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.
Don't Be Fooled by The Incredible Baron
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 hoard's chance of success, such as helping them grow super-sized or blowing up a target with your musket.
On top of managing your own team's 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 your own team, which makes levels hugely replayable.
The Incredible Baron - Hopes and Dreams
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 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.
TechRaptor previewed The Incredible Baron on PC with a freely available demo version. This preview was originally published on 02-06-2015. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions and for historical context.