When you have so much talent behind a project you just know it is going to be good, and I was in no way disappointed when I began playing the demo for The Incredible Baron. With Lead Designer David Antognoli who previously worked on the Conduit series, Victor Chelaru former programmer for EA and Stephen Browning pixel artist, The Incredible Baron seems to have brought together a holy trinity of game designers who just know how to push gamers buttons.
It may not seem like much is new at first, with pixel art seeming to be most indie game developers obsession de jour, but it is the little things that give The Incredible Baron a unique and quirky feel. Professionals always do a professional job and the demo reflects that. The writing is funny and nuanced, the art style, while wading through a sea of similarity, is levels above that of other indie games out there at the moment, and the game mechanics are pushed front and center.
While the developers claimed it was inspired by Pokémon in a "gotta catch 'em all" sense, I felt it was a lot closer to Plants vs Zombies in terms of gameplay. In this reverse tower defense style strategy game where you are the one attacking, you steadily gain gold and ability points over time which can be used to purchase new buildings, individual beasts or upgrades. Each different building comes with its own set of beasties it can house and each of these comes with its own set of strengths of weaknesses. On top of this you can use ability points to improve your hoards chance of success, such as helping them grow super sized or blowing up a target with your musket.
On top of managing your own teams strategy, you have to watch out for the on-coming wave and carefully research them. The more of one species you encounter, the more you learn about them, until eventually you can use them in our own team, which makes levels hugely replayable.
While this may all seem confusing now it is easily straightened out throughout the demo with the difficulty slowly increasing as you learn more. The team are hoping that this game helps them break out in the indie market and with a something this high quality it looks so far so good.
If you want to find out more about The Incredible Baron you can find them on twitter. More information about the project including a playable demo can be found on the website. And if you want to help support the developers you can always back the project on KickStarter.
What do you think of The Incredible Baron? Would you be interested in this game?