Inventory management. Many might think this is just a tedious, necessary part of any role-playing game to force a player to think strategically about which items they really need and which they can do without. Just a small dull part of a much larger and more exciting picture. But if one were to think outside of the box, perhaps inventory management doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Perhaps inventory management could be the STAR of the show. Indie developer The Jaspel, in collaboration with BinaryCounter and GangsRobin, has dared to think outside the box to create a game built around inventory management called Backpack Hero. While that might sound like a boring idea on paper, the game’s playable demo proves that it’s anything but boring, and the fact that its Kickstarter campaign exceeded its initial goal by more than 900% shows that this is a concept that is resonating with quite a few people. Finally, inventory management is poised to have its moment in the sun.
What makes this one so interesting is how you actually go about managing your inventory. First there’s the matter of organizing your items in a limited amount of spots, which is pretty much Inventory Management 101. However, the entire game features items that will produce special effects or abilities based on what other items they’re placed next to. So in addition to just maximizing your space, you’re also strategically placing things in a way that maximizes their potential to help you. These inventory managing portions are strung together by dungeon crawling where you’ll navigate an overhead map of a dungeon, choosing enemies to battle or interesting spots to explore. The battles are turn-based and quite satisfying, and pretty much everything you do results in obtaining loads and loads of items and loot. Of course, you can’t take it all with you so naturally some excellent inventory management skills will be needed. Check out an overview of how this all goes down in Backpack Hero in the game’s Kickstarter trailer.
You don’t have to listen to me prattle on about how good this entire concept and game turned out to be, you can play a demo version of Backpack Hero for free in your browser. The full game will have loads more stuff but you can definitely get an idea of what the game is all about from this demo. Just don’t go blaming me if you waste away the rest of your day playing it. As of right now Backpack Hero is only confirmed for PC and Nintendo Switch, but the developers have previously stated that a mobile version is more than possible and would likely be dependent on how well the Kickstarter campaign performed. Well, with the Kickstarter amassing nearly ten times the original amount they were seeking, I sure hope a mobile port is in the cards because the touchscreen seems like the most ideal place to play this one. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but in the meantime enjoy the free demo of this one, Wishlist it on Steam if PC is your thing, and drop by the thread in our forums to discuss Backpack Hero as we all collectively cross our fingers for a mobile version.