Published on April 28th, 2013 | by Andy Astruc0
Money Shots: AR-K
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Comedy isn’t particularly popular in gaming. It isn’t dead, but it does get pushed into the corner and brought out only on special occasions; like the good dishes, or your poor, crippled grandma with the lazy eye. It’s incredibly difficult, of course; tell a rubbish action story and people will let it slide, but fail at being funny and the audience will crucify you with awkward silence. Adventure gaming is in a similar state of perpetual limbo, existing as it does to greatly entertain fans while never forgetting its place as a B-level genre.
Something about these two ideas, alike in infamy, attracts game creators, making for quite a collection of funny point-and-clicks. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that while games are made by developers, adventure games are made by writers. Writers with balls. I assume this sort of testicular fortitude runs through the creators of AR-K, an episodic adventure in an outer space utopia.
In the words of their current Kickstarter campaign:
AR-K is an homeage [sic] to the classic point-and-click story game with a updated twist. Dialogue and puzzles are the catalysts that move you through the world of the AR-K, an apparent utopia floating in space, filled with mystery, humor, and suspense.
The first episode of AR-K is already complete, and playable for free via their website. Their campaign is designed to fund the publishing of the near-complete second episode, as well as the creation of the third and fourth pieces of the puzzle. With the episodes designed in order to be played as stand alone adventures or in a sequence that “builds on the previous, with layers of intrigue, satire, romance and comedy.”
Gato Salvaje may be a small enterprise, but they’ve finagled some triple A talent to aid them in their quest. Episodes three and four will include the writing talents of Greg Rucka, known for his high profile work on various comic book series’. Rucka has a reputation for being involved with the writing behind some powerful ladies — Wonder Woman, Renee Montoya, Batwoman — and Gato is hoping this will transfer some gravitas to their heroine, Alicia.
Speaking of the cop-turned-journalist-turned-adventure-game-lead, from Episode Two onwards she is being voiced by Ash Sroka, famous for her role as Tali’Zorah vas Normandy in the Mass Effect trilogy. Not too shabby for a kickstarted point and click adventure.
The world can never have enough quality adventure titles, in my decidedly unhumble opinion, and AR-K is looking rather promising so far. A strong focus on writing, good characters and comedy puts it strongly onto my watch list. With 29 days left on the Kickstarter, Gato is only 12,000-odd dollars towards a modest $100,000 target. If you deem it worthy, and you’re totally into all that puzzle solving and dialogue-based humour, consider funding them with funds.