Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a Kickstarter-funded multiplatform console game. It was released on Wii U, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One and Steam (Windows PC) on December 20, 2016. A Nintendo Switch port was also released in 2017. The game is the fourth entry in the Shantae series, after Shantae, Shantae: Risky's Revenge and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.
The game was crowdfunded on Kickstarter from September 2013 to October 2013, but donations were still possible via PayPal on WayForward's official website, and closed on December 16, 2014. The game was originally slated for an October 2014 release, but it was delayed to account for development of the stretch goal rewards. The game was set to be released on September 27th, 2016, but was postponed by "6 weeks give or take", and instead released on December 20th worldwide. It was given a simultaneous digital and physical release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Wii U, handled by XSeed Games 
The game was followed by a fifth installment, Shantae and the Seven Sirens.
The game takes place after the good ending to Shantae and '.
Shantae is roused from a deep sleep, suddenly alert. She plunges into the moonlit forest in search of answers. In nearby Scuttle Town she goes to her uncle's home and discovers a mysterious trapdoor. She decides to see where it will lead to and discovers a luminous subterranean cavern. A familiar voice calls out, drawing Shantae to a beautiful fountain. Touching its waters she is immediately spirited away to the fabled Genie Realm. At her feet a magical seal swells as some powerful evil seeks escape. The chamber trembles with a deep, bellowing roar and a light emits from Shantae as everything goes white. Shantae sits upright, back in her bed. Was it just a dream? Or a vision of things to come?
There were five chapters available at initial launch.
Sequins of Unfortunate Events!
Fire and Forget!
Depending on the player's actions throughout the game, one of two endings can be achieved.
- Good Ending: If Shantae gathers clues about Risky's plan, she'll get a Magical Polarizer, which will undo Tinkerbrain's damage and save the Genie Realm. The messenger will appear, telling Shantae that the Genies are proud of her and her mother is still alive; she is also in the Genie Realm.
- Bad Ending: If Shantae decides to go directly against Risky, the Genie Realm is destroyed by Shantae, thus possibly killing her own mother in the process.
Features in the game if certain amount of funding, via Kickstarter and/or Paypal, is reached.
|Risky Mode||Game Modes||Play as Risky Boots with her own story and abilities.||$500K||Funded|
|Sequins of Unfortunate Events!||Bonus Chapter||Mystery and new location. Additional chapter and transformation.||$600K||Funded|
|Costume Swap||Gameplay Addition||Replay the adventure with re-balanced stats and special moves.||$700K||Funded|
|Fire and Forget!||Bonus Chapter||New character, mystery, and new location. Additional chapter and transformation.||$800K||Funded|
|Hero Modes||Game Modes||Play as Rottytops, Bolo, and Sky with their own stories and abilities.||$900K||Funded|
|A Dish Served Cold!||Bonus Chapter||Return of Nega-Shantae! Additional chapter and transformation.||$1M||Not
|Voices||Additional Feature||Full voice acting for all modes. English with subtitles translated for multiple languages.||$1.1M||Not funded|
|Clockwork Night!||Bonus Chapter||Risky reformed(?), new location, new threat. Additional chapter and transformation.||$1.2M||Not funded|
|Animated Cutscenes||Additional Feature||High TV quality, fully animated cutscenes with voice overs and music.||$1.3M||Not funded|
Kickstarter funding ended on October 4, 2013, while Paypal funding ended on December 16, 2014, with a total of $947,937. Risky Mode became Pirate Queen's Quest, while the Hero Modes were merged into Friends to the End. WayForward has stated that the unfounded features will probably never be implemented, although they hadn't close the door to the possibility of downloadable content if the game sells well, which it did. However, the animated cutscenes were carried on to Seven Sirens. More voice acting was also added, although it was still mostly used to "narrate" characters' text boxes.
The digital soundtrack will be provided as a reward along with the game to backers with pledges at or above $25.
A physical soundtrack called Risky Beats comes with the physical release of the game.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero received an 81/100 aggregate review score on Metacritic indicating "generally favorable reviews".
However, while the game was positively received like the other games, its main target of criticism was aimed at its change of gameplay.
The confirmed crew on the game so far is as follows:
- Matt Bozon: creative director.
- Jake Kaufman: music composition.
- Cristina Vee: theme song, voice of Shantae, Risky Boots and other female characters.
- Mariel Cartwright: animation.
- Gigi D.G.: backgrounds art.
- Jesse Lopez: lead animator.
- Armando Soto: animation director.
- Makoto Yabe (aka KOU): artworks.
- Ranko Prozo: lead environment artist.
- Damon DuBois: 3D art director.
- Tim Curry: lead technical artist.
- Chris Kerlegon: animator.
- The original key art had Shantae paler than her previous games. The trailer also showed her to be paler. Matt Bozon explains in an interview (found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDQUa_96N7E ) that the trailer's portrayal was due to a mistake caused by the lighting engine they were using, which carried over to the promotional materials.
- This is the first and currently only Shantae game to be rated T for Teen by the ESRB for reasons currently unknown. The other four were rated either E (in the case of the first game) or E10+ (in the case of Risky's Revenge, The Pirate's Curse and Seven Sirens).
- However, the LRG releases of The Pirate's Curse and Seven Sirens were also given a T rating as opposed to an E10+ rating.