The Mims: Beginning has become the latest indie hopeful to head down the crowd-funding route, popping up on Indiegogo. And it’s a bit of a looker, putting many so-called “AAA” games to shame with a visual style which brings to mind titles as diverse as Spore and Black & White.
In development by the oddly-named studio Squatting Penguins, Peter Molyneux’s seminal Populous is cited as an influence. It’s a heritage that can definitely be seen in the mechanics; your band of humble followers largely get on with their own lives but can be issued simple orders so long as they are within your area of influence. There’s also a faint whiff of Nintendo’s beloved Pikmin series too, as the game’s premise revolves around your colonists crash-landing on an alien planet.
As well as developing your home, you’ll also need to send your subjects out into the world to harvest fruit, rear livestock and gather resources. The need to gather fruit comes with its drawbacks, however – different fruit will attract different fauna, and this alien wildlife will need to be kept at bay if you’re to succeed in your goal of developing a thriving colony.
As with most games seeking funding, various rewards are given to people pledging certain amounts and there are a variety of stretch goals promising additional modes, a bonus DLC campaign and… erm… an extra cut-scene. Ok, they’re not brilliant. But hey, the game itself looks pretty decent so far, so who are we to judge?
The developer is looking for the modest sum of $5,500 in order complete development and based on the video pitch it looks like this money will be spent more on some last minute nips-and-tucks. What’s already on display shows a significant degree of polish.
The game is also currently doing the rounds on Greenlight, so cast your vote on whether you’d like to see it accepted or not.
Take a look at the trailer below. For a game with such humble origins, it’s certainly good-looking. Here’s hoping that the final game lives up to the promise shown in the pitch.