Gamer’s Almanac is proud to announce the launch of our new campaign, Crowd Funding Friday, where we feature games on kickstarter, greenlight, and other funding platforms to help them get exposure and support. For our very first feature, Gamer’s Almanac is taking a look at Eagle Island!
Animals have served as loyal companions in some of the most classic video games to date. From Link’s Epona to The Lone Wanderer’s Dogmeat, these creatures have stuck by our side and sometimes paid the ultimate price for being our friend. In Eagle Island, such stalwart companionship is on full display. This 16-bit platformer from developer Pixelnicks recently launched its kickstarter and is seeking funding to bring the adventures of young falconer Quill and his owl, Koji, to life on PC, Mac, and Linux.
The basic premise of the game is that one of Quill’s owls, Ichiro, has been taken from him by a monstrous eagle Armaura. Playing as Quill, you must explore Eagle Island’s overworld and the nine different regions that branch off of it to uncover secrets and gain the skills you need to rescue Ichiro and face Armaura. With Eagle Island, platforming fans can take comfort in hearts, coins, and combo-tactics and also get a bit of a metroidvania flair while they’re at it. Eagle Island’s familiar run, jump, and grab platformer controls aren’t anything new, but the game sets itself apart with a unique combat system that puts all trust in the bond between Quill and Koji. You fight by commanding Koji to attack, and if your aim isn’t true you may find yourself running to avoid enemy fire until he finds his way back to you.
The adventure draws again on retro classics after you meet Professor Oliver Ornis, top Ornithologist. He assigns you a secondary mission to collect three bird elemental totems that are wonderfully reminiscent of the good old days of first generation pokemon games. These totems grant Koji the ability to command fire, ice, and electricity, allowing the player to vary their tactics and counter new enemies. Gather loot as you fight against these dangerous monsters to unlock chests guarded by greedy magpies and discover the perks within. Pick and choose a limited number of these perks and you can upgrade Koji’s fighting ability, allowing for some gameplay customization and requiring some strategic planning.
Like some of our favorites here at Gamer’s Almanac, Eagle Island makes use of procedural generation to keep levels fresh. This also offers up the potential for a higher replay value, since the levels will be different every time you come to the game. But that doesn’t mean they come across as robotic or empty, which can be a problem in some proc-gen games. Instead, Eagle Island is a lush place, rendered pixel-by-pixel in warm and bright tones that are comfort food for the seasoned gamer. Just check out this selection of procedurally generated levels, each of them looking hand-crafted as a result of the game’s stellar art:
Eagle Island is Pixelnick’s first commercial release, but they’re already off to a good start. With most of the game’s engine programmed, funding will primarily go towards a graphics update and laying out Eagle Island’s overworld to include components of the story. Already, Eagle Island’s potential shines. It’s a classic tale with an avian twist, and judging by the support it’s quickly getting on Kickstarter, gamers seem to be excited for it. Pixelnicks has set a goal of £20,000, and is currently 12% there with 32 days left in the funding period. Backers have lots of exciting rewards to choose from, all the way from a copy of the game for just £7 to their very own dungeon. Pixelnicks also has the game set up on Steam Greenlight, where they are looking for upvotes so the game can be made available on Steam.
So if you’re a fan of platformers and the whimsy of animal friendship, treasure hunting, and exploration, take a moment to check out Eagle Island! With so much charm jam-packed in the preview of what’s to come, Eagle Island shows a lot of promise and could be a great addition to the platforming genre.
Eagle Island is forthcoming on PC, Mac, and Linux with an estimated release date of July 2018. To learn more about Eagle Island, visit their official website or follow Pixelnicks on twitter. To support this project, upvote it on Greenlight or pledge to the Kickstarter.