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Weekend Freeplay: Ikachan

IkachanSorry for the delay in this week’s “Weekend Freeplay” (normally I post this on Saturday), but this weekend has just been so hectic.

Anyways, this week I decided to go with a classic indie game that, as of June this year, is 10 years old! With indie gaming becoming such a relatively recent phenomena most people don’t stop to think about the ones that were developed pre-2007. In any case, despite its age this week’s game is actually a really good, if not slightly different, Metroid-like called Ikachan.

Ikachan was developed by somebody you probably all know very well — if you read this or any other indie games blog that is. The developer behind Ikachan is Pixel, the very same guy who developed the famous Cave Story Metroid-like a few years ago. As many probably know, Cave Story is incredibly popular and is heralded as one of the best indie games to ever be released. As good as Cave Story was, however, Ikachan is still inherently different and, despite sharing genres, provides an incredibly fresh feel from Cave Story.

Ikachan is a story about a squid (named Ikachan, of course) that get’s trapped and lost after a series of earthquakes nearly destroys the entire sea bottom in which he lives. This poses a problem not only for Ikachan, but also for all the residents of this underwater dystopia as food starts running out. To make matters even worse, a large fish by the name of Ironhead begins spreading paranoia and violence amongst those who don’t pledge their allegiance to him. Needless to say, the situation is grim for Ikachan who wants nothing more than to escape his watery tomb.

Story aside, the game plays very much like a traditional Metroid-like would. That means there’s plenty of exploration, plenty of items to find, and, of course, a wide variety of enemies and friends to encounter/meet.Throw in a nice “level up” system and you have a great game.

Of course, the thing that make Ikachan really unique is the method of movement within the game. Seeing as you are both A. a squid and B. under water you can rest assured this game doesn’t really have a traditional platform feel to it. In Ikachan your movement is controlled by timed swooshes through the water that will either propel you left, right, or up. If nothing else, it’s certainly a unique way to control your character.

Bottom line, for those of you looking for a new Metroid-like experience you certainly can’t go wrong with Ikachan. Between the world, character development, and unique gameplay Ikachan is actually one of the better games in this genre. The fact that it’s an older makes no difference. Ikachan is an experience that I’m sure you’ll enjoy…

[download via TinSanity]