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NEScape! is a mystery escape room game for the original NES. Playable on a real NES, as well as Mac, PC, and Linux!
NEScape! is a mystery escape room game for the original NES. Playable on a real NES, as well as Mac, PC, and Linux!
557 backers pledged $38,340 to help bring this project to life.
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NEScape!, an escape room game for the original NES!

$38,340

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THIS GAME IS 100% FINISHED and works on the real NES console! We are running this Kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for cartridge, box and manual production.

NEScape! is a new, true 8-bit mystery escape room game for the NES. Not only that, but it is (optionally) programmed to work with a SNES mouse! It's totally your choice: play with a standard controller or play with a SNES mouse. Experience the thrill of playing a brand new NES game using a peripheral the system was never designed to work with!

                                                      NEScape! as demoed at MAGfest, January 2019
NEScape! as demoed at MAGfest, January 2019

NEScape! is packed to the brim with puzzles of all types. Logic puzzles, music puzzles, various mini-games, spot-the-difference puzzles, auditory puzzles, scramble puzzles, etc. We took all of our favorite puzzle-types and crammed them into one game for you all to enjoy. And forgive us when we tell you, this game is hard! We wanted to err on the side of too difficult rather than too easy. But rest assured, all of the puzzles make logical sense, so you won't have to find batteries in a bag of flour (damn you Agatha Christie on the Wii).

The best part? None of the puzzles in the game require extensive reflexes or hand/eye coordination, so NEScape! can be enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike, from all age groups. If you enjoy challenging your brain, this game is for you!

NES version

All officially released console versions and regions are supported: NTSC NES, PAL NES, and Famicom with a 72-to-60-pin cartridge adapter (not included). The game will auto-detect what region you're in, so there's no worry that you'll receive the wrong version of the game!

High-quality clones such as the retroUSB AVS and Analogue Nt mini are also supported. Please note that this game will not work with NES clones like the Retro Duo or the Retron 5. (Note, we have sent a cartridge to Hyperkin in hopes they can add compatibility to the Retron 5. We'll be sure to let you know if they wind up being successful!) This is due to the fact that NEScape! uses a very specific mapper called GTROM that was designed by Joe Parsell (of Membler Industries) that (nerd warning!) uses nametable mirroring in unique ways that traditional mappers do not, so systems that took shortcuts in emulating the hardware will fall short of compatibility requirements. (For the record, Gauntlet and Rad Racer 2 also use this fancy mirroring. These sub-par clones don't even emulate all licensed games properly!)

                                                 NEScape! plays perfectly in retroUSB's AVS system!
NEScape! plays perfectly in retroUSB's AVS system!

Digital version

Alternatively, we offer a ROM version. This allows you to play the game on your PC and other platforms through the use of an emulator. Emulators that will work without issue are harder to find, but support has grown tremendously over the past year. As previously stated, this is due to the fact that NEScape! uses a different mapper than traditional games. We will certainly provide you with information on how to acquire a working emulator.

Alongside the ROM download, we will provide easy-to-understand instructions on how to set up an emulator to play NEScape! on a Windows PC. It has also been tested to work on Mac through use of the program Wine, as well as mobile devices via the emulator nes.emu.

Howard Phillips (co-creator of Nintendo Power) playing NEScape! at the Midwest Gaming Classic, April 2019
Howard Phillips (co-creator of Nintendo Power) playing NEScape! at the Midwest Gaming Classic, April 2019

Play With Friends!

Have you ever sat in a room with a group of friends and played a puzzle game? It's something to behold! NEScape! lends itself perfectly to a party atmosphere, allowing everyone in the room to rambunctiously shout out ideas and then audibly gasp when one of them turns out to be the correct one. It's so much fun, you won't even want to escape!

