The Kickstarter that launched for Hiveswap back in 2012 was as popular as the webcomic it’s based on. Homestuck creator Andrew Hussie raised an astounding $2.5 million to turn everybody’s favorite comic about a computer game into an actual computer game.
Hiveswap was originally a joint project between Hussie and The Odd Gentlemen, but the latter left to focus on a new King’s Quest game, and Hussie’s production company What Pumpkin doubled as a game studio to take over its development. It was initially slated for a 2014 release, but as you can imagine, switching hands caused some delays. Fast forward a few years with few updates, and here we are with a Homestuck game on the horizon and monsters everywhere!
You’ll start the game as a girl stuck in your room with monsters bearing down on your house and beating down your door. Your brother’s outside stuck in the treehouse, so you might as well suck it up and open the door.
Hiveswap will be released September 14 on PC, Max, and Linux via Steam and the Humble Store. You can grab it for $7.99 or bundled with its soundtrack for $11.99. This first release will be Act 1 in a four-part series set in the Homestuck universe. A companion series called Hauntswitch will follow, but it’s not a direct sequel so you can play them in either order, and your save files can transfer over from act to act and game to game, meaning your choices will carry some weight.
Hiveswap is a throwback to ’90s adventure games without the frustration of being told you can’t do things. You’ll be rewarded with creative messages for everything you do, so “no dream-logic solutions, no hearing the same ‘those items don’t work together’ message over and over.” Its eclectic soundtrack was partly composed by Undertale creator Toby Fox, who’s a huge Homestuck fan.
“It took awhile to pull together the exact right team to make the sort of game I wanted this to be. A lot of patience was needed from everyone, fans especially, but I think it was worth the wait,” said Hussie. “It’s turned out to be just the sort of game I’d want to play.”
I never got into Homestuck, but not for lack of interest. By the time I realized it was up my alley, it seemed like too daunting of a commitment. Hiveswap should be the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss is about, especially considering it’s being done in the style of games like Sam & Max Hit the Road, another tongue-in-cheek game based on a comic that referenced its source material while welcoming new fans into the fold.