Untold Entertainment are offering various pre-order tiers for their upcoming word puzzle/point and click adventure Spellirium, hoping to add polish to the already finished game.
Spellirium is an interesting one. Not only does the game combine two genres that are rarely combined, but the developers are now offering tiered rewards to those who pre-order the game. The game is already in an alpha state and WILL be released, so there is none of the risk associated with the more common crowd-sourcing projects.
Spellirium is a word puzzle/point n’ click graphic adventure game mash-up, in the spirit of Puzzle Quest. Players spell words to solve challenges and to win battles against creatures using the SpellCaster, a 7×7 grid of letter tiles that can impact reality with the words it spells. To shear a sheep, players must spell words synonymous with cutting (SHEAR, TRIM, CHOP, BUZZ, DENUDE). To dye the resulting wool, they must build words using only the red tiles in the grid. To spin the wool into yarn, they must build words across, down, back and up in a circular motion to turn the spinning wheel. Creature combat is equally clever and varied: one monster can only be defeated by spelling palindromes (KAYAK, MOM, EWE), and another big-eared creature can only be damaged by spelling onomatopoeia (CRASH, BANG, BOOM).
While the ever-changing gameplay in Spellirium will keep players on their toes, the engaging story will glue them to the experience. In a devastated “trashpunk” world where reading and writing are outlawed, secretly literate Todd sets out on a mission to uncover the truth about a death in the family. He is joined by a shaggy blue monster, a hardened hunter, and an obnoxious bard (is there any other kind?) Packed with unexpected turns, Spellirium explores the implications of myth, and the realization that we are all background characters in the lives of others. The story is conveyed through a third-person point n’ click graphic adventure game format, a la The Secret of Monkey Island.
“Spellirium is a chance for our small, plucky studio to bring thirteen years of game development experience to bear on a project that gives players something they haven’t seen before. It’s a narrative game that rewards players for their thoughtfulness and intelligence, rather than just their reflexes or button-pushing abilities,” said Ryan Henson Creighton, outspoken president and founder of Untold Entertainment. “Spellirium has been five long years in the making, and we’re excited to finally get the alpha build out to a broad and enthusiastic audience of word nerds.”
Pre-order customers immediately receive the alpha version of Spellirium, which is about two-thirds complete. Audio is noticeably absent from the alpha, and Creighton hopes the “kickENDER” campaign will enable the studio to fill in the gaps and release the game. “We decided to eschew more popular and well-known approaches to crowdfunding like Kickstarter and IndieGogo for an entirely independent campaign run from the Spellirium website.” The company’s five reasons for going it alone are detailed in the campaign FAQ.
The pre-order campaign is also fairly unique in that it offers no physical rewards to backers. The most popular of its strictly digital goodies is the Reserve a Word tier, which allows players to claim a word in the collectible Spellirium Dictionary for their own – for example, “SEXY is brought to you by [your name here].” The company expects burgeoning voice actors to be intrigued by the tier that invites them to voice a character in the final game.
Pre-order Spellirium now at spellirium.com