You ever thought about introducing an entirely new mechanic to the video game universe? That’s what Jonathan Rubinger, project lead and engineer of Half Glass Games, had in mind while developing his new indie game, Chased by the Sun.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on the final build for the game just before its launch next week. And I’ll tell you what I think as soon as I’m done with this level.
. . .
Okay, phew. Jesus. Anyway, before I get to describing this new mechanic, here are some basics about the game.
Chased by the Sun is a side-scroller/platformer that puts you in a spaceship and sends you from one end of the level to the other. The catch is you’re being perpetually and angrily pursued by, you guessed it, the Sun, which is trying to consume you while destroying everything its path. Your ship itself isn’t particularly fast, but luckily, you can send your ship to different moons for a speed boost by tapping the screen in just the right place.
There’s always a moon nearby to land on to gain some ground on the Sun chasing you, but it’s not as easy as that. There are also smaller rocks orbiting around that threaten your path and will destroy you if you run into them. And here’s where the new mechanic comes in:
Every moon and black hole has its own gravitational pull. The rocks orbiting around them that can destroy are affected by that pull, but so are you. This is the mechanic that takes the game from just being a platformer to a much more creative and critical thinking process.
This means whenever you’re tapping the screen to send your ship to a different moon, you’re also being pulled by the gravity of that moon. This can change your trajectory for the better (or worse, if you’re not paying attention).
Using gravity as a tool to navigate your way through levels makes the experience that much more rewarding; Chased by the Sun consistently feels very out-of-your-league resulting in making you feel like a badass genius when completing a level. Thanks to the meticulous (and often sadistic) level design of Francois Roughol, it’s like playing Neil deGrasse Tyson’s version of Tetris.
All of this is accompanied by an awesome, dooming techno soundtrack written by Chris Wilson. He also oversaw the game’s sound effects, including the satisfying ‘clang’ of boosting your way through planets.
Chased by the Sun is addicting as hell and it knows it. One of its loading screens even warns you not to miss your stop if you’re on public transit. In addition to having a great sense of humor about itself, Chased by the Sun‘s levels are cleverly named after famous astronomers.
With no ads and quick loading times, the game runs beautifully and smoothly. Even on my slightly dated Galaxy S4, which I was worried wouldn’t be able to handle the 3D menus and graphics.
Chased by the Sun will be available on Google Play and the App Store on March 1st for a measly $1.99. Go ahead and delete Angry Birds VIX: Beaks without Borders because you won’t be playing it once Chased comes out. Especially because ABVIX: BwoB is not a real game.