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Free first episode propels AR-K series fundraising campaign

Word of yet another fundraising appeal isn't good news in itself, but news of free games is always welcome, and to highlight its Kickstarter campaign, indie developer Gato Salvaje has released the first episode of AR-K free of charge.

Subtitled Sex, Lies and Class Work, the AR-K debut was released in 2011, introducing a young journalism student named Alicia.  Living in what she believes to be a utopian society, Alicia discovers a mysterious object that ensnares her in a complex web of research that suggests her world isn't nearly as idyllic as she'd been led to believe.

Most of that plot synopsis is still unexplored, however.  The first episode mainly focuses on Alicia's attempts to discover who she had sex with the night before, and to secure a research assignment from an overly-vindictive college professor.  The game is avilable free for a limited time, weighing in at a hefty 1.2 GB download.

The rest of the story is meant to play out over the course of four additional episodes, but the developer is going to need help to make that happen.  Launching a Kickstarter appeal for $150,000 by August 7th, a successful campaign will fund all of the remaining installments.  Pledge awards include either two or four DRM-free episodes as they become available, a boxed version of the complete series once complete, T-shirts, mugs, and even visits to or from the Spanish developer at the highest donation tiers.

The second episode of AR-K is due to arrive in October, but if the fundraising goal is reached, it will allow the developers to port the game to more platforms, localize into more languages, and improve the quality of the animations for the next chapter and beyond. To download the first episode and learn more about the fundraising campaign, check out the Kickstarter page for full details.

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