The Game Atelier make their games free to promote Flying Hamster 2

The Game Atelier's Flying Hamster became a surprise hit, downloaded over 1.7 million times ever since its humble debut on PSP back in 2010. The French studio wants to make a sequel-of-sorts, and is turning to Kickstarter to make their game real.

Although the original game was a hyper-cute shmup, Flying Hamster 2: Knight of the Golden Seed switches genres, turning into a platforming action RPG. It's still hyper-cute.

Inspired by Wonder Boy and Monster World, the new adventure has Newton transforming into different animals. As a bear, he can destroy almost everything. As a snake, he can sneak into small gaps. Of course, he'll only be able to fly when he's a hamster. Duh.

The studio is seeking $150,000 to bring the game to PC in 2015. To promote their crowdfunding campaign, they've made their back catalog free on iOS and nearly-free on Vita, with SunFlowers and Flying Hamster going for only 49 cents each on the PlayStation Store.

It's certainly an interesting approach to promote a Kickstarter, rewarding fans while presumably picking up some more. Here's a look at what Flying Hamster 2 will look like:

Shacknews' crowdfunding policy requires games to have a prototype for front-page coverage.