Part of the reason we love indie games here at IndieHangover is how much freedom they have to do something different. There are few better examples of this than Peace Island, a game being made by Eric Blumrich, which is currently on Kickstarter, looking to fund a proof of concept beta demo.
Peace Island is a open-world, story-driven adventure game set on a remote Maine island community. The story – a mix of science fiction, alternative history, and mystery – unfolds from the perspective of the nine cats who call the island home, when they wake up to find their human companions gone.The player has the opportunity to experience multiple divergent storylines, as they approach the ultimate decision: “Are the humans worth bringing back?”
I love the base concept of Peace Island: taking the tried and true formula of an exploration game and turning it on it’s head by putting you in the role of a cat. The setting on an isolated coastal island town is fantastic design decision as well: there are clear boundaries on the play area that be planned and worked within, yet plenty of variety to include throughout the island. I’m eager to know more about the basic mechanics of hunting for food and traveling around the island, but am more than content with this initial premise.
On top of that, one of the things that has me most excited about this project is the very subtle suggestions that there’s something more going on. Obviously, as a cat on an island where all the people have disappeared, you’re going to spend you time exploring, hunting for food, and knocking things off various surfaces, but through a couple of screenshot and lines of text, there’s the implication you may actually have something a little more alien to deal with. There’s talk of an invasive species on the island, and while we don’t have many details, I get the distinct sense that that species ain’t harmless…
The other thing that really jumped out at me as interesting about Peace Island is the fact that you’ll have to control a whole group of cats; nine in total. Other games have tackled the idea of you controlling a group of characters, sure, but I’m not sure I’ve ever run into a game giving you such a large number of players at your disposal. I also like the implication that the personalities of these different cat’s will inform their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. It all kind of feels like it could be a bit of a feline Avengers assemble moment, granted on a much smaller scale.
I’d be remiss to not mention the fact that Peace Island‘s setting also has me intrigued. As a native of Maine myself, I’ve visited a number of small island communities like this along the coast during summer time adventures, and there’s something quite wonderful and just a touch otherworldly about them. Cut off from the mainland, reliant of a sense community in a special way, and many times at the mercy of the sea, it’s a fantastic setting for a game so heavy on exploration and the unexplained. I’m also interested in the alternate history of Peace Island, and to see what part it plays in the mysteries surrounding the community. Sure, Peace Island may be a non-violent exploration game about cats, but I don’t think that means we couldn’t run into something mysterious or sinister in the islands past, present or future.
Eric had a goal of $7,000 when this Kickstarer began, and at the time of publication, this crowdfunding campaign has raised $9,947, nearing the major stretch goal of $10,000, which will mean an alpha and beta demo for mac will also be released. This campaign runs for 20 more days, ending on Sunday, August 19 2018.
If you interested in backing the game or looking at what backer rewards are available, please head to the Kickstarter Page.
At the end of this campaign, a “warts and all” version will be made available to backers which will show of the entirety of Peace Island, a handful of interior locations and allow you to play as three of the cats. The full Beta Demo of Peace Island is predicted to be Released in early 2019.
Disclaimer: The Author has backed the game discussed in this article on Kickstarter as of 7/30/2018. All opinions are the authors own, and the objectivity of the piece may be influenced by any of the authors own biases as stated in the article or in this disclaimer.*