A fan of Rhythm games? Role Playing Games? Loved the indie game Sequence? If so, you should definitely check out Harmonic Crusade by Cracked Bat Games. They are a newly formed company since February 2015; but they’ve come together with the positive mind and attitude towards crafting a game that they can be proud of.

The team is trying to bring together a unique game to infuse genres that they love, and for that; they’ve presented Harmonic Crusade. The kickstarter started on the 21st of  February and as of writing has hit 6% of their target of $75,000 CAD with 22 more days to go. There’s also a playable demo as mentioned in the Kickstarter launch video that gives a chance for people to try out on the browser. The demo is in pre-alpha and will be on a different engine altogether; this is a taste of what’s to come.

Harmonic Crusade’s combined genre of RPG and Rhythm is one that isn’t done regularly but is something I personally am very intrigued in. The RPG side seeks to have skill trees, an expansive story, customized weapons and level progression that, according to the demo, you gain experience through doing exceedingly well on levels and based on the difficulty you set. Things I enjoy particularly in RPG’s are all of this, customization, an engaging story and challenges. The Rhythm side of Harmonic Crusade is what you’d expect from the rhythm genre; in the same vein as Rock Band or Sequence, you have notes coming down the screen and you hit the notes to play with the beat. Harmonic Crusade utilizes a similar mechanic to Sequence where you have to micro manage between multiple columns of notes heading down; what sets this apart from Sequence is that it’s not imperative to hit every single note in fear of losing health or failing. You can choose to focus on just the one at a time, weaving in and out as you see fit in order to battle in the combat screen. You build each column in order to send out attacks to enemies on the screen or to block against incoming damage. Not only do you have to be able to micro manage the columns to attack and defend, but some bosses will have effects on the columns that will make it challenging like covering up the last few sections of the column so it’s harder to see. Having a complex battle system in place will definitely make this a challenging game, but I do love a good challenge.

flashplayer 2015-02-27 09-45-39-159

Alongside challenge I did say I liked an engaging story and I appreciate reading that the the story-line may have a divisive opinion concerning the 4 main characters. I’m a huge fan of heroes that aren’t quite heroes or villains that aren’t quite villains, of entities that are too lawfully order or too chaotically evil so to speak. It gives players a chance to think to themselves and to engage in an interesting way that represents who they are and what they believe in. I’m excited if this game promises to do that with its story.

The art style of the game is beautifully constructed with the backgrounds looking as if they’ve been painted. It really works in fabricating the atmosphere in the world. The beautiful misty woods in the demo certainly do add mystery and a sense of fear in the midst of the calming blue tone as the character hits waves of enemies.

Carnival environment

And of course the music; the centerpiece of the game. Music is a very divisive subject as some people will love it whilst others will hate it. I love video game music because of its diversity and this is no different, the beauty of video game music is how it sets up what you see visually art-wise and contextually story-wise and combines all of these elements together to make the players ‘feel’. Either tense or confident, happy or angry, it all comes from ambiance. The music demonstrated in the demo is showing us this ambiance; again in the misty woods, the player is going to feel tense as the enemies start to come in, the music kicks in to a battle of aggression as you progress through to monsters until you reach the end. By the way, if you fail to defeat the main monster on the stage before the song runs out, you lose (tried a pure defense run to see what happens). The team are very talented in what they produce; overall the demo and what’s shown so far has potential.

The Kickstarter has broken down what the costs are for in order to have complete disclosure to the public:

  • Music: $30,ooo CAD
  • Animation: $20,ooo CAD
  • Artwork: $10,000 CAD
  • Voice Acting: $2,000 CAD
  • Writing: $1,000 CAD
  • UI Design: $2,000 CAD

Alongside this, the team wishes to remain in constant contact with the community that supports them and make sure that they are “completely dedicated to making Harmonic Crusade the best it can possibly be”. Again, this is a kickstarter and the team knows the risks and challenges regardless; and so should backers. If you really like what you see, don’t be afraid to show your support for them.

I’m rooting for this team! I’m loving what’s starting to take shape and I will definitely be looking forward to what these guys show off later down the line. If you haven’t taken a look yet go for it. It’s definitely worth at least giving the demo a try and see how you feel. Let us know your thoughts on this game!

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