GTROM was designed as an affordable alternative for NES homebrew developers who wanted powerful features for a more attractive price than various competitors. It has some really great features like flash saving, which is a huge progression from the old days when games required an on-board battery that had a finite life span (please note that NEScape! itself does not feature saving of any type, as that would ruin the intense, time limited nature of the game). GTROM also supports 4-screen mirroring as well as the ability to store 8 backgrounds in memory at once, so you can do fun things like this:

It's true, we've designed our game to be 100% playable with a SNES mouse! Originally designed for Mario Paint, some brilliant people (who are much smarter than us!) have reverse engineered it and figured out how to use the peripheral on the original NES by way of an adapter.

Escape room games feel like a direct successor from the old point-and-click style adventure games, so it feels completely natural using a mouse to play through it. Until, of course, you realize you are using a mouse on an original NES. Then you smile to yourself and feel like you're cheating technology in some way. But it feels like winning. Trust us. 

Not only is the official SNES mouse supported, but we've also tested our game to make sure it's 100% compatible with the newer, optical Hyperkin SNES mouse, so no matter which SNES mouse you choose to use, you can be sure that it will be supported.

                     Both the official SNES mouse (left) and the Hyperkin mouse (right) are supported!
Both the official SNES mouse (left) and the Hyperkin mouse (right) are supported!

Our wish is to release NEScape! in cartridge format and deliver it in a package worthy of the NES.

Of course, creating physical copies of a game isn't cheap. In the past we have had to put forth the money to purchase everything up front. This can be expensive! Kickstarter allows a better, easier path to get games out. With your help we can afford to get NEScape! out for everyone to enjoy.

That's why we are seeking your help!


WHO ARE WE?

KHAN Games has previously been just Kevin Hanley, all alone in his room coding until the wee hours of the night. But Kevin decided he wanted to share the joy of creating new NES games with others, so he got together with a few of his friends to create something much better and more special than anything he could ever do by himself.

                                                                 Kevin: programming, sound effects
Kevin: programming, sound effects

Kevin has been creating NES games since 2009 and honestly forgot what his hobbies were prior to taking the plunge into learning to program in assembly language. He loves games of all types, but point-and-click adventure games are his favorite.

                                                                   Jon: background art and sprites
Jon: background art and sprites

Jon was a fan of the NES homebrew community, never realizing that he himself could actually take part in helping to create one. After Kevin put out a public request looking for artists, he sent Kevin a reply, joking that he would be sending submissions in the form of Microsoft Paint art. Kevin called his bluff and the rest is history.

                                                                                    Travis: music
Travis: music

Travis is a chiptune composer who's worked in Famitracker making remixes and covers since 2013, and while he's done a few original songs before, this is his first official video game project. When Kevin put out the call for a composer, he jumped at the opportunity (giving Kevin quite a few ear worms in doing so).

                                                                Kyndal: story and puzzle consultant
Kyndal: story and puzzle consultant

Kyndal has been Kevin's homebrew photographer for years. One night Kevin went to Kyndal's house, hoping to get an idea for the first puzzle in an escape room game that he wanted to make. Four hours later they had the entire story planned, along with every single puzzle fleshed out. (If you want to throw your controller, blame her.)

                                                                             Bean: resident doggie
Bean: resident doggie

Ruff ruff, bark, bark, howl. (I'm so glad Kevin is finally done with this game so he can spend some time with me).

                                                                 NEScape! Box Art (standard edition)
NEScape! Box Art (standard edition)
                                                                   NEScape! Box Art (limited edition)
NEScape! Box Art (limited edition)
                                                      Control scheme, as seen in the full color manual
Control scheme, as seen in the full color manual

SHIPPING DETAILS!

We've partnered with Antoine from Broke Studio to offer shipping outside the U.S. for an extremely affordable cost! Yes, the price you see at checkout is accurate, we got you covered!  (Note, this doesn't apply on the GO OPTICAL tier, as it would be too expensive to ship the items in bulk overseas, so we'll be handling this tier ourselves from the States. Sorry. :)

Many thanks to everyone who has ever played a KHAN Game, everyone who has helped in getting GTROM supported in new ways, and of course you, for taking the time to check out our game. The following people were indispensable in helping create this game in some way. We can't thank you enough.

