Some time ago, a draft version of a soon to be live KickStarter fund was shared to the public. The contents of the KickStarter revealed to us a new platformer game, with a small twist. Super Axe Boy, which you may have already guessed, is the name of the new game in question. Now you may be wondering, what is this crazy twist you're talking about? Something very unique about this game is that it features the typical 2D platformer game design with the player's perspective focused almost entirely on one side of the character. On top of that, the levels are entirely in 3D.
The developer behind the game, Matthias Falk, has made two other games in the past, so he has a general idea of what to do and expect. More information about him can be found in the quote below:
I am an independent game developer from Germany. Since the day I jumped my first Goomba in Mario, I have developed a deep love for video games. Over the last 2 years, I have already published two games for iOS as side projects. My 2nd game "Super Obstacle Boy" was featured in several leading mobile gaming sites and has found a small cult following among players.
I am deeply in love with games and with Super Axe Boy I want to take things a huge step forward by creating a unique platform game experience that will both remind us about the things that we have come to love about those games and that have defined our generation.
At the same time, I want to create a fresh and unique experience you have never seen before. The game's trailer is hopefully proof to you that I am fully able to achieve exactly that.
What makes older platformer games such as Mario and Mega Man so well respected, even to this day, is how they both combined simple gameplay mechanics with challenging and puzzling levels. Another good example of this would be the Indie hit Super Meat Boy. Super Axe Boy also tries to live up to this standard by doing exactly what these games did. The game decided to up the ante and try to push the boundaries between what is considered the norm in modern platformer games by introducing a shoulder/overhead view of the character, effectively creating a 3D platformer experience. They did this while keeping traditional 2D level designs relevant in the game.
Now this game definitely wouldn't work in both 2D and 3D scenarios without some creative graphics that can be used in both forms. The game lives up to this by providing us with a lot of squares, octagons and other jagged and crispy looking textures and graphics to ultimately create a look that blends 2D and 3D very well. In a more general view, the graphics are simply beautiful: the art design is very creative and the colour pallet used throughout the levels makes it so that the main focal point stays on your character. Other things like shadows and lighting seem to work astoundingly well and levels look as if they are very open while maintaining good usage of the on-screen real estate the developer has to work with. The game is also said to feature an extraordinary sound track but more details about that will be given at a later date.
Now that most of the technical goodies have been covered, let's get into the actual story behind Super Axe Boy. The general scheme of things is that you are a lumberjack conveniently named Axe Boy. Throughout your life, you have gotten through each day doing your typical lumberjack duties until Earth was invaded by Beaverians, an alien race of beavers. The beavers are trying to build an intergalactic burger franchise and enslave all of the humans to work for them or process them and use them as meat. You and your accomplice Bebob are the only people who were not abducted by the beavers and now it is up to you to stop their evil plans. Judging by what you have read up to this point, it is clear that trees and forests will be very prevalent in this game. Your trusty ax will be your weapon of choice in this epic adventure to stop the evil beavers. As seen in the trailer, the gameplay is fluid and natural. The game will also feature a few different boss fights according to the KickStarter page, which is to be expected in a platformer game. Another fun little addition to the game is the fact that there will be a ton of different movie and pop culture references in the game, because Axe Boy and Bebob just so happen to be movie aficionados. Be prepared to possibly relive some of your favorite movie scenes in a silly, cartoonish manner.
This leads us to the actual KickStarter page. The developer has stated that the game will definitely be available on PC, Mac and Linux, but that is not to say that we won't ever see this on consoles. The developer has decided to set a few "Stretch Goals", over the existing 25,000 Euro goal. These goals include adding achievements and leaderboard support, more levels, a challenge mode and more importantly, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U support. The specific amounts of money needed to accomplish any one of these goals can be found on the KickStarter page.
Along with the full list of goals, there are also a few different rewards that you can earn by donating money, listed on the KickStarter page. Some of these even include being a part of the game or getting a 3D printed figurine of Axe Boy. The game is currently scheduled to be released sometime in June of 2016 and it should start at about 15-20 Euros unless you donate a minimum of 9 Euros, in which case you will receive a copy of the finished game. A full timeline of how the game will continue to change and improve can be found below:
Closing of Kickstarter round and shipping of first rewards
November / December 2015
Contracting of freelancers for creating graphic and sound assets
December 2015 - May 2016
Game development and testing cycle / constant feedback with game community and early access players
Release of the game / shipping of all rewards
Is this game something you are excited about? Is it worth your donation? Leave your thoughts down below!