“A tactical puzzle RPG designed for busy people.” It’s the campaign slogan being used by Somerville, MA development studio Defiant Mouse for their current project: Lex Laser Saves the Galaxy, Again. Being a busy person myself, there’s nothing about that sentence that I didn’t like when first hearing it. The MIT Game Lab alums are hoping to turn their promising prototype into a full-fledged game for PC, Mac, and Linux. Like many developers, they are turning to Kickstarter to help see that goal through.
Lex Laser is a turn-based strategy game based in a 2d game world. Set on colonies in the far reaches of space, players will spend their time fighting, mining, looting, exploring, and – like any smart hero would do – running away. When it comes to combat, the game tries to overwhelm the player with numbers rather than brute strength. Foes are plentiful, and the objective is to dispatch them quickly and efficiently before they grow too great in number to handle. Again, it is turn-based, so shots are placed ahead of time which creates an almost tactical combat/puzzle game hybrid. Equipment upgrades take place between missions and allow various found items to be combined for upgrading the weaponry and adding new gadgets.
The development team plans to break the story up into short episodes, playing on the format of popular sci-fi television shows. This isn’t an unexpected surprise considering the game’s inspirations include a few notable series like Babylon 5 and Firefly.
Early estimates are that development will carry over into early-to-mid next year if the base Kickstarter goal is reached. Should the campaign go exceedingly well, the team has mentioned stretch goal ideas like turning Adventure Mode into a heavier plot-driven Story Mode, creating dev tools for the gaming community, and bringing the game to tablets. The details for how the Kickstarter funding is budgeted have been outlined directly on the campaign page.
The usual Kickstarter rewards are present, in particular those that get the contributor’s name into the game. There’s also artwork, a copy of the soundtrack, and access to alpha, beta, and finished builds. With just over three weeks to go and the campaign doing well, there’s still time to get involved.
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