Rock And Road: Bust-N-Rush

By Adam Smith on December 13th, 2011 at 9:25 am.

Scorbs are great. You'll definitely want some scorbs.

Almost everything is procedurally generated these days. When I look in the mirror every morning, the non-Euclidean angles to which my hair terrifyingly conforms are different every time but always unhelpful, being a clear result of sloppy and overambitious coding. Bust-n-Rush’s levels are also variable but they look a lot better than the mess atop my head and they make more sense as well. It works like this: you are a large man running along a series of tunnels/tracks, dodging certain obstacles and smashing through others. If you can jump, sidestep and hold down a ‘rush’ button, you’ll be fine. Try the demo here (or on Mac), or watch a trailer below. Maybe even do both!

I think the trailer does a fairly good job of explaining the game, which is an increasingly rare state of affairs. They could have shown live action footage of a man walking through a cave with Moonlight Sonata playing in the background as water dripped mournfully yet erotically from a cluster of stalactites. You’d be moved, perhaps even brought to tears, but would you know that the game was an arcade-type jumping and dodging extravaganza set in space? Nope.

Unfortunately, the early stages of the demo do a rather less efficient job of showing what the game is all about. They are very much of the tutorial sort and this is the sort of game that starts to shine when there are lots of elements thrown into a level at the same time. The earliest levels are just about holding down a button and watching a counter go up – not exactly a great sales pitch. Persevere and you’ll soon have a better idea of what to expect from the full version though. As things become tougher, the procedural generation ensures that reflexes and a little bit of forward planning matter more than memory.

But enough! It’s a game about a man trying to retrieve a flamingo by headbutting meteors. I should have just said that in the first place. Out now, $7.99. Here are those demo links again: PC and Mac.

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16 Comments »

  1. The Infamous Woodchuck says:

    so, jumping, running, smash stuff and keep running?

    i think ill pass, thank you.

  2. BobsLawnService says:

    Sounds rather elegant in its simplicity.

  3. thekeats1999 says:

    Sounds like a 3d cananbalt. Might give it a go.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Was thinking that to, unfortunately that 3D seems stuck at a very unhelpful perspective.

    • Hodge says:

      It reminds me of some of the oddball pseudo 3D stuff that was around back in the 8/16-bit days, when there wasn’t really the horsepower to do proper 3D so they’d lock the viewpoint to a strange angle and fake it with 2D techniques.

    • thekeats1999 says:

      Wasn’t it games like zaxxon that had that awful iso psedo 3d look. At the time it looked great up till the point you flew into something that you genuinely thought you would miss.

    • Prince says:

      Isometric graphics weren’t as terrible as you lot make them sound. Do you think Head over Heels would have worked as a plain 2d game? No, me neither. And the style did allow for some truly spectacular graphics, look at Cadaver or The Immortal for example.
      This, on the other hand, looks like Metrocross (anyone remember that?) in 3d, and I couldn’t really imagine that working very well.

    • thekeats1999 says:

      I have a love hate relationship with the old iso games. In particular the likes of head over heals, alien 8 batman and so on. They had some excellent puzzles and some excellent mechanics. But they also relied too much on cheap deaths such as hidden spike pits that you had no chance of knowing (i also have a dislike for an over relience on leaps of faith and trial and error).

      Funnily enough, just my personal opinion. I have a love of school jrpg’s, but know they aren’t to everyones tastes.

    • Hodge says:

      Nah, isometric stuff is fine by me, I was thinking of stuff like this. That’s not a great example, but my frazzled memory can’t think of any others right now.

  4. tomeoftom says:

    Hrm. No, Igneous is definitely more interesting.

    • Manburger says:

      Harumph!
      …Well, actually, I think this looks ok, but man, Igneous!
      That game is great!
      Wish they’d make a longer version of it where you just keep rolling, rolling, rolling… (Also: A Mirror’s Edge in a procedural city: eternally leaping from rooftop to rooftop in a parkour-limbo)

  5. MadTinkerer says:

    Now we know why Reed really chose Ben Grimm for the mission!

  6. Urthman says:

    Trying to do precision jumping and landing with a fixed Gears of War camera perspective sounds like a recipe for frustration. Just watching the video made my head hurt.

  7. bigcess says:

    Just a heads up, I’m a developer on the game and we now have multiple camera angles implemented: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-euTwAvBkrY

    Thanks.

    - ScottWashi

    • Urthman says:

      Hey, that’s great. That actually makes a huge difference for me.

      Now that it looks like something I could possibly play, I’ll say that I like the art style on this quite a bit. The gameplay looks very, very similar to an old shareware game called Chromadrome:

      http://www.alpha72.com/Chromadrome2/chromadrome_2.htm

      Chromadrome was lots of fun. I need to at least download the Bust-N-Rush demo and give it a try. (It also looks like it might feel like a 3D version of Robot Unicorn Attack — have you considered adding an Erasure song to the soundtrack?)

      Thanks for showing up and contributing to the thread, Scott.

    • Josh W says:

      I was thinking that, that it reminded me of a cross between audiosurf and robot unicorn. That’s particularly clear if you take the behind-view approach, although I suspect I’d like to put it in the really close up gears-of-war type view for even more hybridisation!