The recent sci-fi bonanza continues with news of Jack Houston and the Necronauts, an upcoming indie game that promises "a pulp sci-fi world of bubble helmets, rockets and ray guns with a point ‘n click interface!"
The titular hero of Jack Houston is a "rugged cowboy, and rocket test pilot", a role that indie developer Warbird Games tantalizingly compares to "placing Ben from Full Throttle into The Dig." In an alternate-universe version of 1999, Jack has retired in solitude, where he now wrestles the demons of his past, but:
When the Venture Aeronautics and Space Transportation corporation recruits the destitute, alcoholic rancher for a final mission, he can’t refuse. Manning the first rocket bound for the mysterious planet Venus, Jack is launched into the void, and into a strange new destiny. After a horrific crash landing, Jack awakens from suspended animation 1,000 years later to find himself captive of a savage race of Venusian beastmen who worship gods capable of animating the dead. Together with a tough, female space jockey and her wolf-like co-pilot, Jack must work to solve the mystery of these “Necronauts,” discovering a connection between the god-like creatures and himself that could be their undoing... and his.
In an effort to recreate the feel of 1950s pulp sci-fi, Warbird Games has chosen to "build each scene in miniature, and animate every character using stop motion." As the announcement trailer shows, the Venus of Jack Houston is far from "the lifeless planet we know today, this Venus is a sweltering vine jungle teaming with strange beasts of horn, tooth and claw."
So when can we get our hands on this promising sci-fi adventure? Well... Houston, we have a problem. To no one's surprise, Warbird Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund development. Lead developer Stacy Davidson has confirmed that the team does have contingency plans should they fall short of their goal of raising $56,000 by August 9th, but that it would seriously infringe on the project's projected PC release of late 2013. Pledge rewards include the usual DRM-free downloadable copy of the game at the lowest tier, with boxed edition, soundtrack, art book, and even collectible figurines at the higher levels.
If you're curious to check out the developer's sci-fi and adventure game credentials, a free demo of the SCUMM-styled Han Solo Adventures is available (saving is not enabled, and use Ctrl-Q to quit). If you like what you see there and want to know more about the new project, check out the Kickstarter page and the official website for complete details about Jack Houston and the Necronauts.