By John Walker on September 2nd, 2009 at 8:45 am.
The latest Blurst game has been released, which is always a pleasure to say. Time Donkey, the Cursor*10-meets-platformer thing of extraordinariness is now available to play on their site, along with classics like Off-road Velociraptor Safari and Jetpack Brontosaurus, completely free. And in a new move, developers Flashbang have also created pay-for versions of Time Donkey and their previous game, Crane Wars, which can be downloaded, played fullscreen, and have extra modes, for $12 each.
Confusingly, finding the options to pay for the games is pretty tricky – I managed it by adding the word “loading” to the URLs, which isn’t perhaps going to be a common practise by viewers. Guys, you might want to make it a bit more obvious!
But anyway, Time Donkey. We’ve not had a chance to play it properly yet (they release their games after our bedtime, you see), and will bring you larger thoughts soon. However, quick impressions:
There’s much more to it than I’d imagined. Creating a platformer in a few weeks is obviously a giant challenge, but Flashbang have managed to include loads in here. You begin with one donkey, who is tasked with collecting as many tacos as he can. Find one you can’t reach, or want to activate a switch that requires help, and you just hit R to start a new donkey. A new one spawns at the same time as the previous one, and you work in tandem with your earlier go. It’s a single player multiplayer. You can repeat this as often as you wish, with dozens of donkeys dashing around, forming stacks of them, using them to bounce off (jump on the backs of two others stacked and you get a big boost), or have them fire one another across the large level to find new taco crops to gather.
Find a glowing platform and you can create a new spawn point, which means you don’t have to return to the very beginning each time, which is a splendid idea. It will also inevitably lead to enormously advanced tactics. Other tactical tricks include jumping your donkey in the air before spawning a new one – when he reaches that point again he’ll freeze there, making a handy platform.
As you’d expect from a Blurst game, there’s lots of different ways to score points other than simply collecting tacos. A vast part of the game is discovering what these are, then manipulating them to your advantage.
After a quick go, it seems pretty splendid. We’ll hopefully offer more detailed thoughts soon. And until then, here’s the trailer…