fri 29/05/2020

PunksNotDead/DuoTasking | reviews, news & interviews

PunksNotDead/DuoTasking

PunksNotDead/DuoTasking

Indie games are often free, and all about ideas over high-end execution

'PunksNotDead': Side-scrolling violence with an anarchic aesthetic twist

The bassline starts, "1979" flashes up on screen and, over a scratchy recording, the voice intones "Walking down the street, I get punched; you're walking down the street, you get punched".

PunksNotDead's not going to hold your attention for more than a few minutes, but in those few minutes, this hyperkinetic, luridly day-glo explosion of punk attitude and violence encapsulates everything that's great about the indie games scene – it's the ideas, stupid (and they're free).

The bassline starts, "1979" flashes up on screen and, over a scratchy recording, the voice intones "Walking down the street, I get punched; you're walking down the street, you get punched".

PunksNotDead's not going to hold your attention for more than a few minutes, but in those few minutes, this hyperkinetic, luridly day-glo explosion of punk attitude and violence encapsulates everything that's great about the indie games scene – it's the ideas, stupid (and they're free).

PunksNotDead sees your stickman ambling along a street filled with fluoro-pink people, cars and lampposts, except some of those pink strollers can turn green and grab a gun at any moment – they're the cops. Why won't the filth leave you alone? So you do what any punk kid would, and start randomly smashing things.

Punch the guy next to you and he goes flying across the screen, smashing other pedestrians, cops, bullets, cars, lampposts into each other, causing anarchy – and up pop giant righteous slogans "get fucked", "eat shit" etc. – the result being, over several screens, a suitably snarling side-scrolling beat 'em up with a uniquely punk aesthetic – and it arrives with fitting timing, given the passing of post punk's greatest bogeywoman.

DuoTasking gameThe idea behind DuoTasking is carried out with less aesthetic brio – it looks like an 8-bit blocky game from the 1980s. But behind the retro graphics lie 12 free levels of brain-mangling puzzles with an utterly simple gameplay premise. You control both the vertically-sliding gun on the left of the screen and the little man hoovering up jewels – and both move in concert. If the man moves right, the laser cannon moves down and vice versa.

DuoTasking indie gameTactically, that leads to a dance where you're trying to simultaneously move the man around the level, keep him safe by using the cannon to blast enemies and blockages, and keep the cannon safe also from enemy cannons firing at it. The result, as the difficulty ramps up, is a multitasking game with finely-designed levels and puzzles that will keep you going for hours.

Both, as with many other wonderful indie games recently, are free. Both are well worth a few minutes of your time for their ideas alone.

This hyperkinetic, luridly day-glo explosion of punk attitude and violence encapsulates everything that's great about the indie games scene – it's the ideas, stupid

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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