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Himalaya initiates Kickstarter campaign for adventure-RPG

After a dearth of adventure/RPG hybrids since the days of Quest for Glory, soon we'll be basking in them, at least if we continue to pay for the privilege. Following previous crowdfunding appeals for Hero-U and Quest for Infamy, now Himalaya Studios has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements.

Mage's Initiation follows the tale of sixteen-year-old D'arc, a would-be mage who must "complete a trio of tasks set by his Mage Masters." As you venture through his medieval-styled realm, you must "brave a goblin-infested forest. Navigate a vast lake to encounter an evil so pure, not even beauty can disguise it. Ascend to the peaks of Flyteria, a valley of winged warriors once dedicated to protection of the human town." The stakes are clear: "Succeed and D'arc shall take his place among his fellow Mages. Fail and nobody shall remember his name."

But D'arc's trials will prove anything but a straightforward adventure. Although controlled using either a "Sierra-like Icon Bar or LucasArts Verb-Coin", Mage's Intiation will also feature "multiple playable character classes, spell-casting, and an open-field magical combat system, complete with equippable items and monster loot drops." Each player's choice of earth, air, fire or water as the central element will affect gameplay in a variety of ways, from "combat strategy to spells and puzzles."

The name Himalaya Studios may not seem overly familiar, though the indie studio did release Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine in 2006. However, they're much better know as the "Anonymous Game Developers" (or AGD Interactive) behind the excellent freeware remakes of King's Quest I-III and Quest for Glory II.

Now setting their sites on an original QFG-like adventure/RPG of their own, Himalaya has been self-financing development of Mage's Initiation for a year, but in order to finish the game in a feature-rich fashion by February 2014, the team is asking for $65,000 by March 23 on Kickstarter. Although production will continue regardless of the outcome, a failure to meet the target goal "could add years to the development time."

With the "early bird" offer already fulfilled, pledge rewards now begin at $16 for a DRM-free download of the game on PC, along with the soundtrack and access to private backer forums, while upper tiers include the likes of T-shirts, signed lithographs, hardcover art book, and either standard or Collector's Edition disc versions of the game, among others. Visit the Kickstarter page to watch the Mage's Initiation pitch video and learn all about the project, and of course to contribute if so inclined. You can also vote for the game to be released on Steam Greenlight

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