in Games, Review

The most anticipated platform games

Rain World | Videocult | website | devlog | steam

When a game is on TIGsource, there’s a good heuristic for its future success: the number of pages its devlog has. The original post about FEZ, for example, counted 127 pages. Rain World, on the other hand, is getting dangerously close to 200. When a game is able to generate so much discussion, is hard to imagine anything but success in its future. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Rain World asks you to accomplish a simple task: to survive. The eerie world is surrounded by glowing lizards and skeleton vultures. The developers or Rain World have been open about the different techniques they’re using in the game, including the secrets behind the super smooth movements of the main protagonists: the slugcats. Yes slugcats: agile creatures with bodies as flexible as slugs, simulated with real physics and rendered as meshes. A very early demo of the game has been made available to the backers who helped Rain World being funded on Kickstarter.

Hue | Dan Da Rocha & Henry Hoffman | website

If you’re interested in AI, you may be familiar with the Knowledge argument. Let’s imagine that Anne is a very talented scientist which, despite living in a black and white world, knows everything there’s to know about colours. One day, she finally manages to see the world in colours: is she learning anything new from this? This thought experiment is a recurring theme in Hue‘s storyline and game mechanics. Despite what it may look like, it’s not yet another boring clone of Super Mario: there’s much more than jumping between platforms. The art style, for example, gives to Hue a unique vibe. Once you’ve seen a single screenshot from the game, you’ll always be able to recognise its style. The game is being developed by Dan Da Rocha and Henry Hoffman, authors or titles such as Q.U.B.E. and Aboard The Lookinglass. What is very interesting, from the perspective of a game producer, is how different those two games are, in style and genre, from Hue. Not being afraid to go from 3D to 2D is a quality which more indie developers should definitely have.

CHROMA | Mark Foster | website

If you define CHROMA simply as a platform game, is probably because you didn’t have the chance to play it. When I think about indie games and what they represent to me, CHROMA is surely one of the first titles I’ve been inspired from. Mark Foster started working on it few years ago, but the project has been on hold since he joined Andrew Gleeson and David Fenn to bring Titan Souls to life. The main character of CHROMA is a cute light bulb which, after being mysteriously resurrected, gains the power to move back and forth between the real world and the shadow dimension. While in there, the light bulb can walk on its own shadow. Mark’s intention with CHROMA was to have little to no text in the game, contributing even more to create a sense of mystery and isolation. Despite other games have previously explored mechanics based on solid shadows, Mark managed to blend that together with incredibly smart puzzles and a subtle environmental storytelling. At the moment, the future of the game is uncertain, but it would be a shame for a game with so much potential not to be finished. The very fist time I stalked met Mark, he showed me the full map of the game, and I can tell you that was a moment I will not easily forget…

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