putting story before graphics makes for a very simple game to physically build, but nostalgia undoubtedly plays a major part.
So what makes this week’s Spotlight different than the rest of the heard? Other than it’s ambitious goals, and the fact that Ouya is pledging to match all donations up to over $60,000, Read Only Memories is one of the few games to place a queer character front and center. Matt Conn, founder of GaymerX; the developer for this game, stresses in their KickStarter video that this game is not meant to focus on the orientation of its characters, but on the game as a whole.
This is something that is prevalent in gaming, but is something that is rarely taken seriously. Gender roles are ignominiously cemented in video games, from first-person-shooters with Marcus Fenix clones, to women clad in strategically unfit armor, it is something that all gamers acknowledge but not much is actually being done about it. Granted, things have gotten better over the last few years, but there still are not many games with a strong queer lead, or really even a prevalent queer character not set by the user.
In keeping with Matt’s intentions, this is a game that should be judged on it’s gaming merits first, and from that point of view this game looks awesome. Borrowing heavily from 90’s adventure games such as Snatcher, Read Only Memories takes place in futuristic Neo San Fransisco. A mysterious personal robot is delivered to the player’s house, and the game slowly unwinds from there. A strong story is told via luminous pixel artwork, and a quality soundtrack put together by multiple legitimate artists.
All this, and it’s placement of realistic characters, help make this game really stand out from the regular KickStarter crowd. So, please check out their page, and remember Ouya is matching any donation.