Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality
PEGBRJE: ‘Space Hole 2018’ and ‘Dead Pixels’
We’re approaching the end.
Space Hole 2018 is a visual hallucination — and massive marble puzzle game — created by Sam Atlas, a solo indie dev from the USA. Some may remember from a few days ago that there was a 2016 variant, and as some may have guessed there are more space holes created after this. However, today we are focused on the 2018 version, and what sets it apart from its predecessor.
Let’s start with the similarities; Space Hole 2018 is still has vibrant as ever and involves a spaceship in a marble traversing various marble track-like regions in space. It still utilizes that Super Monkey Ball style of movement, as players can propel the marble across the platform only to have it careen off in to nothingness because of a single wedge.
Each completed area awards players with a completion, and they continue to explore each region so that they can move to the next in a nonlinear fashion.
This is where things end, as the first major difference is that the spaceship can leave its ball. By interacting with the ball, players can remove the ship and fly around freely as they so choose. They cannot go into portals or collect space gems — more on those later — but they can find a new ball to enter if there happens to be one, or just fly around for fun.
Speaking of which, new powers just dropped as players can enter an area called the ‘LAB’ every so often to unlock new powers, like altering the shape or size of the ball. It immediately opens up the maps to even more crazy exploration ideas as suddenly the ball is no longer just restricted by its own standard shape to get around.
Those gems mentioned earlier are also present, but they are no longer rewarded simply for completing things — instead, players need to go find and collect them. This swings both ways as a great exploration incentive, while also potentially causing some mild frustrations for players that just like completing levels and vibing out. Never worry though, for there are so many levels available that it is nearly impossible to not grab a few here and there in order to advance.
Space Hole 2018 keeps up its neon attack on the senses with a great soundtrack by DL Salo that blends guitars and synthesizers to match the aesthetic perfectly. The visual effects are amped up to 11 with this project, and if you can handle that kind of stimulation this is easily a fantastic trip to go on.
Do note that you cannot play this game through the itch.io client. Due to some issues stated by the dev, the game was split in two parts, and the client doesn’t like that. Instead just download both parts from the website, get them in the same folder, and you’re off to the races.
Dead Pixels is a sidescrolling shooty-adventure created by CSR Studios, a solo indie developer. Players are transported to the distant past of 1983 to the fictional New Hexington, where a toxic waste spill has somehow infected all of the deceased and caused them to rise once again. If our unnamed protagonist wishes to remain alive, he’ll grab whatever he can and start running.
At its core, Dead Pixels is about reaching the other side of the scrolling map by cutting down hordes of the undead with whatever is available. Players have directional shooting to assist in their movements, so that they can run one way and shoot the other with ease. Throwable items are also directional for the same reason, and both gave me enough trouble at times when I would throw my grenade in the wrong direction.
My inability to survive aside, players will keep moving and gunning, picking up the brains of dead zombies to immediately make cash. This currency is useful for the shops that will occasionally show up, indicated by green arrows pointing at a door. Some buildings may look like shops, but if they are marked with a red X then they have been abandoned and cannot be entered. If the door is unblemished by red or green however, then this is just a building that can be ‘searched’ — they may contain weapons, ammunition, or valuables that can be sold.
What allows Dead Pixels to be so fun is its variety, with levels being randomized and a second person being able to join in on the fun. Different game modes also help to keep things fresh, from the story to the infinite.
However you want to approach Dead Pixels, it has the perfect amount of silliness and sidescrolling nostalgia to get anyone who loves arcade games excited. And there’s even a sequel coming!
Blink, time has moved on.
Space Hole 2018
Photosensitivity Warning: This game features many flashing lights and rapidly changing colors.Space Hole 2018 is a…