New Divekick and Sir You are Being Hunted
Sir You Are Being Hunted
Top down design, according to Mark Rosewater of magic the gathering, is when the story is the creative point for the game. In the case of Sir You Are Bring hunted, the summery after glow of BBC Science Fiction series is the top of the iceberg. Robots, gentlemen robots mind you, are you hunting you through the English countryside. While fodder for a juvenile nightmare, it does lead to some good game design. A hot air balloon hovers around the island, and it has a peculiar Knack of catching you off guard. Robots dogs pin you to the ground, and heavy ferns are your cover. In a slight nod to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series of games, Sir is hard, fairly open world, and given to little blue anomalies that swim around and can give away your position at night. This isn’t Dishonored, there is no free climbing mechanic, you can’t wrestle a robot from it’s back (that I know of), and the player is more than effected, you are often crawling through British underbrush fearing for your life. The goal of the game is simple, find the 8 steaming hot pieces of a machine, and bring them back to your stone henge like base. Fortunately, because this is a game, getting those pieces requires looking out for balloons, hiding from robot hunters, and finally scrambling through ruined houses for food. Food is plentiful, but good food is scarce. Bad eggs will cause your stamina to plummet. One more good idea in the game is the damage system. If your stamina is high, you will recover health. Add to this that each shot that hits you has a chance to inflict bleeding, bleeding doesn’t stop till you bandage the wound, hence even small gunfire can be deadly.
Sir is in alpha so I will forgive one simple problem with the game: it feels tedious. The game lacks missions and objectives that make it interesting. The 8 fetch quests per island become perilous quickly which adds to the challenge, but hiding in weeds quickly becomes boring. Perhaps I haven’t played it enough, but the game does need more options for out witting your robotic foes. It’s not a game about empowerment, it’s a game about tossing a bottle for a momentary distraction in order to desperately run for a smoking part only to be chased by robo dogs, and then bandage your wounds in tall grass before hoping to sneak by some more hunters and loot a house that will hopefully give you food. I am about 90% confident, this game will rock on launch.
Divekick is the exact opposite of top down design. It is rather a game derived mechanically from an over familiarity with a genre. Divekick is a fighting game and and it consists of 2 buttons: jump and kick. This extreme minimalism is surprisingly enlightening. Divekick boils the genre down to a scenario and produces incredible game play from there. Fighting games could be taken down further, but Divekick reveals how much depth simple stance, stature, and stage can produce. All of this fails to mention the kicks, which are surprisingly unique and deadly. Dive and Kick have straight forward and fast kicks, other characters can warp, some can even leave traces behind that count as collision, and my pick was a horned monster Internet troll who can barrel in the air putting himself at risk, but also extending his reach. Divekick is exactly what indie games should be: quick, effective, and interesting. That is also a discourse in a genre, is icing on the cake. Strongly recommend especially for the 9.99 usd price point. It’s so much fun and surprisingly strategic too.