Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Cel-shaded action RPG Shiness shines on Kickstarter

Think a mix of Rogue Galaxy, Solatorobo and Ni No Kuni.

Typically indie games on Kickstarter are small, tidy affairs like stylish 2D platformers, strategy games, or simplistic 3D offerings, but Parisian studio Ynnis Interactive's crowdfunded action RPG Shiness is a woefully ambitious, sprawling cel-shaded adventure.

Expected to last about 20 hours, Shiness (which I keep wanting to pronounce "Shyness") stars a gang of anthropomorphic animals zipping about bright, colourful sky islands while trying to save the world, or something. More importantly, it looks shockingly polished - especially for an indie affair - with its expressive Solatarobo-esque character designs and lavish, fantastic settings.

Throughout the game you'll acquire new party members to aid you in real-time battles, while the exploration portion of the game will be filled with puzzles and quests that change your reputation. None of these things sound revolutionary, but aside from Ni No Kuni, we've not seen many games of this sort since Level-5 created Dark Cloud and Rogue Galaxy back in the day.

Amazingly, the developer created its own language just for the game. That's dedication!

Shiness has already been in development for three years, so it's looking pretty spiffy. You might not know it from its cartoony visuals, but Shiness was made using the Unreal Development Kit.

Backers can reserve a PC or Mac copy of Shiness upon its estimated Q1 2015 release for $20. Pay an extra $10 and get early beta access, a digital art book, soundtrack, manga, and a dictionary of the game's fictitious language

So far Shiness' Kickstarter campaign has acquired $93,131 of $100K goal with nine days to go before its 8th June deadline. As such, it will almost definitely hit its goal, but the question is: will it hit its $140K stretch goal for a PS4 version? Only time will tell, but it seems likely.

Read this next