Update Feb 23rd: The game has been renamed to Fur-Fun and is now available on Steam.
Update: The developers behind Kewpie-Jazzy have reached out to inform us that they have changed some of the content on their Kickstarter page. Some of the content shown below reflects the content that was on their Kickstarter page at the time of this writing.
Original: I was browsing around yesterday, searching for rumors, new, and more such things, when I came across a certain crowdfunding campaign that blew my mind and made me realize that some of these weird, sketchy Kickstarters, much like the one I came across, deserve a little bit of criticism. As a result, I’m bringing you a special new segment. This is Catastrophic Kickstarters, and we’re kicking it off with a look at Kewpie-Jazzy.
Kickstarter as a whole has an undoubtedly mixed track record. Tales of broken promises, abandoned projects, terrible ideas, and the occasional dirtbag developer often tend to drown out the good ideas under a sea of despair. But for every few cybermatrix 100s, there’s a Shovel Knight, or perhaps on a more relevant note, a Yooka-Laylee. Successfully funded on June 16th, 2015, Yooka-Laylee promised a return to the 3D platformers of old, with incredibly clear callbacks to the beloved Banjo-Kazooie, with even the development team being largely the same, composed of former Rare employees.
But where does Kewpie-Jazzy fit in? What even is it?
Kewpie-Jazzy is Yooka-Laylee, except with a terrifying art style and bizarrely worded typo-ridden funding campaign. Claiming to be a “3D Platformer Rare-Style”, it supposedly features Kewpie and Jazzy, a cat and parrot who will (and I directly quote) “take you on a new adventure full of exploration in gorgeus 3D worlds”. By “gorgeus” 3D worlds though, they mean weird lighting, a plethora of elements grabbed from the Unreal Marketplace, and best of all: seemingly straight-up stolen Yooka-Laylee assets.
Now, after letting that sink in, it’s hard to imagine it getting any worse, right? Stolen assets, typos in the Kickstarter, it seems like a pretty cut-and-dry case of a bad ripoff. Janky, weird, but nothing overly hilarious. Just another bad campaign, fading away into nothing. Until, that is, we take a little look at this, and then dig a little deeper.
You’re probably thinking “who the hell is Yerahy Romero”, but he’s not that important, despite what his “vast of experience” might say about him. No, we have to go further back. I don’t have a screenshot of this particular screwup, as I started this well after they fixed this, but surprisingly, Grant Kirkhope of all people was listed there in his place. Yes, that Grant Kirkhope, the man who did the music for Banjo-Kazooie and will be doing a decent chunk of the soundtrack in Yooka-Laylee too. Why did he get replaced then? What made him leave?
Here’s the thing: He didn’t. He wasn’t even going to.
They also outright stole Yooka-Laylee‘s budget graph:
And that pretty much sums up enough about Kewpie-Jazzy for a judgment to be made. Does it look passable? I guess it’s subjective, but from a personal standpoint, after taking everything into consideration, I can’t see this getting funded. Yooka-Laylee is massively anticipated, and for good reason: it comes from developers with a good reputation out of love for Banjo-Kazooie. Kewpie-Jazzy looks to just be a cash-in, and a bad one at that. If you’re looking for something more original, better-designed, and being done without needing crowdfunding, Clive ‘N Wrench is the same thing basically, except clearly actually being done out of affection for the series and not as a cash grab.
Feel free to make your own opinions on Kewpie-Jazzy, but as far as Kickstarter campaigns go, this one is certainly catastrophic.