The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘Nano Driller’ and ‘Gunbuds’

Welcome to the 40s. No midlife crisis allowed.

I know that shape!

Nano Driller is a kinetic puzzle game crafted by Will Bowerman, a solo indie dev based out of the United States. Acting as a follow-up to his previous game Cell Driller, players will pilot a ship trying to find the end of a maze of shapes and walls, all through the power of momentum and motion.

As this ship, players will search for the end goal through a maze of rooms and corridors, using their thrusters in order to move. Depending on the style of movement one uses, players will decide on how they wish to alter their trajectory and strafing ability. One will allow for players to strafe at all times, requiring the use of the thruster to change directions, allowing for fluid movements but makes turning a bit more tedious. The other allows for the directional buttons to alter the ship’s direction rather than strafe, while pressing a button to strafe. Both are fine ways of getting through the game. There are advantages to both, and the tutorial highlights these while letting the player practice both and decide.

The player will collect shapes to break through barriers that block passage to new areas. These shapes come in many… well, shapes, and require using the ship’s capabilities of thrusting and collecting bombs. These bombs are in the shape of black circles, found in specific holders. Upon grabbing one, the next thrust will fire the bomb instead of moving the ship. The bombs can destroy orange walls that cannot be passed through otherwise. If this bomb has multiple dots on it, those indicate the amount of thrusts the player can use before the next thrust shoots the bomb instead.

All this leads to Nano Driller forcing players to look for ways to move without movement, so to speak — and this is just the first mechanic introduced. There is ‘water’ that destroys the ship if it becomes stationary, and even enemies to destroy.

Nano Driller is not a long game at all. It takes under an hour to complete depending on your ability to pick up the mechanics and familiarity with puzzles. However, it condenses everything that it wants to do within this time frame, opting to avoid drawing the puzzles out and instead just letting you get the most out of your time.

Bear Head.

Gunbuds is a 2D run-and-gun multiplayer shooter by Scott LaGrasta, a solo developer. Players will join the Gunbuds initiative, an elite core of soldiers able to travel to various strange lands and fight off all kinds of evil thanks to their adaptability and (probable) immortality. Oh, and their massive amounts of bullets.

Joining in to a game of Gunbuds will have players falling from the sky while getting their objective from a mysterious voice. Once they’ve landed, players will get right to work performing the task, be that recovering an important item, sabotaging a building or just killing everyone in the stage. The gun given has an infinite number of bullets, but not an infinite magazine. Reloading will be required, which takes a bit of time. Some enemies will drop items a player can pick up, with various effects depending on the item; it would be a bit lengthy to list, so imagine what a bear head might be capable of.

The joy that Gunbuds brings is in its co-operative/competitive gameplay, running around with your friends shooting things together while trying to ‘beat’ the other person and collecting the most cash. It’s similar to Gauntlet and other multiplayer arcade games in this sense. Once you finish the campaign within the hour, you can enter an exploratory mode. This lets you return to previous levels that have been rearranged, giving you something else to hunt and shoot for.

If you love multiplayer games that allow for nonsense and whimsy, and a killer soundtrack on top, this might be the game you’ve been hunting for.

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Jacob Vorstenbosch

Jacob Vorstenbosch

Just a Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.