Glum Buster

By Alec Meer on April 30th, 2009 at 5:27 pm.

Ethereal indie platforming/puzzling/adventuring ahoy, in this strangely, sedately beautiful thing. It’s a game of exploration, occasionally stating necessary controls but never your objectives – those you work out for yourself. Every once in a while, it’ll throw in an elegant curveball, totally altering your abilities, your obstacles, your environments and whether or not you’re riding on the back of a giant grasshopper.

What’s it about? It’s about busting glum. And, er, flying and castles and stuff. There is perhaps something a little anodyne, a little show-for-show’s sake, about it, but it’s a dream-like and charming experience, and a testament to the astonishing amount of prettiness you can squeeze out of just a few pixels and colours.

It’s also so-called Charityware. The game’s free, but you can donate if you like it. If you do so, 51% of your payment goes the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the rest to Glum Buster’s one-man creator, Justin Leingang aka Cosmind. As the donations increase in number, the percentage of them that goes to charity increases, until it hits 99%. A lovely idea – and while no doubt most players will hit and run, hopefully it’ll earn a few banknotes for both Cosmind and Starlight. Grab the game from here – the donation link’s on that page too.

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14 Comments »

  1. Juhkystar says:

    I’ve been playing the game a bit, and it’s really quite a masterpiece. I personally enjoyed Seiklus a tad bit more than this game so far, but I think the graphics and ambience of the game is a little superior to Seiklus. The game just lacks a bit in gameplay, so although you want to see what other great art is in the game, actually playing it through can be tedious at times. Still, It’s one of the best artsy games I’ve played. Definatley worth a tryout for at least the first 10 rooms or so.
    8/10

  2. PC Monster says:

    Utterly beguiling. And waaay to much to handle when you’re as inebriated as I am. *hic*

  3. Calabi says:

    Its surreal and very good.

  4. TCM says:

    It busted my glum, that’s for sure. This is one of the reasons I am no longer depressed. >_>

  5. Ben says:

    Wonderful stuff! Loving every minute, reminds me a little of knytt – in the gentle puzzles and low stress kind of way. Just what I wanted :)

  6. Surgeon says:

    This is equal parts mental and lovely.

  7. Persus-9 says:

    I didn’t like it, it actually kind of upset me. I didn’t complete or get very far at all because it upset me when *SPOILER* the grasshopper died. It was such a nice grasshopper to let me ride it and I was so happy to be riding a giant grasshopper and then the next thing I know it’s dead and then it made do it again?! *END SPOILER* I gave up soon after that.

    Still interesting little game, it got far more of an emotional reaction out of me then ‘The Path’ did so it proved pretty good at pushing my buttons.

  8. Tei says:

    I like how the gameplay “evolve”, as soon as you advance levels. I kind of like the idea of having “map hubs” like in Braid. I like the pixel art, but unfortunally I fail to see a option to “double the pixels” to make the screen x2 or x4 the original size. The game is hard enough, easy enough. I like the thing of having your game saved, so you can continue from there (old games used to have that crappy game over, restart from level 0). I kind of like the writting, the journey feeling (and the ability to pick up ‘gear’ for yourself), I kind of like the history. I somewhat hate some of the designs of the second “world”, mostly because I was starting to love the first world. But he.. I suppose I can start loving the 2th world if I play it enough, or maybe the 3th world..

    Is a good game, thanks for it, and good luck with it!

  9. TCM says:

    There is an option to adjust the resolution. It has three ticks.

    Fullscreen/Small Center
    Windowed
    Fullscreen/Stretched

    It’s on the load screen, in the bottom right, IIRC.

  10. Dorsch says:

    This is fantastic. Sadly there arent many comments. Please keep posting about indie games like this. I just played through this and i wouldnt want to miss games like this.

  11. lobo_tuerto says:

    Just by seeing the pic and reading the description, it reminds me of Another World (Out of this World). Remember that game?

  12. MW says:

    My impression as of several stages in: This game is for kids, and for adults who aren’t good at games. It’s beautiful to look at, but to play it, you have to do quirky little chores that take up time you could be spending exploring. In seiklus, you’re almost always just exploring and it’s great. The puzzles are waaay too easy… or the action far too graceless, depending on how you look at it. If it were challenging to figure out what to do, or easy to figure out what to do but then fun to athletically do it, the game would be much better, for me. If I were still a kid, I’d probably love it. But I had Super Mario Bros. et al back then. We still have Super Mario Bros., in fact. Why not play that, instead of this? Or better yet, play seiklus, or Pikmin, or Immortal Defense, or Lugaru, or Sacrifice, or Dominions III, or Super Metroid, or any of various other fantastical and beautiful-looking games that are ALSO good puzzles or athletic challenges or strategic challenges.

    I feel badly about criticizing without finishing the game, but I really don’t have time for chores, unless they’re gonna get my dishes washed or my car refueled or the cats fed. I’m an adult who is good at games. I will play games that are for me!

  13. CD says:

    The game is hard if you set goals for yourself. Easy if you just play through. Getting glum busting combos from level 2 onward, while still managing to catch the little hat novelties is not easy at all. Doing this, you can set yourself up to go wayyyy~ beyond 275 grins. I just did a run-through with over 300 grins, and am actually going back to collect more.

    The puzzles are challenging near the end, so don’t underestimate it. You’ll be stumped at the last level if you’re not extremely perceptive.

    Besides, have you tried to tell a Dangerous Tale yet? =3

  14. Eduardo says:

    This is a very good game, but i’m stuck :( in the second door, this is a water level and thare are some clouds when you click the rigth botton in some kind of little pool with kind of shrimp haha.. I can’t go further.. that level is after the level with 5 trees.. can somebody help me..