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The Hero Trap, a roguelike dungeon crawler by SMASHWORX, has ceased development according to a post on Reddit’s /r/Games subreddit, which shared a backers-only Kickstarter post. Here’s the trailer for the game:

The Hero Trap was centered around a hero searching for a treasure. Many heroes had previously fallen in battle trying to acquire it, and a core element of the game is aligning yourself with the spirits of fallen heroes in order to work your way through the game. This was accomplished through a “switching” mechanic where only one character out of three was active at a time. Gameplay involved switching between the three heroes to fit the situation as hand as well as judicious use of items.

The Kickstarter campaign for the game reached $26,082 of its $25,000 goal. However, SMASHWORX has stated that they aimed for a budget that was lower than they needed to have better chances of having a successful Kickstarter campaign. They met their goal but did not get far enough past it to be comfortable and unsuccessfully looked for publishing assistance to gain funding. Finally, they lost a client in the “work for hire” section of their business which created additional income shortfalls.

SMASHWORX pressed on with the development of the game despite these funding issues. However, development of the game dragged on. A second attempt to find a publisher after some changes to the game mechanics failed, and the game’s creator personally invested over $80,000 of their own money. At that point, SMASHWORX made the decision to cancel the project.

The creator of the game had the following to say regarding refunds:

I will make every effort to refund the money of those who feel they have been “cheated” as a few contributors described. While it was obviously not our intention to cheat any contributors, I take responsibility for making some mistakes in the fundraising phase. Please send me your paypal account via private message by July 10. I will return your money shortly after that.

For those of you who remain, we will be posting the current Mac and Windows versions of the game after the refunds. Additionally, each donor will receive a copy of my next game, whatever that may be.

I’m truly sorry if you are disappointed, but financing games is a complicated business and not every project makes it to completion. Thank you for supporting us, and for supporting small projects like ours in the future. Nik

The Hero Trap was slated to be released on Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4.

Did you back The Hero Trap? What do you think of the developer’s reasoning for cancelling the Kickstarter? Do you think they should have set their funding goal higher or was it a risk worth taking? Let us know in the comments below!

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!