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.
Endless Forms Most Beautiful (EFMB)
EFMB, the 2012 title by Locomalito, is actually a remake of a British plaformer called 2010, a Philatelists Odyssey, created by Dave Hughes in 2010 for the ZX Spectrum as part of the comp.sys.sinclair Crap Game Competition.
It’s kinda difficult to explain the gameplay of EFMB—”jump up and down platforms collecting stuff” doesn’t do it justice—so watch the video above to get an idea of what it’s all about. But, suffice to say, it’s simple old-school gaming that feels very much like a classic Spectrum title should, which is easy to pick up and play, challenging, fast-paced, and arcadey fun.
If you know your classics then you’ll instantly guess the games/franchise that influenced the 2012 game, Maldita Castilla:
Yes, it’s Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (G’nG). There’s also a couple of other influences in there but those are the big one(s).
This action platformer could have come straight out of Capcom’s offices in the ’80s-’90s and genuinely looks and feels almost like a spiritual sequel or side quest to the G’nG games. I’d say this in one of Locomalito’s stand out titles and one of his more ambitious and fully fleshed out games to date too. There’s amazing sprite art throughout the game, a really high quality of presentation in general, a great soundtrack, impressive boss battles, and really fun and challenging platforming gameplay. It’s basically arcade quality stuff going on here.
In fact, this game is so much like a genuine arcade game from the ’80s-’90s, it’s even got its own official arcade cabinet artwork and has been put into a full sized arcade cabinet too:
How cool is that!
Unlike its forbearer Verminest, the 2013 game, Verminian Trap, doesn’t include the option to play in 3D using anaglyph glasses, but it’s still a fun arcade-style game in its own right without the cool 3D gimmick.
Think of playing Pac-Man but with the ability to shoot the ghosts (Edit: Or, just think Wizard of Wor), and you have a general idea of what this game is about. Things start of pretty easy, with a few spider enemies attacking you in the first wave (the goal is to simply clear as many waves of enemies as you can for the high score). But the game picks up quickly, and before you know it you’ll be running around the maze shooting at tens of scuttling spider and bug-like enemies, some of whom can even spin webs to slow down your progress. There’s also the neat option to play with up to three of your friends, either cooperatively or competitively, which gives the game a fun party vibe.
Created in 2013, Gaurodan is a game where you play as basically one of the enemies from a Godzilla movie. Or it’s what you imagine it would be like inhabiting the bodies of one of those giant monsters.
And the game plays out much as you’d expect, with you laying waste to entire cities while the tiny humans throw everything they’ve got at you to try and stop your destructive rampage. It’s a very simple looking game that visually could have come from the early arcades, but those looks hide a rather quirky and challenging control/gameplay mechanic: Playing as Gaurodan, you can’t stop flying, so you have to constantly be alert to your position onscreen and try to maintain some level of control of the flying beast, while also firing either at targets on ground or in the air via the two shooting options available to you. It’s a classic case of easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. There’s also a few kaiju sized monsters you’ll have to go up against too, just to keep things interesting.
The Curse of Issyos
The latest game from Locomalito, The Curse of Issyos, is already destined to be another beloved title in his growing library of genuinely awesome games. It’s influences are clear to see: Old hack ‘n’ slash platform games such as Rastan and Rygar, with a heavy dose of classic fantasy movies like Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts thrown in for good measure.
You play as Defkalion, as simple fisherman turned hero, who must fight his way through 7 levels of classic enemies from Greek mythology in order to save his daughter and protect the isle of Issyos from the curse of the Gods.
Imagine booting up your NES and going on an wondrous adventure filled with mythos and danger, seeing these beautifully drawn and well animated sprites, appreciating the vibrant and colourful backgrounds filled with great attention to detail (and some parallax too), and listening to a bunch of great tunes that match the action perfectly. And it’s all supported by a simple but satisfying story/motivation, tight controls, genuinely fun gameplay, and great level design.
It’s just one more brilliant, retro-style, Locomalito game to make you feel like a kid again. 😀
Locomalito has also created a bunch of fun mini-games too. You can find out more about these games at www.locomalito.com but I’d like to make special mention of one of them in particular, Gort Ultimatum, created in 2014.
This original game is based on the classic sci-fi movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and what I like about it in particular is the unique way you play it: You have to repeatedly type the words “Klaatu Barada Nikto” (a very important phrase from the movie) as fast as you can in order to prevent Gort from wiping out all the humans. There’s a few other games out there that use a similar typing gameplay hook, The Typing of the Dead being one of the better known examples, and it’s such a simple but brilliant concept that is just really fun in practice. Improving your typing skills while playing a videogame can only be a good thing.
That’s the end of my piece on Locomalito’s games. I hope you had fun reading through the list. If you want to find out more about any of the games, all of Locomalito’s titles are available to download and play for FREE from his website www.locomalito.com. I’d highly recommend giving all of them a go, as you’re likely to find a few personal gems in there.
Thanks for visiting, and come again soon. 😀