Game-related ramblings.

Month: April 2013

Indie Platformer Marathon: Explodemon!

I’m back from vacation, and the Indie Platformer Marathon continues! Next up is Explodemon!, a game by Curve Studios, the same developers responsible for Stealth Bastard, which I’ve written about before (incidentally, Stealth Bastard recently got a brand new, for-sale Deluxe version which looks excellent, but probably won’t make it into this marathon due to time constraints). Explodemon! was actually released first, but spent quite some time as a Playstation Network exclusive, later being ported to PC, allowing me to play it since I don’t own a Playstation. Unfortunately, it’s more famous for some (false) controversy than for the game itself: just after announcing Explodemon!, the team discovered that another indie developer, Twisted Pixel, had independently come up with the same core idea, namely a protagonist with the ability to explode him/herself. Repeatedly. While the two teams were amiable about the coincidence (read an interesting blog post with the full story from Curve’s point of view here), Twisted Pixel’s game Splosion Man released first, and this ended up being bad news for Explodemon!. Suddenly everyone was calling Explodemon! a ripoff, even though it had actually started development before Splosion Man. This even prevented the team from securing publishing deals, forcing them to finish development with their own funding.

But finish it they did, and it’s a good thing too, because Explodemon! is well worth playing.

Blog Takes Vacation

I’m going on vacation! I’ll be away from computers for a couple of weeks, so the Indie Platformer Marathon will have to be put on hold until I get back. But you can read the latest entry about LogiGun in the meantime. Awesome.

Indie Platformer Marathon: LogiGun

It’s inevitable that LogiGun will be compared to Portal. There are obvious similarities: the test-like puzzle rooms, an antagonist who constantly chimes in remotely, and guns that shoot puzzle-related things rather than bullets (although they do not shoot portals). LogiGun even has a female protagonist like Portal does, although it’s a sad reminder of the state of the games industry that simply having a female protagonist is noteworthy. Many people will likely take a quick look at LogiGun and dismiss it as a Portal ripoff, which is a shame, because LogiGun is actually an excellent game in its own right.

While Portal used the single mechanic of portal generation married with an expertly-designed (and often hilarious) narrative to create a short but brilliant game, Logigun instead embraces a myriad of puzzle mechanics, all of which intertwine to form some truly devious puzzles. LogiGun has not one, but four different guns, and each has plenty of versatility for puzzle-solving. When puzzles start featuring two of them at once, things get wonderfully complex.

Indie Platformer Marathon: Capsized

Remember that you can click on images for bigger versions.

The Indie Platformer Marathon was delayed by some non-game-related things, but now it’s back! Capsized is one of the oldest platformers in my backlog, purchased nearly two years ago. I had tried the demo, liked it, and decided to buy the full game, but then I got distracted by something else. Probably Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Anyway, the marathon seemed like the perfect time to finally play it.

The most important thing to know about Capsized is that it is not an exploration platformer. When it was released, many people saw the beautiful hand-drawn graphics depicting a lush, alien world, and hoped the game would feature a vast planet to explore. But that is not the case; Capsized is split into discrete levels, and while there is some exploration within these levels, the primary focus is on fast-paced action. Fortunately, that action is very, very good.

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