Update: Space Kraken has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 23 days. You may back the printed edition of the game, or order the pdf. The Deluxe edition includes a pen, a notepad, an artbook and a soundtrack. Higher pledge tiers come with a set of dice, KS exclusive compendiums and custom tokens, and the inclusion of your own material in the game.
Our preview post below was published on May 22.
Space Kraken is a rogue-like gamebook that is primarily meant to be played solo, but additional rules allow you to play it with up to 4 players. To play, you must supply your own dice (2d6 and 1d20) and have a way to write and erase on the book. It will launch on Kickstarter on May 25.
You can play one of the four offered storylines. To start, you must first choose a faction that will impact the narrative. You then create your ship, your crew members (roles, stats, skills, etc.), and choose your starting equipment from a large variety of weapons and items. Everything is fully customizable, but you can pick already created characters if you want to skip this step.
You then follow the story by navigating a coded spreadsheet that may trigger events (narrative tidbits with decisions to make in the vein of Choose Your Adventure books) and react to past decisions of yours. Quests and side quests will be given to you in the course of the adventure. Everything is played within the book. You will write down the stats, skills, and inventories of the crew members, and unfold specific page sections to pick up a ship, specific characters, etc.
When you travel across space, you can either try to navigate in a specific location (to fulfill a quest) or just see what you stumble onto. The probability to encounter a space event will vary accordingly. Space combat follows specific rules and will rely on your ship characteristics, which can all be upgraded throughout the game.
Planets are randomly generated. When you explore a planet, you will go through dungeons that are mini “map tiles” featured in a dedicated section of the gamebook. While moving around these maps, you may have to face hostiles and engage in combat with the enemy units that, just like your crew, have specific stats and skills. The combat is played in rounds, with each round consisting of 18 steps. After the combat, you are likely to earn some loot.
The game also features achievements. Once you fulfill them, they will grant you a special reward at the beginning of all of your future games, in true rogue-lite fashion.