FranknJohn Kickstarter – Use Your Head in this Random Roguelike

FranknJohn, by bitSmith Games, is a tale of a reanimated child (Frank is the body, John is the head) who has been rejected by his creator, Dr. Harmin, and must find his way to the doctor’s lair in order to discover the reasons behind his existence. FranknJohn must battle through a plethora of other Frankenstein’s-monster-esque creations of Dr. Harmin’s, through 4 levels of the doctor’s mansion. The game is currently on Kickstarter with a playable demo, so you can see if you’d like to support further development.

franknjohn 1

Illustration of the world map

The game is played by literally using your head as a weapon, and power-ups/abilities involve the use of so-called “skullcaps,” which replace the top of John’s head to give FranknJohn new abilities, such as fire shots and invincibility. John is attached to Frank by a chain, and by swinging the head around, you can knock your enemies out of the way. Skullcaps can change the effectiveness of this base attack, add passive attributes, or change the method of attack completely. With a random skullcap pickup, no two playthroughs are the same.

If you die in-game, your progress isn’t saved, and randomization of levels also occurs, significantly reducing the ability to predict what’s going to happen (similar to The Binding of Isaac). An additional character, MaryAnn, is unlockable, and adds to the replayability factor.

Different skullcaps available in-game.

Different skullcaps available in-game

This macabre game, with music by Ben Prunty (known for his work on FTL), should be available via Steam’s Early Access by the end of this year, if all goes well.

To support FranknJohn, visit Kickstarter. To follow the game’s progress elsewhere, follow bitSmith on Twitter and Facebook.

Bonnie is a streamer, gamer, and word nerd who enjoys puzzle and horror games, and getting entirely too excited about both genres. She's been writing professionally for 18 years, but IGM is her first foray into gaming news. Bonnie's life outside of IGM involves massive amounts of hair dye, sewing, and being a cat lady. Feel free to contact her on Twitter!

  • Looks to be one of the more bizarre and interesting titles I’ve seen recently. Never heard of it til your post, so thanks for that. I’ll be sure to check it out when it hits Steam. :)

  • Bonnie Burgette

    Definitely do! I’m itching to play it, myself.