KickStarter Spotlight: Freedom Planet

KickStarter Spotlight: Freedom Planet

Feb 6, 2013

It has been a while since we have really taken an in depth look to one of the fields in which KickStarter has benefited the most; indie game developers. As most everyone knows, indie game sales have exploded over the last few years; bolstered by better distribution methods like Steam and a more willing Sony and Microsoft. It goes without saying that a strong indie market is one of the most important factors to a great gaming industry. Recognizing this, our choice for this week’s KickStarter Spotlight is Freedom Planet, a game that will harken strongly back to the days when Sonic and MegaMan were dominating the console market.

And by harken, I mean to say that I could see more than a few people finding this to be a strange, ill-advised Sonic offshoot; that is how similar Freedom Planet looks like the classic Sonic The Hedgehog games. There is a large difference between retro graphics and pixel art, and Freedom Planet’s graphics are most certainly encamped in the former. While I see where the developers are coming from, I feel that the execution is potentially just a little weak and the levels just do not seem to have the same pop and charm of the games it is emulating. What is charming, however, are the character models. These wide-eyed Powerpuff anthropomorphic animals certainly deliver the looks and will garner anyone’s sympathy upon their virtual demise.

In terms of gameplay, it is not surprising to note that the game does borrow heavily from Sonic, but there are enough new elements interwoven to make it really stand on its own. Each character has their own special move and these seem to work in a myriad of ways ranging from conjuring a motorcycle to reflective shields. I do not have a hard time imagining how the wide range of character options and breakneck game speed would attract modern gamers who, as a whole, are very willing to give any deserving indie game a shot. This is aided by the fact that Freedom Planet is being developed for just about every platform other than the PS3 or Xbox 360, including potentially an Android version. Any remaining doubt of this game’s success is quelled upon looking at their KickStarter page and noticing that with still a week to go, Freedom Planet has garnered almost nine times its original goal. Their biggest challenge now is getting approved for Steam through Steam’s Greenlight program, so for any platformer fans who are looking for a new indie game, head over to the Freedom Planet KickStarter and Steam Greenlight page and help make this game a reality.

Theme Thursday: Forest for GO Launcher

Theme Thursday: Forest for GO Launcher

Aug 16, 2012

While it’s easy to presume that Android Rundown readers are manly men who like manly themes for their manly Android phones, it never hurts to throw a shout out to the ladies. That is why this week I took a look at a theme that will bring any honest Disney-loving princess back to the magical world of enchanted forests and talking animals. Specifically, the theme is simply titled, Forest and was created by Freedom Design; who, somehow, do not have an entry on the Theme Thursday columns yet.

While there is no direct Disney correlations the colorful and intricate icons will remind anyone of the magical forests and extraordinary fantasy that the company is known for. Small vines delicately coil themselves around a piece of paper in the Messages icon while the Settings icon features a gear surrounded by a flowering wreath. Actually, any League of Legends player should find these slightly familiar as they do bear an odd resemblance to the game’s interior jungles.

However, like most themes that feature radically different designs, Forest offers a disappointingly few number of icons and the contrast when seeing the quaint, rustic cabin that is the Market icon placed next to a bright and very modern Flipboard icon is fairly jarring and really removes the illusion. It is nice to see that they are continually rolling out new icons for more popular apps but there still are not nearly enough to give any unified look to a phone. One thing that did surprise me was the wallpapers. It would have been really easy to just phone that in, but because this is a “premium” app, the standards need to be a little higher. Fortunately, Forest delivers; and while it may not be the most macho wallpaper and most guys would rather be caught dead than be found sporting it, there is no denying it is high quality and easy on the eyes.

Settling in for just under $2 there is some risk associated with the purchase but as long as the home screen retains familiar and stock Android apps this theme should whisk any former princess off to their fantasy forest every time they open their phone.