By Leif Conti-Groome / March 9th, 2016
Inspired by horror staples such as the movie Se7en and the Zero Escape Saga series, developer Magna Studios is trying to create their own take on fear with the visual novel Nostalgia: Two Worlds | One Soul. This is the developers’ first game and first Kickstarter and it shows. There’s a lot of passion in this project but there are some questionable claims such as, ‘We have been backing projects on Kickstarter for a long time.‘ This really has little bearing on running a promising crowdfunding campaign. However, it looks like they’ve been working on the game for a decent amount of time and a intriguing story awaits.
Nostalgia: Two Worlds | One Soul explores some prominent horror themes such as kidnapping, abuse, nihilism and parallel worlds. Young Alice has been taken and forced to live in a facility that conducts experiments, known as Project Nostalgia, to see if an alternate universe exists. After 12 years in captivity, a large scale breakout takes place. While all the other prisoners and their parallel counterparts now seek freedom or vengeance, Alice is caught in between. Because of her dark past, the facility had become a comforting escape but now she must figure out what to do with her life. And even though she shares the same soul with the other half, there’s no telling what her alter ego is capable of.
Gameplay will consist of a few genres outside the visual novel norm. Much like Zero Escape, Alice will be faced with escape ‘sequences’ that will incorporate puzzle and adventure game elements. There will also be simple battle sections that will happen at various parts of the story. Magna Studios explains that ‘There is no experience/stats system, only you and your weapons.’
One of the more unique aspects of this Kickstarter is that the devs want to bring Nostalgia: Two Worlds | One Soul to both the PC and the Wii U and have exclusive puzzles for both platforms. The team wants to make use of the gamepad for Nintendo’s machine and have features like item scanning and a completely different GUI. Also, due to a number of requests, one of the more recent updates for the Kickstarter elaborated that the Vita port would now be part of the main campaign and not a stretch goal.
If the game reaches the target of $15,000 USD, Magna Studios is promising that the final product will include animated cut scenes and voice acting at key points in the game. The team will also collaborate with visual novel writer InvertMouse (Cursed Sight) if the funds are secured. Past the main goal there are few stretches of note: $20,000 USD will secure mobile ports of the game, and $45,000 USD will secure PS4 and Xbox One ports.
The progress so far on Nostalgia: Two Worlds | One Soul is impressive with some nice and simple character designs and flowing sketch animations. The backgrounds are drab at the moment but that could be a stylistic choice to depict the state of the facility. There’s a demo you can download on the campaign page (unfortunately there’s no direct link to the file). A few music tracks have also been published and have a frantic industrial tone that underscores the horror trappings of the story.
The pledge tiers range from a $15 for a digital copy of the game to $100 for a physical copy of the game (PC only) to $1000 where the devs will put your face in the game. The actual collectibles from the pledging include an art book, soundtrack, and a physical copy of the manga to accompany the game-which surprisingly is at the $500 tier.
This Kickstarter wraps up on March 25, 6:56 am EST. Magna Studios is estimating a December 2016 release on PC, PS Vita and Wii U if they run a successful campaign. This is a good Kickstarter to do some research on before backing since this is the studio’s first game. The fact that the lead designer and writer lists ‘Smash Bros. Player‘ as a qualification definitely raises a few warning flags. But, since there is the demo of Nostalgia: Two Worlds | One Soul and InvertedMouse’s games on Steam mostly seem to have free demos as well, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try out these souls before you invest in this parallel world.
KickstarternostalgiaNostalgia Two Worlds One SoulPCPS VitaWii U