Glovebox Games recently had Beard Blade‘s crowd-funding initiative go live on Kickstarter. The game is a throwback to the 16-bit era of challenge-based platformers. It’s designed in a similar vein to the various animals-with-attitude titles that populated the SNES and Sega back during the 1990s. The only difference is that you’re not playing an animal, but a guy with a beard… a really rad beard.
Players take on the role of Branson the “Beard Blade”, the gallant and chivalrous hero set to restore the honor of his town by reclaiming the stolen goods that were lifted from the treasury. His only major weapon that he has at his disposal beyond his acrobatic moves and his unmatched wits is a magically enchanted beard.
Players will use Branson’s beard to scale the environment, crush enemies, and conquer uncompromising puzzles.
The gameplay is a mix of Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario World and a little bit of Rocket Knight Adventures. You can bop bad guys on the head, punch bigger bad guys in the face, and crush unsuspecting foes under the weight of Branson’s very masculine beard. If Jonathan McIntosh has anything negative to say about the hero in Beard Blade, it’s probably because he lacks the manliness to grow a beard as dangerous as Branson.
Anyway, the game world is designed to inviting, colorful, well paced and fun for the whole family. The art-style reminds me a lot of Citizens of Earth or Earthbound, but in a 2D side-scroller; I think a more apt visual comparison might be the newer Harvest Moon games.
Branson definitely has a design that stands out but it’s also something that looks familiar, making him an easy protagonist to get behind. A lot of newer games these days try so hard with the characters and worlds that a lot of times they forget to make the games, the characters and the stories fun.
Hopefully Glovebox Games can deliver a quality 2D platformer with Beard Blade. It looks like a really high-quality game from back in the SNES era and I’m excited to see more. The team have a $95,000 goal and only 28 days to reach it. They’re definitely off to a slow start but hopefully they can pick up steam as they move through the crowd-funding phase.