Harold

By John Walker on August 28th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Today is definitely the day for excellent game names. Not only do we have The Rise Of Fatty Sparkles, but we also have Harold. Harold, as you’ll already have assumed, is a “platformer racing puzzle game”, from first-time devs Moon Spider Studios. It’s a 2D side-scrolling game, and it looks very pretty indeed. And oh good grief so weird.

Well, take a look:

Again, like Fatty Sparkles, Harold comes from a recently formed indie studio with a bunch of development vets, this time from EA, Ignition, Dreamworks and even Studio Ghibli. Here you play a guardian angel who must guide Harold through obstacle courses, by manipulating the environment such that the incompetent runner might stand a chance of winning. As well as sabotaging the chances of other racers – you know, how angels are wont to.

It’s due to arrive on PC in 2013, but they’re not being more specific. Although if you’re heading to PAX, you can take a look at it there.

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24 Comments »

  1. caddyB says:

    The style reminds me of the excellent Hercules game.

    Also lovely music.

  2. Eophasmus says:

    The animations and overall style are quite reminiscent of Asterix, specifically this combined with this.

    It looks amusing, but probably very trial-and-error heavy. A lot of the traps, etc seem to appear quite suddenly.

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      golem09 says:

      Now I wonder how many American readers know Asterix…
      I mean it’s old, and… french.
      And there was no remake.

      • Creeping Death says:

        There was that live action one… what, back in the early 00s?

      • Eophasmus says:

        I think all of the animated films are dubbed in British English and a couple have been re-done in American English. Not sure about the live action films, but they’re more likely to have Michael Bay-esque ‘WHIZZ! BANG!’ at least.

        I suppose Disney’s Hercules is probably a more widely known equivalent, as caddyB mentions, though it’s hardly comparable in my opinion.

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        thesundaybest says:

        Canadian now living in London – very aware of Asterix. Most libraries, at least in Canada, would have complete sets.

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        Vesuvius says:

        American here- the Asterix and Tintin comics were both much loved staples of my childhood in the 80s. Like thesundaybest, I got them from the library- as many as I could take out at once!

      • The Random One says:

        I’m Brazilian and even my small town library has a mostly complete collection. Well, unless you think a complete collection needs to include Uderzo’s solo work, in which case there is no hope for you.

        Also, you made me think of how a gritty reboot of Asterix would go. It would essentially be Inglorious Basterds in the Roman empire. I’m seeing Gerald Butler as Asterix, Ian McKellen as Getafix, Johnny Depp as Cacofonix and Nicolas Cage as the new villain Caligula. (Obelix and Idefix are made through CGI, naturally.)

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Well I know Asterix because I lived in London for six years, but I guess that doesn’t count.

        Man, I miss real fish and chips…

  3. asshibbitty says:

    They got that Ghibli “I can’t believe it’s 3D” look down.

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    RaveTurned says:

    “Not only do we have The Rise Of Fatty Sparkles…”

    Uh yeah, about that. I have an item for this on my RSS reader, but clicking on it sends me to a 404 page and the article doesn’t appear on the front page either. Anyone else getting this?

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      LTK says:

      Yeah, the article apparently got lost in time, but you can still read about the game on their website.

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        Lambchops says:

        I was also going to point this out, I was beginning to wonder if one of John’s fevered imaginings had somehow made it’s way out in RSS format!

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          RaveTurned says:

          The article seems to have appeared now. RSS link now works, although it is out of sequence compared to the website. Eh, no big deal.

  5. Derppy says:

    Looks great, except for the physics and character movement.

    I think 2D platformers feel just plain bad if the characters don’t have a proper sense of weight and acceleration to them, but instead “float” while they jump and move around.

    When the developers get it right (e.g. Super Meat Boy) the sense of control is perfect and you become one with the character, accurately translating your thoughts to precise and satisfying movement on the screen. If it’s wrong, you feel like poking a fish with a stick in the moon.

    I’m probably a minority, but when things feel too light in games (don’t accelerate quick enough), it annoys the hell out of me. Even the objects in Trine 1/2 did this to some extent.

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      Jackablade says:

      Generally I’d agree, but given you’ve not actually controlling the character directly here, it’d be a far lesser concern than in something like Meatboy where you really need that ultra fine degree of control.

    • The Random One says:

      I know you’re probably saying both Trine games have that problem, but on my first read I parsed that as saying that only Trine 2 had that problem, and you were referring to it derisively as Trine 1 1/2 because it was too similar to the first game but forgot the first 1.

      How did I make that jump in logic? There might be such a thing as too cynical after all.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Yeah if you look again you will see that the mouse is controlling a pointer, the character just runs forward and you manipulate the traps.

  6. Prince says:

    Looks like an entire game based on the racing sections of Earthworm Jim. Not bad, I suppose…

    • f1x says:

      Not bad but now I can only dream, care, and think about a new Earthworm Jim game (in 2D)

  7. The Dark One says:

    You open with a jungle screenshot and don’t even throw in a single Pitfall reference? For shame, John.

  8. MacTheGeek says:

    If The Prince of Egypt and Pitfall had a kid…