Games You Can Play: Creator Picks

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Today we unveiled Play Now, a collection of Kickstarter-funded games on Steam that you can… play right now! It lists over 100 games, which is an awful lot. What to play first? To help with that question, we asked some game creators and other gaming friends to pick one Kickstarter project that you should check out on Steam. Here are their selections. We’re going to take July off and play them all. (Spoiler alert: A lot of people recommend The Banner Saga.)

Brian Fargo, founder of inXile, makers of Wasteland 2 
Pick: The Banner Saga 

It's been so refreshing to play Banner Saga, with its rich visual style and great tactics to explore. The animation reminds me of the old Ralph Bakshi animated films, which brings back good memories. I definitely recommend picking up this game to experience the passion and detail the developers poured into it. 

Jake Elliott, half of Cardboard Computer, makers of Kentucky Route Zero 
Pick: Octodad: Dadliest Catch 

Recently we've seen several high-profile videogames assign the player to the role of "father" as protector, aging ultraviolent breadwinner, and gruff man who makes the hard decisions because it's his paternal mandate. Octodad is a welcome counterpoint: a warm and playful slapstick game about love and self-doubt. And the sound design is fantastic! 

Kelly Wallick, overlord at the indie game showcase Indie Megabooth 
Pick: Legend of Dungeon

Dynamic lighting and music play along with this fun, stylistic cooperative beat-’em-up. It's built a strong community and has a fun take on the traditional genres it's working in. Plus the development team are an amazing husband-and-wife duo who previously lived in a treehouse. What's not to love? 

Peter Molyneux, video game designer and creator of Godus 
Pick: FTL: Faster Than Light 

I adore the sense of freedom in the game. I find it utterly absorbing. You can love and protect every last one of the crew, or you can be a bastard if you like and flush them out the airlock. I love all the little surprises -- I can be flying along or in a battle and an asteroid will hit me in an unexpected spot and all of a sudden a new story has started. 

Jordan Weisman, chief executive of Harebrained Schemes, makers of Shadowrun Returns 
Pick: The Banner Saga 

The Banner Saga looks absolutely stunning! Stoic's expressive 2D character animations and Eyvind Earle-inspired vistas really come together, and the end result is a breathtaking fantasy Viking world. It's also a great RPG adventure in its own right. Well worth your time.

Brandon Boyer, founder of the Kickstarter-funded gaming site Venus Patrol 
Pick: Kentucky Route Zero 

At a glance, Kentucky Route Zero bears little similarity to the concepts originally Kickstarted in early 2011, but, importantly, it's lost none of the tone that originally made that pitch so compelling. A true modern videogame masterpiece about being down and out and lost in America, the game has learned how to create a sense of place from some of the best cinematic and theatrical designers in the world, and has already (even at only halfway complete!) become one of the most surreal and essential adventures the medium has ever seen. 

Adrian Husby, PR at Krillbite Studio, makers of Among the Sleep 
Pick: Broken Age 

Broken Age is an obvious product of love and dedication, with as much charm and character as you'll ever see. 

Kevin Zuhn, creative director and lead designer for Octodad: Dadliest Catch 
Pick: Retro Game Crunch 

Each of the games in Retro Game Crunch is a worthy standalone experience, and swirled together they're irresistible. Whether you like exploring, evolving, or shooting demons with your friends there's something here for you. The chiptunes are pretty great, too. 

Jim Mummery, creative director at Born Ready, makers of Strike Suit Zero 
Pick: Shadowrun Returns 

Feels like nostalgia wrapped in a cyberpunk freshness. It reminded me of days playing the classic RPGs: Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, etc. 

Ryan Wiemeyer, owner/designer at The Men Who Wear Many Hats, makers of Organ Trail 
Pick: Risk of Rain 

Despite the name that has nothing to do with anything that happens in the game, playing Risk of Rain is deeply satisfying, like sliding a hot dog into a perfectly fitted tubing. Uniquely featuring a "race against the difficulty curve" mechanic which forces you to supercharge yourself with more power-ups than you can keep track of in a vain attempt to not have wasted the last half hour of your life. I'm going to play it right now! 

Thomas Lund, chief executive at Full Control, makers of Jagged Alliance: Flashback 
Pick: Expeditions: Conquistador 

Not too many titles dare take up non-standard themes, but Expeditions really got me into the entire colonization era in a great way. It reminds me a lot of Heroes of Might and Magic, while giving it a personal twist and challenging combat. Great job as a first title by the team. 

Wiley Wiggins, actor and creative director at Karakasa Games, makers of Thunderbeam! 
Pick: Retro Game Crunch 

Retro Game Crunch is an unparalleled feat in the annals of games: six incredibly polished games made under classic NES constraints in almost as few months, each an interpretation of a backer-submitted theme. "Immortal, learn to die" became End of Line, the Retro Game Crunch title that was included in last year's Fantastic Arcade in Austin, Texas (and my favorite of the six).

Justin Ma, half of Subset Games, makers of FTL: Faster Than Light 
Pick: The Banner Saga 

I strongly recommend The Banner Saga. It's a lovingly crafted world where the strong characters, beautiful setting, and wonderful music draw you into the story immediately.

What are your favorite games from our Play Now page? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to drop us a note when your Kickstarter-funded game makes its Steam debut, so we can add it to the page:

    1. Missing avatar

      Arthur Maloney on

      No mention of Might No 9?? For shame!!

    2. Albert Lee on

      @Arthur it isn't out yet, so of course they can't recommend people to buy it yet :P

    3. Jeremie Lariviere

      There are a ton of games :-)
      Malevolence, Lifeless Planet, Crystal Catacombs, ForgeQuest, Deepworld, Castle Story, Girl With A Heart Of, Core of Innocence, UFHO2, Professor Cat's Mazing Machine, Unemployment Quest...

      Not to mention the ones that are yet to come out, Red Goddess, Mage's Initiation, Armikrog, Alum, Labyrinthine Dreams, Candle, Sui Generis, Dreamfall Chapters, Grim Dawn, Pillars of Eternity, Shantae, Earthlock, Planets3...

    4. Missing avatar

      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    5. Missing avatar

      teguhbejo on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    6. Missing avatar

      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.