When the visually stunning platformer Viking Mushroom went silent after its initial unveiling back in the summer of 2015, nobody was more excited than I was to see it resurrected under a brand new name last month. That new name is Oddmar, and it really looked like the few years of silence were put to good use polishing up the experience. Oddmar is a free movement platformer starring a viking of the same name who is out to protect the world from a bad guy with a humongous nose. Or something like that. It’s from some of the folks who are responsible for Leo’s Fortune [$ 4.99], one of the best platformers on mobile, so you know Oddmar is worth getting excited about. We were able to go hands-on with Oddmar during GDC a couple of weeks back, and were really impressed with what we saw. Here’s the official trailer again in case you missed it before.
Pretty crazy, yeah? Ever since seeing that new trailer, I’ve been dying to know when I’d be able to get my hands on the official release version of Oddmar. Well, now we know. The game is set to launch on April 19th for $ 4.99, and it’s up for pre-order on the App Store right now. Just click on this link on an iOS 11 device and you’ll be taken to the App Store page for Oddmar where you’ll purchase the game and, when it launches, you’ll get a notification on your device that it’s out and the game itself will automatically download to your phone or tablet. It’s like buying stuff in the future. So if you’ve been excited for Oddmar too, whether it be from its recent re-introduction or from back when it was known as Viking Mushroom, I think it’s pretty safe to go ahead an pre-order this sucker and look forward to playing it nonstop once April 19th rolls around.
During GDC 2018 this week we got something of a blast from the past as we checked out Shift Quantum from Fishing Cactus, which is set to be published by Red Panda on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. The origins of the game date back to over a decade ago with the original Shift Flash game, which you can still play today. The main hook is that each level is made up of black areas and white areas, and pressing the shift key would switch which area would be the “active” one. So say the ground was black and the sky was white, hitting the shift key would flip things so the white would become the ground and the black become the sky. This is used to solve various puzzle platforming levels, and that original Shift even made its way to iPhone way back in 2009 and was a perfect fit for the touchscreen. Shift Quantum takes that defining shifting mechanic and builds it out with new levels, a fantastic new art style, a compelling narrative, and even a fully featured level editor. While sadly a mobile version of Shift Quantum isn’t in the cards, it’s at least coming to the Nintendo Switch as well as the other major consoles and PC, so check out our hands-on time with the Switch version below and look for a launch in the next coming months.
I absolutely love quirky game ideas and platforming games, so Spitkiss: Love Eternal from Danish developer Triple Topping Games is right up my alley. From their own description, “Spitkiss is a trippy story of boundless love, told through precision platforming. You play as the couple Y27 and B4, sending messages of love and hope back and forth the only way you can: precisely navigating spit through platforming stages.” That’s right boys and girls, these two are demonstrating love by spitting at each other. Neat! What’s really cool about Spitkiss is its one-thumb controls that allow you to fling your character’s spit around each level. With some very well done comic book-style cutscenes telling this strange story, Spitkiss seems like it has a lot of potential to be a winner. Triple Topping is shooting for a release in May which will have 80 levels to play through, and then in August they hope to release a level editor so you can create an infinite number of your own levels.
If dog years are the equivalent of seven human years, I can’t even begin to comprehend how long App Store years are. It feels like we get a month’s worth of game announcements and releases practically every week, and while this is great for anyone starved of things to do, it also means many brilliant concepts and ideas get buried under the sheer volume of news. If we go back all the way to 2015, Viking Mushroom was one such game that really generated a lot of excitement and anticipation from our community – the beautifully animated cartoon graphics looked like you were playing a cartoon, and some tight platforming action made the overall package from developer MobGe a particularly enticing prospect. However, Viking Mushroom soon missed its 2016 release date, and news was relatively sparse on this promising upcoming platformer. It may have taken a while, but we finally have our update. Viking Mushroom has been reborn as a brand new game as Oddmar, and while it retains the abundant charm of its source material, it’s evident from the preview trailer that the game has come a long way over the past few years.
After the beautifully drawn and entirely over-the-top animated intro to Oddmar, the actual gameplay footage manages to keep this whimsical design and put it through a number of dramatically different environments. From dimly lit dungeons with ominous dark monsters flowing with blood, to grandiose environments with two huge goddesses in the horizon, Oddmar completely embraces its viking theme in every aspect of its design. The platforming action looks varied, from your typical obstacle-dodging action to more nuanced escapades on the back of beasts and other vehicles, and it’s clear the development time has allowed Oddmar to fully integrate its eclectic influences to the max. In terms of art style, Oddmar is a serious contender for one of the best looking games currently on iOS, and it’s encouraging to see the promise of Viking Mushroom translate perfectly to the 2018 App Store.
Considering the developer’s pedigree – which includes working on the equally pretty Leo’s Fortune [$ 2.99] – Oddmar is an incredibly safe bet for platforming and adventure fans alike. With a tentative Spring 2018 date, hopefully we finally see Oddmar reach the smaller screen sooner rather than later. Until then, let us know your impressions on our Oddmar forum thread, and with our Discord community on the official TouchArcade server.
It’s been 25 years since id Software first released its iconic first-person-shooter Doom, and I still can’t get enough of the dark, demon-filled universe the company’s dream team created. No wonder I’m so taken by Studio Calavera’s gorgeous 2D take on the classic, which features beautiful pixel art, a hot new soundtrack, and challenging retro platformer gameplay. Developed by a tiny team of three, MiniDoom 2 is a remake of the unofficial 2D game that brothers Felipe and Juan Carlos Porcel made a couple of years ago as part of a game programming course they taught. This version fleshes out…
Developers have been trying to crack the platformer nut on mobile touchscreens for years now. There are plenty of fantastic platformers that go the traditional route with virtual buttons and for many people that works just fine. Some people just can’t get on with virtual controls though, and so we’ve also seen plenty of great platformers that utilize one or two button controls but with a character that auto-runs. That’s fine too, and is certainly more accessible, but you lose a lot of the pizazz of a platforming game that has full movement. Recently, two developers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. Digital Melody is bringing out a unique one-touch platformer with full movement called Runventurenext week, and solo indie developer Bony Yousuf is trying his hand at it with a game called Almost There. Check out the trailer.
