There's no shortage of Metroidvania games making the rounds these days with indie affairs like Guacamelee, Knytt Underground and La-Mulana a stone's throw away, but indie developer Moise Breton's Kickstarter project A.N.N.E. looks different. While its 16-bit aesthetic and chiptune music seem rather spiffy, what really sets A.N.N.E. apart is its ship.
Maybe it's just me, but I've always felt a twinge of disappointment in any game where I enter a ship and never get to control it in real-time. Mass Effect's Normandy, Samus' gunship, and Batman's batplane always felt like missed opportunities to me and the seamless connection between the on-foot and on-sea maritime exploration in Wind Waker remains my second favourite thing about that game (the first being the visuals, obv).
A.N.N.E. picks up where Wind Waker left off by letting your robot avatar, No.25, cruise around in his ship "The Great Whale." The Great Whale can use its tractor beam to manipulate large objects in the environment, position itself to function as a makeshift platform, or use its firepower to blow your opposition to smithereens. Best of all, you can enter and exit your craft at will with a very quick and smooth transition where the camera zooms in or out accordingly. I'm struggling to think of other 2D exploration-based games that do this and while I'm sure someone will point out an example or two in the comments, the point stands: this should be done more.
Another amusing point about A.N.N.E. is that while it defaults to following the oldschool Nintendo template of being named after a girl when you're really playing as some guy trying to save her, Breton explained in the FAQ that he would like to add in the option to play as the titular robo-woman (ostensibly rescuing her boyfriend, No.25), though this "Gender Swap Mode" is currently only a stretch goal at $100,000.
While A.N.N.E. is a PC-exclusive project, Breton would like to port it to other platforms, which are listed as stretch goals. For $90,000 Mac and Linux versions are in order, Ouya follows behind at $130K, then PS3/Vita comes in at $145K and Wii U is at $180K.
Backers who pledge $10 will be guaranteed a PC copy of A.N.N.E. when it comes out early next year, while $30 donations will also secure the soundtrack and an SNES-style PDF instruction booklet, and $50 pledges will come with all of the above as well as early beta access.
In only a day A.N.N.E.'s Kickstarter has raised $13,328 towards its $70,000 goal and it still has 28 days to go before the 22nd May deadline. Additionally, one can always lend their support of A.N.N.E. by voting for it on its Steam Greenlight page.