Lets see how many times I can write the word “Incredipede”.
I have a lot of respect for indie game developers. They are the crazy people who devote all their time to making all my enjoyment in the world. I have recently delved into the the game creation universe (headfirst into the unforgiving end of computer programming(more brackets(shoot me!))) but that’s for another time. However, this new experience has given me a new view on indie developers and indie game creation in general. That view? “Yeah… I’m doing this”.
Er… Yes! So Incredipede is the first commercial game from Colin Northway (designer of flash fun puzzler Fantastic Contraption) along with the help of his wife Sarah. Whereas I have to say this isn’t the first physics puzzle game I’ve ever played by any means, its definitely the first I’ve played created entirely by a married couple. The husband/wife team output as Mr. Northway coding and Mrs. Northway taking care of all other aspects involved (menu, music, web design etc.). The idea of a game dev couple is quite warming. When the back story of a video game is given to you, it can have a certain effect on you. If you look at various indie games created by one (or two) person(s) you have more of a respect for them when you play bigger, AAA titles. From a pet project to a magnum opus, knowing where a game came from can have a strong effect on whether you play it or not. Lets move on to the real, in game story of Incredipede. The game opens to the hero of our quest, Quozzle, who is (shockingly enough) an incredipede, chillin’ with her incredipede sisters by the beach. Chillin’ takes a rather unfortunate turn however, as strange boats appear from a distant land and kidnap all Quozzle’s kin. Luckily our hero escapes to the hills which sets the first stage of the game. Its really that simple. GO SAVE YOUR FAMILY!
The Idea of Incredipede is to get Quozzle from one side of the level to the other and to do that you’re given two puzzle mechanics. The first is the ability to create limbs by pulling them out from Quozzle’s body. The second is the ability to connect muscles between the limbs and body with either a right or left direction. pressing A or D on the keyboard controls those muscle depending on the direction you have placed those muscles. The result of this is largely reminiscent of QWOP (If you’ve been living under a rock here… YOU’RE WELCOME!) whereas now you get to create a creature that you use in a QWOP like way to get to the finish line of the puzzle. The game rarely gives you limits on the possibilities of the creature that you can create so yes, you can be a ridiculous monstrous abomination as impractical as that really is.
The game takes place on 3 wonderfully drawn worlds from artist Thomas Shahan, a photographer whom Colin Northway got in touch with after seeing the art work on his site. Mr Shahan is a great choice for this kind of game. His art has a real fantasy vibe. The game has a very 12th century art look to it. It does a good job of drawing you in while still keeping you at the task at hand, trying to solve the puzzles given to you. While 3 worlds might sound quite short there are roughly 20 levels in each and in order to progress to the next world you have to collect certain items during the puzzles. You can’t just rush straight to the finish you need to collect the cherry or the headdress etc. Your game doesn’t just end after 60 levels either. There’s a level editor being used by a community of players who put their level designs up for global scrutiny. What’s that? you’re stuck on their level? Well there’s a solutions tab that has Quozzle designs created by the community to get through that level. That’s one of the wonderful things about Incredipede, the way that it creates a union of players to play each others levels and check out each others designs which really is a good portion of the fun.
The real question though is “Is it worth the money?” Well at €12 ($14.99) that’s slightly over what I would’ve expected. Not that I couldn’t part with the money, a packet of cigarettes over here is nearly a tenner and I’d rather have a game than waste it on a night out. Incredipede’s easy application and user community make it fun to come back every time. It’s very hard to to fault Incredipede other than than it’s slight expensiveness. I highly suggest trying it out before purchasing which is simple enough as a demo is provided to play on the website.
If you like it, make sure you get onto Steam through greenlight
And remember…. No abominations…They’re just impractical…. And silly!