Hyper Light Drifter recalls Zelda meets Diablo by way of Sword & Sworcery

Doubles Kickstarter goal in under 24 hours.

2D action-RPG Hyper Light Drifter seemingly came out of nowhere yesterday on Kickstarter and has already acquired more than double its $27,000 goal.

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Described as a mix between Zelda and Diablo, the adventure/RPG follows an ill drifter scouring the "lands of Buried Time" for a cure. According to creator Alex Preston - who wears the hats of lead designer, animator and secondary programmer - Hyper Light Drifter "plays like the best parts of A Link to the Past and Diablo" with "lightning fast combat, more mobility, an array of tactical options, more numerous and intelligent enemies, and a larger world with a twisted past to do it all in."

It sounds all well and good on paper, but what's really ignited a fervour over the project is just how friggin' beautiful it looks. Vaguely resembling a neon-coloured Sword & Sworcery, it's one of the few games where the pixelated aesthetic doesn't look like a concession to a low budget disguised as a retro throwback, but rather a bold artistic vision that genuinely looks better due to its low-fi rendition of a kaleidoscopic sci-fi/fantasy world.

While Preston is a relative newcomer to the industry, he has friends in high places working alongside him. Samurai Gunn developer Beau Blyth is on board as the lead programmer and Fez composer Rich Vreeland, aka Disasterpeace, is creating the soundtrack. The trailer music, however, was developed by contributor and "super fantastic beat-dropper" Will "Baths" Wiesenfeld.

In less than 24 hours Hyper Light Drifter has smashed through its first three stretch goals. It's now going to have a New Game+ mode with two new areas: the tantalisingly named "Burning Cavern" and "Sunken City," cutscenes will be expanded, two new bosses will be added, and Preston will use some of the extra funds to hire another animator.

So far Hyper Light Drifter is planned for a mid 2014 release on PC, Mac and Linux, but the developer has expressed interest in a PS4 and Vita version as well. "Other platforms are also a possibility, but again depends on the resources available at the end of the Kickstarter," Preston clarified in an update.

Backers can secure a DRM free copy of Hyper Light Drifter upon its release next summer by pledging $10, while $25 nets players early beta access, and $40 includes all of the above along with a digital soundtrack and art book.

Hyper Light Drifter has currently raised $64,373 with 29 days to go before its 12th October deadline.

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Jeffrey Matulef

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