Game-related ramblings.

Month: May 2013

Indie Platformer Marathon: Snapshot

The next game in the Marathon is Snapshot, by the two-man team known as Retro Affect (and otherwise known as Kyle Pulver and David Carrigg). Kyle Pulver has been developing indie platformers for some time, starting with Bonesaw: The Game which got a brief mention in my round-up of indie platformer classics. But he’s better known for his later work, including Jottobots (with J. Otto Seibold) and Offspring Fling. For David Carrigg, however, Snapshot is (I believe) his first platformer, as he was previously working on MMOs (that’s Massively Multiplayer Online games, for those who don’t know; think World of Warcraft). And apparently there was a third member of the team, Peter Jones, who has since departed but did some art and animation work for Snapshot.

Snapshot’s premise is simple and immediately intriguing. The player character, a small robot named PIC, has the ability to capture certain objects by taking a photograph of them. It can then drop these items again in a different location, sometimes after rotating them first. The early stages start with simply moving boxes around, as any good platformer should, but things quickly become more complex as the variety of objects (and creatures) that can be captured grows. Springboards, projectiles, doors, flying platforms, magnets… all of these things can be captured and used in interesting ways.

Indie Platformer Marathon: Nimbus

The next entry in the Marathon, Nimbus (also available on Desura), was originally released back in 2010, but I didn’t pick it up until it appeared in the first Indie Royale bundle the following year. And, before I go any farther, let’s get this out of the way: many people will not consider Nimbus to be a platformer. The playable character in the game is some sort of flying craft, and it tends to avoid platforms rather than jump on them. While it’s tempting to respond to these people by stating that this is my blog and I can do whatever I want, in this case I think I’m legitimately justified. Nimbus really does feel like a platformer, even if it doesn’t play like a traditional one. Levels are brightly-colored, physically impossible configurations of floating platforms, peppered with bounce pads, color-coded switches, keys that must be collected to open doors, and rotatable cannons for propelling the ship, just like the barrels in Donkey Kong Country. Oh, and spikes. Lots and lots of spikes. Sound like any platformers you know? The levels are even connected to one another via a map that’s straight out of Super Mario World, complete with level names like “World 1-4” and “World 3-3”. And of course there are secret exits in certain levels leading to bonus levels or alternate paths. Even the (extremely limited) story recalls the Mario games: a big evil thing kidnaps your spaceship friend! Go rescue it!

Essentially, Nimbus asks a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point in our lives: what if Mario were a spaceship?

Indie Platformer Classics

The next game in the Indie Platformer Marathon is taking longer to complete than expected, so I figured I’d tide things over by covering some other classic indie platformers you might be interested in. Some I’ve already posted about on this blog; be sure to read about LIMBO, Trine (actually this may not technically be indie), Spelunky (the original freeware version), VVVVVV, Stealth Bastard (which recently got a fancy new for-sale version), Treasure Adventure Game (which has a semi-remake called Treasure Adventure World in development), Noitu Love 2, Poacher, You Have To Win The Game, Moustache King Adventure, Red Rogue, and Endless Forms Most Beautiful, if you haven’t already. And don’t miss my previous round-up of super-hard platformers, if you’re into a bit of challenge. But there are many others that I haven’t posted about, or have only mentioned in passing, and I figured they deserve highlighting as well. Click through to read about some of them.

Indie Platformer Marathon: BasketBelle

BasketBelle was something of a surprise. I remember seeing some screenshots and a trailer or two when it was released nearly a year ago, but I didn’t actually pick it up. I’d read that it was very short and rather odd. But then it showed up in the Indie Royale Harvest bundle a few months later, along with several other games I was interested in, so I picked up the pack. Deciding that a shorter game was just what I needed after the constantly exploding Explodemon!, I decided to slot it next in the Marathon.

And I’m glad I did, because BasketBelle is really something special.

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