Battle Axe will be worth it for the pixel art alone


To say nothing of the Manami Matsumae soundtrack

Do you still actively keep tabs on hopeful Kickstarter games? I rarely seem to anymore.

When there are so many promising new video games releasing every single day of the week, it’s hard to sustain a lot of excitement about an up-and-comer that may or may not release until years later. There’s plenty of exceptions, of course, but I prefer looping back once the production is further along.

The arcade adventure game Battle Axe is one project that’s managed to cut through.

It’s a one- to two-player top-down arcade game inspired by classic coin-op adventures like Gauntlet, Golden Axe, and D&D: Shadow over Mystara, with music from Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae.

Above all, I’m here for that luscious, detail-rich pixel art. Battle Axe is led by Henk Nieborg, who previously contributed to Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, Contra 4, Shakedown: Hawaii, and Xeno Crisis.

He’s wanted to make this game “for many years now,” and hopes to “revitalize” the hack-and-slash genre with modern elements – an XP-based leveling system encourages constant combos – and “improved controls.” There’s eight-directional movement with “rolling, dashing, and teleporting.”

Mike Tucker – who worked with Nieborg before on Xeno Crisis, and designed another cool arcade-inspired title, House of Dead Ninjas, for Adult Swim – is handling the programming and addition design.

The duo is aiming for a January 2021 release and plans to support PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The funding goal? $52,082. They’re well on the way with 28 days left.

Battle Axe: a pixel-art arcade adventure! [Kickstarter]