The Experimental Gameplay Project – The SHMUP Games Test!
The Experimental Gameplay Project has come back to life with a handful of new and returning faces making games in just seven days, or at least it is meant to be just seven! There are some little gems that have already been made, but what did I make of them? Find out…now!
I think Egg Worm Generation is one of the most interesting of the first batch of games to come from the new Experimental Gameplay Project. Even if it has failed to be a shooter like the theme ‘Unexperimental Shooter’ implied it would be. You see Kyle Gabler didn’t have the time when making Egg Worm to introduce the shooting elements. Rather he created a fishtank where we observe a bunch of creatures evolve over time in their efforts to reach the important green button.
You don’t get involved at all in the game, you can press ‘s’ to speed up what happens as every 60 seconds the creatures die and are reborn in a new generation. According to the readme the creatures will eventually evolve into a ‘super race’ that are really good at walking to the right. I haven’t let the game play long enough for that to happen, yet!
It doesn’t really sound an inspiring life for these beings, but the game itself is very fun to watch. I saw a creature named Bebe approach with winning line at quite a pace. I thought she was going to make it, thus my heartbreak when she was killed and her babies seemed to do even worse than she had done.
Of course I expect many people to claim that this isn’t a real game, it is merely an arty piece. That isn’t the point though, this is a game created in just seven days. That is why the Experimental Gameplay Project was initially created.
For those who are looking for more of a gamey game, then you can’t go wrong with Proto Shooter by Allan Blomquist, my initial impression was of an Asteroid game, but it is a bit more complex than that. Instead of just dodging some floating space debris, in Proto Shooter you are fighting a variety of space creatures with the ability to stop time. You will spend a lot of time dodging, shooting and wondering how Allan got such high scores. Or maybe that is just me because I suck.
Personally I felt Frobot was the most impressive game for being a game, it features a disco dancer being attacked from the four points of the compass by numerous types of goons. What makes it so unique is what happens after you kill the goons, they turn into lesser disco peeps whom you must protect. Whilst they are alive they make you stronger. It is a very interesting take to have your victims turn into the people you must protect. Frobot has some very good ideas hidden away in it.
Oh and not to forget the late arrival, there is always one, Bunny Blaster. You chose from one of four guns and must blast away at a pit of little bunnies until you have killed 1000 of the poor blighters. The fun arrives when your screen zooms out after you have slaughtered a certain number of cute fluffy bunnies and you find yourself staring at legions of the pests!
This is a great start to the Experimental Gameplay Project, Frobot and Egg Worm are the pick of the bunch for me, but really they are all worth playing. These guys have some great ideas floating around and with only seven days to work on the games the ideas really shine through. Play!
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