Renaine is an 8-bit 2D platformer about an immortal knight, Aine, trying to avenge her friend Ren by killing a dragon. It sounds like a standard fantasy setup, but developer Octosoft insists there's more to its story, and I'm inclined to believe them because there's certainly more to Renaine's platforming than meets the eye. Luckily there's a free online demo you can try for yourself.
Renaine is currently on Kickstarter, where it's already raised $9,174 of its $5,000 goal with 25 days left in its campaign. This is actually its second Kickstarter attempt; its first campaign failed in September. So it's nice to see it not only hit its target but surpass it and unlock stretch goals like a bonus campaign and online speedrun support.
The controls are unabashedly simple: jump, roll and slash. "That's it," the Kickstarter reads. "The entire game can be finished with just those three basic moves. The gameplay of Renaine is all about getting better. Aine is an experienced knight at the start of her quest, but she's not invincible - and failure is part of this game!"
Aine can't actually die due to the dragon's curse, so when you run out of hearts—and judging from what I played of the demo, you'll run out a lot—you're revived in a different timeline with different levels. Some progress carries over, like the quests you've completed, but the world will be different and you'll lose all your items.
"You will never get permanent upgrades in this game," the Kickstarter reads. "You will, however, permanently unlock new options to use, like emblems, heart containers, npc shops, and more - many of which completely change how this game runs!"
Judging from its Kickstarter delivery dates, Renaine will release early next year. Here's some concept art to chew on in the meantime.
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Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.