Previews// Rezzed Round-Up: Aerobat, Alone and Beacon

Posted 7 Apr 2015 15:08 by
Tireless reporter and Sausage Factory host Chris O'Regan has been abroad again, haunting the halls of Rezzed and playing anything he could get his paws on. Below we've got the first three previews from his time spent taking a whistlestop tour of the best indie games EGX Rezzed 2015 had to offer...

Developer: Thew
Format(s): Windows PC

Lefty-righty shooter games have a long history in the realm of videogames. Dating back as far as 1981 with the arrival of Defender at the arcades, the genre has never really gone away and Aerobat is very much part of it, even if it is really bizarre.

I say bizarre because Aerobat eschews the 'bullet-hell' motif that almost all lefty-righty shooters have, along with ever-so-precise controls, in favour of tumbling uncontrollably from the sky while shooting enemies in a random yet terribly accurate fashion. All that while a thundering raw of a jet engine is blasted into the players ears at almost deafening levels.

In Aerobat the player controls a fighter plane that flies at incredible speed across the bright blue sky and landscape. Well I say 'control' I actually mean 'stop from crashing' as the plane needs constant power to be injected into it in order for it to stay airborne. Once this is stopped, the plane starts to stall and spin wildly towards to the ground that is rushing underneath it. Another unique aspect of the plane in Aerobat is that it can only fire its weapons when it is stalling. A somewhat significant design flaw I grant you, until you realise that the plane's weapons are 100% accurate so no aiming on the part of the pilot is required.

The cycle of play in Aerobat consists of the player forcing their plane to climb into the air while avoiding enemies and then tumbling from it uncontrollably, emitting destructive death in every direction as the plane spins towards the ground. Failure comes due to the player smashing into an enemy or impacting their plane into the ground.

I had an absolute blast with Aerobat. I found it to be incredibly addictive and, despite its utterly bonkers method of shooting at enemies and the high difficulty level, I kept on coming back for more. Aerobat is heading to Windows PC and Steam sometime in 2015.

Developer: LaserDog
Format(s): iOS and Android

There are quite a few infinite runner games on iOS and I am quite a fan of many of them. Canabalt was one of the first, but others like Tiny Wings and Alto's Adventure have caught my eye too. Buried in the vaults of the Tobacco Docks venue of EGX Rezzed 2015 was a little game by the name of Alone. Developed by LaserDog, Alone has the player controlling a tiny capsule across a fast moving landscape that has a passage of obstacles which the player must dodge by subtle movements of their finger and/or thumb as it rests on the touch screen.

The visuals are similar to Canabalt in that they are largely monochromatic but fly by at an incredible speed (much faster than most other infinite runners come to think of it). This adds a sense of urgency to Alone as the tiny craft hurtles across the scenery, dodging objects and tunnel walls all via the inverted controls that are little more than
minute movements of the player's appointed digit.

Impacting an object within the tunnel doesn't end in death, but instead reduces the player's shield by one unit. With only two available it's not advisable to go smashing one's way through a clutch of debris in Alone as it will more than likely ends in tears. Which it does, very often.

Alone is a cracking little game with a finely tuned control system, without which it wouldn't be very much fun.

Alone is currently out on iOS and will appear on Android very soon.

Developer: Monothetic
Format(s): Windows PC

One of the very few things that is palatable about the prog-rock band Yes is the fact that they have Roger Dean album covers. These show alien landscapes of far flung worlds, as imagined by Mr Dean. Sadly the quality of the music never matches the entrancing effect these album covers have on me. But, as it happens, Beacon feels like I walked into one of those paintings and that is one of the many reasons why I'm so excited about it.

Beacon is a third-person action adventure set on a hostile alien world. Warring factions and indigenous creatures are all out to extinguish the player and it is up to them to survive this environment and get Freja, the main protagonist of Beacon, off of that rock as quickly as possible.

Controls are a simple use of the now familiar FPS-like system of WASD keys, along with others that surround these now eponymous set of buttons that enable you to use items and throw grenades. The player is armed with a pistol that has infinite ammunition, but does need to be reloaded once a magazine is expended. This can lead to careful play as the flow of action is interrupted by the need to have a full magazine before entering into combat. Beacon handles this well by affording the player a clearly-defined isometric viewing angle that shows where all of the enemies are, giving the player enough time to position themselves effectively and thus reducing the risk of being hurt.

The visual styling is based on low-polygon constructs that are very fluid in their animation. Even at the very early stages of development, Beacon exhibits some very promising mechanics of play in terms of both combat and exploration.

Beacon will appear on Windows PC sometime in 2016.

Read More Like This


Posting of new comments is now locked for this page.