Kickstarter Spotlight: Little Nemo and the Guardians of Slumberland

There are many games trying to make it on Kickstarter, but not all of them are successful. However, there are a few that really deserve to be funded and become full-fledged games. In this series of articles, we’ll take a look at such projects and break them down to see what makes them special. Our very first spotlight is Little Nemo and the Guardians of Slumberland. Let’s take a look!

The Game

If the name Little Nemo and the Guardians of Slumberland (referred to as ‘Little Nemo’ from this point onwards) sounds familiar, it’s because it was the closing act of the Day of the Devs stream during Summer Game Fest this year. It was also there that the Kickstarter for the game was announced. We’ll get into the state of the Kickstarter in a bit, but let’s first take a look at the game proper.

Little Nemo is a retro NES-era platformer that swaps the pixel-art for hand-drawn assets. This approach was also used by others, like the more recent Wonder Boy games. Little Nemo’s implementation is great, with fluid animation and expressive characters.

hand-drawn art

Another great aspect we’ve seen so far is the music. The music is composed by Peter Barkmen, who also worked on the Scott Pilgrim game and the show Bravest Warriors. The tunes we’ve heard so far are very soothing, with versions that increased the tempo when necessary. Very fitting for a boy dreaming of saving the world.

Oh, right, should probably talk about the story. “Little Nemo in Slumberland” was an American Strip that was published between 1905 and 1927. It followed the titular Little Nemo dreaming himself into wonderous situations before waking up in the last panel.

The Little Nemo game seems to follow a similar pattern, with many aspects tying back to sleeping and the fact that Nemo is a child. For instance, the player character wakes up when you die, you can change your pajamas for different powers, and most of your weapons are toys.

little nemo's room

In terms of gameplay, it is a Metroidvania. You will be running around collecting various items and defeating enemies while exploring the map. The author quotes a few games as inspiration, like Super Metroid, Capcom’s Disney games, Castlevania II, and Hollow Knight.

inspired by

The Kickstarter & Behind the Scenes

Aside from the music, sound effects, and social media, this is a one-person game at the time of writing. So far, Dave, the developer, has been fairly active on both the Kickstarter page and their Discord sever.

There are 3 main tiers for backing this game. Here’s a quick breakdown (each tier includes the rewards of the previous one):

  • 20-35 USD, a.k.a Sleepyhead:
    • Digital copy of the game
    • A wallpaper pack
    • A digital illustrated manual
    • Role on Discord with this name
    • Credited with this name
    • Exclusive in-game items (exclusive pajama, decorative plaque in Nemo’s room, golden skin for one of the characters)
  • 35-60 USD, a.k.a Dreamer:
    • Digital Artbook
    • Digital Soundtrack
  • 60+ USD, a.k.a Sleepwalker
    • Access to a Playtesting Livestream
    • Access to early builds of the game
primary kickstarter tiers

There’s also a number of special tiers that allow you to change the game itself. Here’s a breakdown of those (each one contains all the benefits from the tiers above):

  • 150+ USD: Make a constellation of your pet in-game.
  • 250+ USD: Give Nemo a toy as a background in his room. (no longer available)
  • 500+ USD: Add a statue of your likeness in the game.
  • 1000+ USD: Add your cat to the game as an option to swap it for Nemo’s. Seems to be exclusive to your version of the game.
  • 2500+ USD: Add yourself as an NPC in the game, one of the titular Guardians. (no longer available)
kickstarter tiers

Aside from the pledge tiers, there’s a few of social media milestones to unlock as well . There’s 3 for Kickstarter backers, 3 for Twitter followers, and 3 for Discord members. Unlocking any of these 3 will mean Dave will hold a game design stream. Another 3 will put the digital manual in-game (it would otherwise be a separate PDF). And the final 3 will make some of the artbook pages into unlockables. Tree.

social media milestones

The project asks for 65,000 USD. It’s currently sitting close to 50,000 USD pledged with over 1,100 backers. The campaign ends on June 30th , so there’s only 7 days. If you want to pledge, now is the best time. You can find the project on the following links:

What do you think of Little Nemo and the Guardians of Slumberland? Are you planning on supporting the campaign? Let us know in the comments below!

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