River City Ransom: Underground’s Kickstarter finally launches

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 05:06 GMT By Ewan Miller

Conatus Creative have launched their Kickstarter campaign to make an officially licensed sequel to the classic NES beat’em up River City Ransom. The project is seeking $180,000 Canadian dollars and targeting a PC release in about a year’s time. Check out some great chiptunes and pixel art beneath the jump.

River City Ransom sequels have had a troubled development history, with another game named River City Ransom 2 in development back by Miracle Kidz in 2011 for WiiWare before being suspended indefinitely.

Now Conatus Creative, a small Ottawa based team are giving it a shot via Kickstarter for the PC and if you’ve watched the video above, you’ll surely agree that the art and animation they’ve created so far look amazing.

While the initial pitch is for a PC only release, Conatus Creative writes that should they receive funding considerably in excess of their requested $180,000 they’ll consider bringing in outside help to port the game to the consoles, portables and other operating systems. However, as a team of five they’ve made the choice not to explicitly build that possibility into their initial Kickstarter pitch and to instead deal with that possibility only when the funding comes around.

The team is looking to expand mostly on the scope of the original game and not its functionality, adding more shops, enemies and expanding the scope of the game’s open world, something the designers consider key to the original’s enduring possibility. The team have also put a lot of work into making the enemies’ AI more sophisticated, to defeat some of the cheaper strategies you could employ in the original, such as standing on a bench. The game’s story revolves around the original cast aged 25 years, in a way that evokes the developers having dreamed of making a sequel to River City Ransom for the last twenty years. More than any other Kickstarter project I’ve seen, the teams intense reverence for the original really comes through here.

The game will support local co-op as well as potentially online co-op, depending on how the game looks when it comes around to launch in September 2014.