  • Brian Parker from retroUSB 
  • EBD Holland from Sole Goose Productions 
  • Robert L Bryant from Sly Dog Studios 
  • Brad Smith of Lizard fame
  • Aaron Edelman for so, so much
  • Jasen Santoroski
  • Sergio Elisondo
  • Chris Davis
  • Anthoney Perkins
  • Michael Chiaramonte
  • Nathan Tolbert
  • Bryan Siterlet
  • Tim Wurdinger from Orab Games 
  • Dain Anderson from NintendoAge 
  • Douglas Fraker
  • Shiru
  • Joe Parsell

Risks and challenges

Although this is our first Kickstarter project, we have released many complete NES games over the last 10 years, some through publishers, but for the past half-decade have done it all ourselves.

We are confident in saying that we are no stranger to the full process of ordering parts, assembling cartridges and boxes, and successfully shipping games out to customers.

Depending on the success of this campaign, the scale of production may be slightly larger than we have been accustomed to previously, but we are confident that we can overcome any overwhelming numbers that may present themselves if this possibility comes to fruition.

The biggest challenge was completing the game, and that part is complete. The game is done! (All 30,447 lines of 6502 assembly language code). It should be smooth sailing from here on out, assuming the campaign is successful in funding. We hope that you'll help us reach our goal!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    SUPPORT

    Thank you!

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    GO DIGITAL

    Get a digital copy of NEScape!

    Includes:
    • Instruction Booklet (PDF version only)
    • ROM file
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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    GO PHYSICAL

    Get a physical copy of NEScape!, complete in box!

    Includes:
    • Instruction Booklet (PDF version only)
    • ROM file
    • Cartridge (Translucent Blue)
    • Box
    • Instruction Booklet
    • Dust Sleeve
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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    GO ADAPTIVE

    Get a physical copy of NEScape!, complete in box, with a bonus SNES mouse adapter! (mouse not included)

    Includes:
    • Instruction Booklet (PDF version only)
    • ROM file
    • Cartridge (Translucent Blue)
    • Box
    • Instruction Booklet
    • Dust Sleeve
    • SNES Mouse Adapter
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    GO LIMITED

    Get a Limited Edition version of NEScape!, complete in box, along with a SNES mouse adapter, a soundtrack CD and an 11x17 poster! The box and label are both color variants of the standard edition. The cartridge itself is yellow instead of translucent blue.

    Includes:
    • Instruction Booklet (PDF version only)
    • ROM file
    • Cartridge (Yellow Cartridge/Color Variant Label/Hand Numbered)
    • Box (Color Variant/Hand Numbered)
    • Instruction Booklet
    • Dust Sleeve
    • SNES Mouse Adapter
    • NEScape! Soundtrack CD
    • 11x17 Poster
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    GO ACTUAL

    Get all of the merch listed above. PLUS we'll fly you and a friend to Florida to do a REAL ESCAPE ROOM with the NEScape! development team. (Lodging not included).

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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    GO OPTICAL

    Get a Limited Edition version of NEScape!, complete in box, along with a soundtrack CD, an 11x17 poster, a SNES mouse adapter AND A SNES MOUSE! With a mouse pad! The box and label are both color variants of the standard edition. The cartridge itself is yellow instead of translucent blue. The mouse is made by Hyperkin and is optical. The best part: ALL OF THESE THINGS COME TO YOU IN A LOCKED BOX! Are you a big enough puzzle fan to solve a puzzle before the puzzle solving starts?!

    Includes:
    • Instruction Booklet (PDF version only)
    • ROM file
    • Cartridge (Yellow Cartridge/Color Variant Label/Hand Numbered)
    • Box (Color Variant/Hand Numbered)
    • Instruction Booklet
    • Dust Sleeve
    • SNES Mouse Adapter
    • SNES Mouse
    • NEScape! Mouse Pad
    • 11x17 Poster
    • Locked Box Containing Everything
    • NEScape! Soundtrack CD
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)