Freeware indie developer, Locomalito, just announced the release of his latest game, The Curse of Issyos, which makes this the perfect time to post a wee article covering all the great games he’s released in the last few years.
The first game on the list is the 2008 title, 8bit Killer, which is a first person shooter in the vain of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom.
Graphically, 8bit Killer uses old NES-style sprite/pixel art for its characters, who run around in similarly simple old-school “3D” levels that are also textured to look like classic NES graphics, which is a genuinely lovely look overall and it also ensures the game runs buttery smooth on basically any computer. 8bit Killer is a cool, vibrant, and fun fps game, and I honestly had as much fun playing it a year or two ago as I’ve had with any fps game in recent times. I think its pure simplicity is part of that appeal. Not having to worry about actions such as looking up and down, crouching, jumping, or reloading, all help streamline and focus the gameplay on solid controls, cool enemies, the moment to moment shooting, and simple but fun level design.
l’Abbaye des Morts
The next title, l’Abbaye des Morts, is a 2010 release created in the style of classic Spectrum platformers like Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy. It also takes some cues from real life, being inspired by the tragic history of the 13th century Cathars.
l’Abbaye des Morts is a short and simple adventure/platform game with an air of sombreness throughout the experience (despite its simple, almost cute graphics). This is partly due to the dark subject matter and religious undertones, and is further highlighted by the minimal blips and bleeps used for the sound FX, along with the eerie, almost scratchy sounding, retro music. It’s considered a bit of a cult favourite among the fans of Locomalito’s work.
The third game on the list is Hydorah, a classic side scrolling shoot ’em up in the vain of Gradius and R-Type.
This 2010 title easily sits up there with best 2D shumps of the 16-bit era and feels like it could have actually released on the Genesis/Mega Drive or Super Nintendo. It features all the staples you’d expect from the genre such as loads of bullets and enemies attacking you onscreen, cool weapons and power ups, and some sweet screen-sized bosses to kick your ass. Hydora is a pretty hard game but as is often the case with these types of games, there’s a genuine feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when you finally get past that difficult section of a level or a particularly challenging boss on your tenth attempt.
Viriax, released in 2011, is our next game. If you’ve seen classic sci-fi movies like Inner Space and Fantastic Voyage then you might begin to have an idea of what this original and quirky title is all about. Although, it flips the standard miniaturised humans inside the body formula on its head somewhat.
There’s a real modern-day indie vibe to Viriax with its very cool, almost Virtual Boy-style red and black visual presentation in some of the levels (although other levels change-up the colours a bit). The gameplay doesn’t fit into your traditional genres so it’s difficult to explain and understand fully without playing it firsthand, but it involves you controlling a virus infecting a human host, bouncing up through their body until you reach and infect the main organ at the top of each level, while also avoiding any of the bodies natural and artificially implanted defence systems on the way. With its portrait format, simple controls, andfive-minute-burst gameplay, Viriax is also the kind of game that would feel perfectly at home on modern touchscreen smartphones (although it’s currently only available on PC).
Game five on the list is Verminest/Verminest 83 (it comes in two versions, black & white and colour). This 2012 game is heavily influenced by early arcade shooters like Galaga, Space Invaders, and Galaxian, with a bit of Centipede thrown in for good measure.
Gameplay wise, Verminest/Verminest 83 is standard arcade shoot ’em up affair, with waves of alien enemies swarming and attacking your lone spaceship as you shoot away at the space vermin until you clear each wave and reach the bug-like boss at the end of the level. But as with all of Locomalito’s games, it’s a lot of fun to play.
And a really neat feature of Verminest is that you can actually play it in 3D using those old green and red anaglyph glasses that people used to wear to watch 3D movies back the old days. In 3D mode the graphics are only shown in black and white but the overall retro look and feel really works here to give the game a unique old-school charm and appeal.
Well, that’s that end of Part 1. I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of great games from Locomalito, and if you have then keep your eyes peeled and gaming fingers ready because Part 2 is coming soon. 😀