As you can see in the trailer, Almost There crams a lot of functionality into that one-thumb swipe bar control setup. You can jump, long jump, wall jump, wall slide, and move left or right all using that simple control scheme. It’s a pretty cool idea on paper and I’m very curious to see how well it actually works in practice. Compared to the aforementioned Runventure, Almost There looks much more hardcore along the lines of something like Super Meat Boy, which is hard to imagine working well with just one thumb controls. I’d be happy to be proven wrong though! If you’re interested in trying this one out yourself, Yousuf is looking for beta testers in our forums so swing on by and check out the info you need to sign up for testing. Almost There is shooting for release sometime around May so look for it in the coming months.
During PAX West this past September, we met up with the folks from Timberman [Free] developer Digital Melody as they showed us at least half a dozen new mobile games that they had in the works. One that stuck out as especially clever to me was Runventure, which looked to create a serious one-button platformer but not of the auto-running variety. The way they’re trying to accomplish this is with a slider at the bottom of the screen which you’ll use to make your character run right or left. The further you push in either direction the faster he’ll run, but also as you’re pushing in either direction a guide line arcs out from your character which indicates how long and high he’ll jump if you let go of the screen. It’s tricky to wrap your head around, but even with a few minutes of practice it started to click with me when we played that early version of Runventure at PAX. Well I’m happy to report that Runventure is ready to see the light of day on March 15th, and Digital Melody has put together a new launch trailer showing off all the features of the game.
The one-button platformer has been something of a white whale on mobile, as games like Super Mario Run [Free] and Leap Day [Free] absolutely nail a great one-button platforming experience but at the expense of free movement and other concessions that make the whole thing work. I like auto-runners just fine, but I like them in addition to more typical free movement platformers, and not as a replacement. So to see a developer trying to create a free movement platformer but still utilize one-button mechanics is really interesting to me just from a design perspective. It’s been several months since I was able to try out that early version of Runventure, but even then it worked quite well so I’m anxious to see how the final product stacks up. As mentioned Runventure will be released on March 15th, and if you click this link from an iOS 11 device you can pre-order the game right now and it’ll just auto-download to your device when it’s available.
Crescent Moon Games is going to publish the Android-exclusive platformer Reed by PXLink on iOS later this year, and it’s going to have iOS gamers wondering what else on Android they’re missing out on. The game’s a bit similar in theme to Cat Bird [Free], though I only bring this title up as a reference, since Reed pre-dates the game. In each level, you have to collect a large floating cube in order to unlock the exit, while trying to survive spikes, dart shooters, breakaway platforms, and wandering enemies. The game does promise some tricky platforming sections, and your only real tool is a double jump, but the game boasts quick restarts so you can get right back in the action after you die.
Reed‘s pixel art is quite impressive. The game has somewhat of a low-resolution, blocky look with thick outlines, but the art still appears incredibly detailed. The game does look like it’s behind an Instagram filter the entire time with the color usage, but it gives the game a different look from the similar Cat Bird. The animation in particular is impressive. The developer put a lot of time and work into making the cube that players have to collect in each level the most impressive object in the game. The cube looks and feels important, and satisfying to collect.
Reed is a fun and challenging platformer, great for pick-up-and-play sessions, or for sitting down and trying to tackle a bunch of platforming challenges for a couple hours. And it comes in at the criminally low price of $ 0.99. Reed should garner attention from Apple and the iOS gaming community, so why wasn’t it on iOS already? Well, apparently the developer only had Android and PC, which made it difficult to release for iOS, since that requires a Mac specifically. And if a developer is making games primarily for the love and not necessarily as a business, well, maybe buying a Mac to release on iOS isn’t the highest priority. Also consider that a game might easily not make its costs for porting and hardware back if it doesn’t gain any traction!
What this means is that Android has plenty of hidden gems to find, as the sheer number of developers that might not have Macs and just want to release a mobile game for fun is incredibly high. Reed shows that some of these titles have the kind of quality that makes them well worth your time and money. If you have an Android device, you can play the game right now for only $ 0.99. If you don’t have an Android, keep an eye out for the Crescent Moon-published iOS release later this year, and check out the thread in the TouchArcade Upcoming Games forum for more details.
The developer Nerf-Game has finally released its challenging 2D auto-running platformer Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers on the Google Play Store. It has been two years since the original iOS release, and in that time it has changed from a premium game to a free-to-play title. Despite the shift in monetization the challenging gameplay and goofy story are just as great as ever.
If you have never heard of Lost Socks: Naughty Brothers before then you are in for a treat.
Slime Pizza  is a new game coming from Neutronized and Nitrome. Nitrome already brought us some great games like Tower Fortress recently and 2018 is beginning with some Slime Pizza. You play as a delivery boy for Slime Pizza and your ship has crash landed with all the pizzas missing. The video teaser shows off some physics that look familiar to what I’ve seen in LocoRoco and the likes.
Slime Pizza looks to have loads of uniquely themed levels and secrets. The aim is of course to make sure pizzas are delivered to customers on time or they get their money back. One thing I most definitely grateful for here is the lovely icon. It is very elegant despite oozing literal slime.
You can pre-order Slime Pizza  right now for free on the App Store. It is scheduled to release on January 24th. It is free to play and will have ads but you can remove the ads with a one time in app purchase.