PROTO HYPE

Six of the most promis­ing stu­dent games at this year’s Dare Proto Play

EDGE - - KNOWLEDGE -

SUN­DOWN MILD BEAST GAMES

Like last year’s high-con­trast arena sneaker Cham­bara, Sun­down’s game­play is built around ob­scured vi­sion. But rather than blend into the back­ground, the four play­ers in this top-down shooter are cov­ered by dark­ness, re­vealed only when fir­ing or near a light source. If you lose track of your­self you can hold down a but­ton to re­veal your po­si­tion, but that will also alert your op­po­nents.

ECTO PLAZA YEAH YEAH GAMES

Com­pet­i­tive four­player brawler Ec­to­plaza is based on a charge­able fling move that cat­a­pults you around the level. The goal is to col­lect ec­to­plasm, steal­ing it from oth­ers by knock­ing it out of them and then gath­er­ing up as much as pos­si­ble. There’s no dou­ble jump, your sec­ond press ini­ti­at­ing a ground slam, which takes get­ting used to, but do so and the re­sult’s ri­otous.

STEAL EV­ERY­THING GREEN BEAN CON­SPIR­ACY

Steal Ev­ery­thing is an asym­met­ric five­player tus­sle in which a team of four must at­tempt to lift as many valu­ables as pos­si­ble from a mu­seum while a fifth at­tempts to stop them us­ing se­cu­rity cam­eras, drones and traps. While the thieves are work­ing to­gether, there needn’t be any hon­our among them; it’s pos­si­ble to steal from each other, set­ting in mo­tion at­ten­tion-sap­ping scuf­fles.

PATHOS PATHOS STU­DIOS

Pathos is a beau­ti­ful iso­met­ric puz­zle ad­ven­ture that was inspired by foster care. De­signed for tablets and mo­bile de­vices, it puts you in con­trol of a young boy ex­plor­ing an eerie fan­tasy world and solv­ing sim­ple en­vi­ron­men­tal puzzles along the way. There’s also a mir­rored ver­sion of the world (ac­cessed by in­vert­ing your de­vice) that lets you move through oth­er­wise off-lim­its ar­eas.

A DANCE OF FIRE AND ICE 7TH BEAT GAMES

It’s a rare game that of­fers a fresh spin on rhythm-ac­tion, but 7th Beat’s drum­ming game is one of them. Two dots or­bit each other, mov­ing along a path­way made of blocks. A straight line re­sults in a steady beat, but new ori­en­ta­tions shake up the rhythm. A right-an­gled turn, for in­stance, re­quires a but­ton press on the half-beat, and fail­ure dumps you back at the start.

IM­PULSE REVO­LU­TION MAN­DLE BAR GAMES

This gen­er­ous suite of com­pet­i­tive minigames is mor­eish, and will be out by the time you read this. Inspired by the move­ments of air hockey pucks, play­ers boost their avatar around race tracks, in vir­tual sumo rings, and through weapon-filled are­nas. The num­ber of twists on the cen­tral me­chanic is sur­pris­ing, each one mak­ing putting the con­troller down more dif­fi­cult.

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