PEGBRJE: ‘Darkest Wave’ and ‘Shadowcut’
Page 40 is coming to an end.
Darkest Wave is an arcade bullet hell by Derek ‘duckmanSD’ Adams, an indie musician and game developer. Players will put on the shades of Max Titan, pilot of the custom Ferrari fighter X-20 as he moves in to destroy a secret rebel base threatening peace with giant robots. All that’s left is to crank the tunes and watch the explosions.
In this futuristic vaporwave world, players will view everything from the top down as the Ferrari X-20 flies towards the base. Standard for shoot-em ups and bullet hells alike, players will unload bullets towards the top of the screen while dozens of enemies spawn in to destroy the car jet. Enemies destroyed have a chance of spawning an upgrade. These upgrades come in many flavours, from health to shields to speed. Weapon upgrades improve the weapon to a different style each time, going from double bullets to scatters to lasers. The bomb is the only ‘non’ upgrade, for it is collected and stored so that it can be used to wipe the board in times of crisis.
Darkest Wave does its best to bring that arcade feeling back to its players with a twist thanks to the graphical changes. The soundtrack slots in perfectly with the aesthetic. It is hard to not find yourself riding a neon ‘wave’ of sorts as you play. It may not appeal to everyone thanks to its difficulty, but those looking for nostalgia or neon challenge will love it.
I would like to point out that there are technically two versions of this game, identified as the 2017 and 2018 version. The 2017 was made with mobile in mind, able to be played on Android and go with you wherever. This does mean that this version on PC is a scaled up vertical screen, however. The 2018 version was gifted to us by duckman as the DRM free version from Steam, and is seen at the top. This is the perfect PC iteration, for it highlights information clearer, uses the space in fun ways and includes a FMV of a driver which I can’t help but love.
Shadowcut is an infinite runner experiment created by SteliosWinters, an indie developer based in the UK. Acting as a tech demo for their custom engine, this game will have players running through the forest to avoid and destroy firebolts.
Upon entering this shaded world, players will be given two buttons to press; attack and jump. Firebolts will continuously spawn from different angles on the right side. It is up to the player to decide how they wish to avoid death that comes with contact. Some will aim to simply jump over them. Others would rather slash their way through their problems. Slashed firebolts, however, give points while avoiding firebolts does not necessarily give anything. Gathering enough points will allow for new monsters to be unlocked, which have different abilities to try out. This then shakes up how players approach the game, giving them something new to try out.
While this sounds relatively vague, the goal of Shadowcut is not necessarily to be a ‘deep’ game. It was made as an experiment for the engine. SteliosWinters was able to craft an engine from the ground up, something I am uncomfortably familiar with (never again), and wanted to showcase its abilities in an easy to understand format.
Infinite runners do this easily, showcasing how tight the controls are.
If you enjoy your time in Shadowcut, I suggest seeking out the game that the engine was made for in Wolverun, an infinite runner with customization, narrative and depth. It is unfortunately not in the bundle, but if you enjoy this tech demo then you might want to look up Wolverun and see if it is for you.
Tomorrow is the software for page 40, and then we’re on break once again — this time, to create the second overview of the last twenty pages. Lots to cover and compare, so look forward to that next week.
Darkest Wave By DuckManArmy Games Darkest Wave is a retro shoot-em up done in bright colors and a unique style created…