StarCrawlers, an RPG with hackers and ninjas, hits Kickstarter

Patrick Carlson at

Derelict spaceships. Corporate cybercrime. Ninjas. These are some of the ideas populating the universe of StarCrawlers, a new first-person dungeon crawler that's landed on both Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight. While its mechanics appear to situate it comfortably in the dungeon crawler genre, StarCrawlers' setting takes us deep into the future rather than an imaginary, alternate past.

Action in the game's randomly-generated levels is turn-based and demands that players make tactical decisions about the amount of time certain attacks or abilities will cost a StarCrawler team, according to the developer. But combat aside, it looks like Juggernaut Games wants to make the world it's creating as much of an antagonist as any menacing  robot enemy.

"In StarCrawlers you'll be navigating the halls of massive abandoned ships and sneaking through corporate facilities in a dynamic and interactive environment," reports the developer on its Kickstarter page. "Hack terminals to create shortcuts or find valuable data, disable or evade a variety of traps, grab as much salvage as you can carry, and keep your eyes peeled for hidden areas, loot and enemies."

At the moment there are four class archetypes planned for StarCrawlers. These include an offense-oriented Soldier as well as the support-minded Hacker. And with the Cyber Ninja and energy-wielding Void Psyker rounding out the team, the reference the developer makes on its website to games like Shadowrun seems entirely appropriate.

In what surely must be seen as a coup for any developer these days, Juggernaut Games has secured composer Ben Prunty to write StarCrawlers' game music. You may know Prunty's work from the superb FTL soundtrack, the genesis of which you can read more about in our interview with the composer here.

For a preview on how combat in StarCrawlers might function, take a look at some pre-alpha footage below. The game's Kickstarter funding period runs through March 13.