Game Preview: Glitch’s Trip & Arrow Heads

Continuing the trend of previewing awesome titles that I was able to get my hands on at PAX East 2017, I’ve two more games I’d like to share with you Bros here. Without further ado, let’s hop right into the good stuff!

Glitch’s Trip (PC, http://ransackedstudios.com/games/glitchs-trip/)

This twin-stick shooter/platformer tasks the player trying to reach the end of the level while clearing enemies and obstacles using a combination of precision timing, jumping, and a unique character power. The title is reminiscent of Super Meat Boy, with level-design which grows increasingly complex which each level you clear. The aforementioned unique character power-the ability to “glitch- makes your character temporarily impervious to damage and provides a unique mechanic for players who may not have the best timing (such as this guy right here). While leveraging this mechanic wasn’t required during the tutorial levels, the team behind the title was kind enough to show NoScope and I the most difficult level they currently have in their pocket. Despite the 10 minutes of experience we spent with the title, neither one of us were able to conquer the title using our mad skillz. The (eventually) punishing level-design was immediately familiar to me, as I’ve always been a big fan of old-school titles such as Mega Man which require a potent blend of timing and character powers in order to succeed.

One of the most intriguing features of the title is the fact it will ship with a level editor. The members of the team I spoke with let me know each level we tried was built entirely using the tools contained in the level editor, and the idea is to have the title ship with a large number of levels, but then put these tools in the hands of the community. While I’m sure not every member of the community will endeavor to take the time to build levels, this feature coupled with the robust number of levels which will ship with the title makes the game infinitely replayable. The simple and precise core mechanics make the title easy to pick up yet difficult to master.

We were initially drawn to the title due to the distinct visual art-style. The bright neon color palette is striking, unique, and creates a visually dark-yet-light hearted atmosphere. The ambiance of the title is bolstered by the catchy and upbeat music, which is incredibly polished. I for one am looking forward to not only seeing how levels progress visually, but to see if the high-quality soundtrack does the same. Glitch’s Trip is a platformer with precise controls, slick, and modern visuals and tunes coupled with an old-school twin stick shooter core. It’s a title I cannot wait to spend more time with, and you should definitely put it on your watch-list.

Arrow Heads (PC,https://oddbird-studio.itch.io/arrow-heads)

Arrow Heads is a competitive PvP arena fighter where players square off against one another using only a bow and arrows. The single round we played consisted of a four player free for all, with the objective being the first player to get to 10 kills. There were no respawns in any round and players could be eliminated by either being hit by an enemy arrow or falling off the map. Once three of the competitors were defeated, the round ended, the running scoreboard shown and each player was reset. The entire process took less than 10 minutes as action moved quickly, yet never felt as if it was moving overwhelmingly fast. It was incredibly easy to keep track of both yourself and the opposition, as the maps were small yet designed incredibly well, with multiple heights and opportunities for cover.

The core mechanic of the title is combat using a bow and arrow, which shoots in an arching pattern as opposed to the straight-and-narrow trajectory most weapons in a small-arena fighter adhere to. Players can always see where their shots will land, and holding down the trigger for longer will send your shot further. However, this does not take into account height advantages, as having the high-ground is always desirable. While players can navigate the map and aim, you’re unable to aim in the vertical plane, meaning odds are unless you jump onto equal footing, you’ll most likely be unable to hit someone on higher-ground than you.  Players also have the ability to perform a quick dash to evade enemy arrows, however this dash also temporarily stuns opponents if they’re hit by it. This would undoubtedly create the opportunity for a skilled player to secure a quick elimination, however as myself and my opponents were new to the title, this led primarily to multiple missed shots. Still, I’d be interested to see if this mechanic gets altered at all, as I can foresee it becoming similar to throws in the For Honor lexicon-annoying and something all players loathe. Power-ups are scattered throughout the map, providing buffs such as armor (allowing you to absorb a second shot) or flaming arrows.

Arrow Heads is unique arena-fighter that’s easy to pick up and provides a unique experience from similar titles. The action moves quickly but is easy to track and feels perfectly balanced. Provided the title contains a large variety of maps, game modes and power-ups, I view this as a title which is a unique party game which can be shared and enjoyed by gamers of all skill-levels, although as with any title, I’d assume the most L337 of players would absolutely wreck all n00bs. This game is different in a very good way, and both NoScope and I are incredibly excited to spend more time with it. It’s not often we’re on the same page when it comes to games and this should definitely be on your radar. Until next time, Bros!

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