In a move set to test the limits of nostalgic goodwill, Blitz Games Studios founders Andrew and Philip Oliver have launched a Kickstarter campaign for Dizzy Returns, a new game in the pair’s much-loved platform-adventure series.
Should it reach its funding target of £350,000, Returns will be released on iOS and PC, with family game arm Blitz Games handling development duties. Dizzy was one of the best-selling videogame series of the ’80s, of course, but 20 years after the release of Crystal Kingdom, does the ovoid hero really have anything to offer today’s market?
Clearly, the Oliver twins believe he does, and promise to create more than just a reboot of classic Dizzy games.
“We believe that Dizzy Returns is a perfect fit for mobile gaming,” the pair explain on the game’s Kickstarter page, “and touch screen technology obviously means that we can experiment with and implement new mechanics and new ways of playing in Dizzy Returns.”
But that’s not going to get in the way of the “classic Dizzy control experience” using a keyboard or joystick in the PC version. Perhaps that’s unfair, though, as the twins talk up all manner of promising ideas in their Kickstarter video, including non-linear puzzle solving and concurrent quests, gameplay designed for both long and short sessions and a retro mode, in which you can play the game with 8-bit graphics.
Still, the pair are the latest in a series of legendary developers who’ve identified Kickstarter as a way to fund their own desire to continue series long since put to rest, and address inadequacies in those games that continue to frustrate them. David Braben is bringing Elite Dangerous to space adventurers while Peter Molyneux yesterday launched Populous follow-up Godus.
“We’re now more connected to the gamers and our fans than we’ve ever been before and Kickstarter has shown that those fans want to grow that connection into something that allows them to really contribute to shaping their future entertainment experiences,” Andrew Oliver told Gamasutra.
“It’s also proven that people are willing to put their hands in their pockets and actually contribute financially too and this, in our opinion, is just part of the evolution of the changing business models we’ve seen since the start of digital distribution and the mobile gaming space.”
Whether or not a new Dizzy game represents the shape of future entertainment experiences is perhaps moot, then, just so long as there are enough gamers out there who cut their teeth on Dizzy’s characterful brand of adventuring. The pair sum it up best on the Returns Kickstarter page:
“Over the years we’ve pitched ideas for a new Dizzy game many times, but it’s been hard to convince publishers to bring back a classic when they’ve got lots of new ideas to put their money behind,” they admit. “Help us prove them wrong and show your support by backing Dizzy Returns!”