15th May, 2011 Leave a comment
Volchaos is the latest title from Fun Infused Games, who have brought us such gems as Hypership out of Control, Nasty, Abduction Action, Trivia or Die and Hypership out of Control. Yeah, I said it twice. It’s that good.
Anyway, for long enough they’ve been delivering gems to you. Now it’s time for you to do some work and collect the things for yourself.
Collecting gems isn’t the main aim in Volchaos but in one of the many hilarious pre-level slides, you’re informed that you’re trying to pay off your mortgage. It’s as close as the game comes to a plot beyond oh God, lava, run! so, well, you may as well collect them, eh? The intention is to include bonuses for anyone that can collect all the gems, though as yet the exact nature of these is unknown. What would you like to see as a bonus? Personally, I’d like Fun Infused Games to pay off my real-life mortgage if I get all the gems.
So, while collecting the gems isn’t the main aim, it’s still something you’ll want to aim for. The main aim is, well, it’s to get the hell away from that lava. Volcanoes are quite dangerous, it seems, and for every second you’re in them the lava has a tendency to rise. And rise. So your job is to get to the end of the level before the level sees the end of you! Like what I did there?
This makes for some brilliant, tense platforming as you run faster than you’d like to the end of each short level, deciding whether or not you’ve got time to collect all the gems on the way. Then, once you’ve got to the end of the level and beaten it again to collect all the gems, there’s a sudden compulsion to beat it again, but faster. Really show that lava who’s boss. You. You’re the boss.
That was you, getting burned up by the lava again. The lava is the boss. Sorry.
I’ve been really enjoying Volchaos, and absolutely my favourite thing about it is the level design. It’s something that was wonderful in Hypership out of Control, too. In that game, there would be something leading you to one part of the screen before you realise that you’ve been tricked and actually all the good stuff is on the other side of the screen. Level design like that is just hilarious, and Volchaos raises its mockery of the player to new extremes. In one level, you start towards the finish and have to circle the level to get back to the end. Carefully, carefully you’ll travel and just when you think you’ve got it, you’ll jump on a spring-box towards the finish flag, get ready to enjoy a victory dance, and then smash into some spikes that you could have seen in the beginning but simply hadn’t noticed. Then you’ll laugh, because you realise how great the design is and how it totally got you.
With various enemies, moving platforms, springs, collapsing platforms and various other bits, there’s plenty of scope for the game to have you in a gibbering mess on the floor by the time you’ve finished the planned forty levels. Then you’ll do it all again.
Of course, a game like this will succeed or fail based on how it feels. If the platforming doesn’t feel spot on, it just won’t be fun to play and it certainly won’t be fun to keep improving and improving your times. Luckily, it’s great fun at the moment and it’s something that Fun Infused Games are constantly tweaking – it won’t be released until it’s perfect and rightly so.
Volchaos is still in development, and will hopefully be out in the next few months!
(I don’t even have a real-life mortgage.)