Last week, we took our first look at Zaxis Games’ 99 Levels To Hell, a punchy, vibrant-looking take on the side-scrolling platformer genre. Now, with the development appearing to be running smoothly, the developers have treated us to an inside look into how the game’s 100+ levels are meticulously crafted using its in-game level editor. The new video footage, clocking in at just over a minute long, also gives viewers a brief first look at one of 99 Levels To Hell‘s most widely touted feature – the portals.
From the looks of things, these portals are far from arbitrary gimmicks implemented simply to latch onto a readily-established marquee of the gaming industry. On the contrary, it’s evident that Zaxis is making a concerted effort to ensure that they’ll form an integral strategic element of the subtle ways in which the gameplay unfolds, forcing players to think laterally before launching themselves into pastures hitherto unknown. In other words, look before you leap, children.
After a few technical hitches, as we reported on earlier, A Valley Without Wind has finally made its way onto Steam. As with both GamersGate, the Mac Game Store and Arcen Games’ official website, the game is available at a 10% discount, due to expire on 1st May, and there’s also a special four-pack that’s subject to a similar temporary price cut. Those looking to purchase multiple copies may be pleased to know that Steam is offering it for a lower price than its Impulse counterpart, which appears to be available at full price from the get-go.
Students from the University of Utah have made a little 4-player co-op platformer for XBLIG and PC called, Heroes of Hat, and they’ve also released a trailer for it so you can have a gander.
While a platformer that looks lovely to the hilt is nothing unusual on these pages, one that attends to 4 player co-op is much rarer. Though it’s bound to be local multiplayer only, Heroes of Hat‘s co-op capabilities certainly make it shift from “yes I’ve seen this millions of times” to “oh, that looks like fun”. That’s not to say that every platformer without such features falls into the former, but Heroes of Hat could have so easily otherwise.
Let’s not dwell on the co-op side of things for the game, though it would be fine to, let’s instead look at what kind of gameplay this is. Well, you’ll see in the trailer below that it’s a platformer and one that wouldn’t have gone amiss in the late 90s. You’re apparently channelling the power of hats to get through the game which manifests itself into shooting arrows, laying bombs, some form of floating and presumably other such features. It looks to be a simple game that will suit simple pleasures but that’s fine, we like that kind of thing over here.
Heroes of Hat is due to be released on XBLIG very soon and according to this tweet, the PC version of the game will be available sometime this week too.
My Owl Software has released a fruit-tastic trailer for their “core” platformer, Apple Jack 2, which is set to head to XBLIG and PC later this year.
Apparently, 2012 will be the year of another adventure for Apple Jack. We haven’t heard anything about Apple Jack 2since December, but a new trailer for the game means we’re still allowed to be all kinds of excited for it. Why shouldn’t we be? Apple Jack was a critically appraised and this sequel returns with over 60 levels to the platforming experience with huge bosses to take on, enemy flinging to great fruit-filled results and the ability to rewind time when death visits.
The new trailer will give you a much better impression of the game than words though. Speaking of which, that music is stunning and apparently it’s from the film ‘Vergogna schifosi’. That’s not relevant of course but our ears and flapping with delight!
Apple Jack 2 is due for release in the next couple of weeks on XBLIG. A PC release is planned for some unknown time after that.
More information on Apple Jack 2 can be found on the developer’s official website.
Johan Peitz, creator of the well-received LD21 game BATHOS, returns to LD23 with a mini version of Super Mario Bros. The basic concept of A Super Mario Summary is to take that original classic and turn every level into a “summary”. By that Johan means that he has squashed each level into just one screen. Distinctive features from every level are kept and everything else scrapped to prevent the act of scrolling across the screen.
You’ll see below how the first level pans out. Left in are just the stairs, a single goomba and of course the flagpole. The graphics of the game are typical of Peitz’s Pixelizer and they hold a strength in their simplicity. The basic colors match those in Super Mario Bros. but have a certain glow about them, particularly the light blue sky. Later in the game the more complex (and I’m using that tentatively) elements of the classic platformer come to fruition. Rotating lines of fire, springs and flying lava all pop up. Of course, even the mighty Bowser appears and tries to disrupt your path of progress.
About the only thing missing from A Super Mario Summary is any background music. We have sounds in place, jumping and collecting coins will fill in most silent gaps, but the finishing touch would have been a little tune to bop along to. For a 48 hour effort though, A Super Mario Summary is very well realized – to be fair, it’s an impressive little game in general, despite the time constraints.
You can play A Super Mario Summary over on the official website for free of course.
Team2Bit have released a trailer for their platformer, Washington’s Wig, which was made as part of IGN’s The Next Game Boss competition and has now been made into a more full experience.
