Greenlight Special: Boss Wave and Edge of Space

Lindsay looks at Boss Wave and Edge of Space in this week's Greenlight Special.

Hello trusty readers! I have returned and we are back to our regularly scheduled programming. Onwards! This week, I decided to loop back around to some of the games ZAM checked out while at PAX East this year. The Indie MegaBooth had so much crammed into it, and we barely scratched the surface. We managed to compile a video of 30 developers into an Indie Megabooth Megamix video, which you can check out here. Edge of Space is featured at 6:34. It’s got a shark.

Boss Wave is our Greenlighted Game of the week. Pachow Studios brings us this action shooter platformer with a retro-arcade style, but definitely modern mechanics. So, these 2 guys from Aliso Viejo, CA (near my hometown of Mission Viejo; south county represent!) tried to get a Kickstarter going, and while they didn’t make their goal, Valve came in and saved the day. They *just* got Greenlighted and I’m so glad they did. As a dancer, I appreciate the concept of this game solely for this line alone: “...where everything is synchronized to a high-energy soundtrack.” The trailer is exciting, because it’s like dancing video games and I’m a weirdo and love to choreograph my moves in-game and IRL to music, but not a la Just Dance 2014. Sometimes I enjoy that, too.  

So, surprise surprise, this game won points because of the art style and mechanics. Arena shooters are way fun, and they happen to be the only kind of shooter I can play decently. I can take aim and murder things when I can see where the bad guys are. I kinda fell in love with these guys reading their Key Features, of which 30+ insane guns and even more stuff they haven’t even thought of yet are included. However, what makes me eager for this game to finish is the musicality. And I’m seeing more of the music-making video games, like Disney’s Fantasia, but this game puts more emphasis on the action, rather than the creation of music. Just Shapes and Beats, another Indie game we interviewed at PAX East, has similar mechanics. I love gauntlets and having a count-down death timer is challenging in a great way, and while there’s no guarantee for executing these mechanics in a way that has replay value, I always hope they turn out well.

For two guys doing it on their own, they’ve persevered and hope to show the fruits of their labor sometime in early 2016. You can check out their Steam page here. Hopefully, we’ll run into them at a future PAX.

Edge of Space by Handyman Studios, is a 2D survival sandbox game. Or, as CEO Jacob Crane put it: if Terraria and Metroid had a baby. A glorious space baby with a “SCIENCE” button which is one of the best parts in this game. I gleefully pressed that button every time I scienced and made a thing from mud and clay. While I played Edge of Space for what seemed like 15 minutes (but was only three hours) I felt like I needed more time to fully appreciate the depth found in this game. There’s not only loads to craft, but the item list is extensive and you can unlock additional features the more you craft.

Data items in the game can be constructed from nearly any raw material you collect while exploring and mining. There’s Research Data, which is a consumable item, and those come in all kinds of varieties that will give you stat bonuses, which then lead to opening up new items to craft. The Navigational Data allows you to travel to dungeons, where you can fight bosses, obviously, like Dubstep Penguin. I want him to die already. Bosses grant resources, resources open up new craftable items and so on and so forth.

Like I said: the item list is extensive. I haven’t even touched on the Power System, although I know it’s there and I will get to it. Eventually. But the tl;dr of that system is that you get powered gates and switches, with a generator that gets energy from the environment. You have to go down a rather lengthy crafting tree to get to this point, and in my increasingly obvious cursory exploration, I did not come close to getting anything resembling a powered door. I did build a fort, though. Take that, space jellies. Jerks.

What I love about this game is that it makes crafting somewhat of a joy in the simplicity of it. Raw materials of any kind count towards building basic items. That’s a wonderful take on the crafting mechanic because while I still felt challenged to get to the deeper layers, I wasn’t put out by lacking anything to make an Arclight Gun. And that item is very useful for exploring caves.

Handyman Studios has extensive experience in making games, which sets this game apart from other indies; there’s something robust about the system that makes it enjoyable and challenging, with that certain je ne sais quoi while still being a fresh indie game. The game is still in development, but you can buy Early Access in their beta on their Steam Store here. You can also check out their website, which has a ton of info.

If you have any suggestions on which games I should review for the Greenlight Special, feel free to contact me via Twitter @lindsaygeektr0n. I also stream these games every Tuesday on my Twitch channel. Come on by and check out new stuff.

 Lindsay “amoril” Geektron, Brand Ambassador


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