If you didn’t watch The Next Game Boss then you’ll probably have no idea why there’s an 8bit platformer featuring George Washington and a dog wearing his wig. Well, Washington’s Wig has you playing as Dogsworth McFreedom, George Washington’s loyal pet. Unfortunately, Washington has embarked on his famous crossing of the Delaware without his famous wig so it’s up to you to get it to him.
Washington’s Wig was actually the winner of the aforementioned competition but now it has a life outside of that. Since that victory, Team2Bit have added new features to the game which include power-ups, collectibles, new enemies and a two player Versus Mode.
Washington’s Wig is actually being sold alongside another of Team2Bit’s games, Fist Puncher, in a Kickstarter project. You can grab copies of the game by donating a certain amount, or just Washington’s Wig at the slightly lower price of $5.
Here’s the trailer that has been released to showcase the game and its new features:
More information on Washington’s Wig can be found on the game’s official website.
Lantana Games are celebrating Patriots Day, quite appropriately of course, with a 50% off sale for Children of Liberty, so if you want to help them out during development and get hold of a copy of this stealth platformer then now would be a good time for that.
Despite working in a crowded genre, the 2D platformer, Children of Liberty manages to stick out. It’s early stages yet and that can be seen in places, but the gist of the game is all in place and coupled with a focus on stealth and appealing artwork, we’re sure it’s going to add up to something great. If you haven’t already, you can check out an alpha demo right here, but if you enjoy the game and want to help out the developers you can do so by purchasing the game and getting the most up-to-date version.
However, the human race is one that has become obsessed with sales and bargains, in which case you’ll probably want to purchase the game today if you’re going to as it’s currently available at 50% off. This is in celebration of Patriots Day, specifically, the 237th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride and The Battles of Lexington and Concord, which are the events which Children of Liberty is based around.
As you might suspect, the sale is only being staged for 24 hours, so if you’re reading this after April 19th 2012, then you’re already too late. If upon checking the date it is that day then you’re in luck – head over to Desura with $4.99/£3.49 and you can get yourself an advanced copy of the game and access to the latest build.
More information on Children of Liberty can be found on the game’s official website.
The Layabouts have been living up to their name when it comes to the long overdue Here Comes Launchman demo for Mac, but alas, it is here now you non-believers.
First playable at Minecon 2011, Here Comes Launchman is a whizz-and-go 2D platformer with a monochromatic style and a passion for kinesis. You play as a keen space explorer who you can literally launch through the air in any direction…well, that space air that doesn’t exist (duh) and move objects with his telekinetic powers. It’s a standout platformer with unique mechanics to ship so many have taken to it. At least those Windows and Linux users who were able to take to it in February when their demo was released.
What about the people with Macs though? Well, they’ve had to wait a whole two months for their demo, but it’s here now – we promise. Want to grab it now do you? Well then, here’s a link to the official Here Comes Launchman website where you can find demos for Windows, Mac and Linux at last. It’s also worth noting that the Windows demo has now been updated to “revision 4″ and the Linux build will be soon.
The Here Comes Launchman demo comes with a handy tutorial and seven of the game’s levels to trial through – good luck flinging Launchman around, you’ll probably need it.
More information on Here Comes Launchman can be found on the game’s official website.
Chester, an artistically charged 2D-platformer from Brilliant Blue-G, was released last month for Windows PC. Well, if you weren’t quite on board then, there’s now an extra incentive to give this madcap, testosterone-pumped jumpfest a whirl.
Starting from today, the game will be up for sale on Desura at a 25% discount, bringing it down to £4.87 for the weekend. There’s also a free demo available, so the old “try before you buy” gimmick can receive the arbitrary corporate roll-out. Nice.
Upper Byte have announced their sidescrolling action-platformer, Wooden Sen’SeY, with an invigorating announcement trailer.
Oh no! All of the SeY in the village has run out! What shall we do Goro?
Psst, you’re Goro.
Oh right, ahem. Well, as the Village Chief I shall head out and restore the precious SeY to the village. That’s reasonable right?
Oh we love you Goro, you’re such a charmer.
Well that’s how we see the start of Wooden Sen’SeY going anyway. So Upper Byte are a fresh French studio who are making this rather vibrant action-platformer for PC and Mac. They’ve only just announced it though so we’re getting a first look and can tell you that it definitely looks like something we want to play. As you may have contrived from that muddle above, you’ll be playing as Goro who is the Chief of a village which has run out of Sey – the liquid that “invigorates” the villagers.
Goro goes on an epic quest to get more SeY through many dangers, but luckily he is armed with two giant axes and is more than happy to squash anything underneath him and use his grapple to fly out of harm’s way. A regular hero is our Goro. Check out the announcement trailer below for some rather inviting visuals and what looks to be a pretty fun time we might add.