I sort of hate Probability 0. Not in a bad way, though! I just played a bit of the never-ending roguelike platformer’s freeware version, and it was a very, er, humbling experience. And by “humbling,” I mean there was a lot of cursing, a few sweat-and-spittle-drenched moments of despair, and loud cries of “Fuck this, I quit forever,” followed by instant presses of the retry button. In other words, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a night of torrid passion/sensual life-or-death knife-fighting between a tough-as-nails platformer and a mean-spirited roguelike – randomly generated levels, leveling up, and all. And soon, it’ll be getting a full, non-freeware (read: for money) version with heaps of new features. I’m screaming obscenities at my cat in anticipation.
So the first twist in Probability 0 is that – unlike in other platformers – you spend most of your time going down. Fall too far, however, and you’ll take damage or even die. Also potentially deadly: spike blocks, floating monsters, monsters that fire projectiles, walking monsters, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Kill a few things, though, and you can go from a single, scrawny armed punch attack to a nice arsenal of options that includes projectiles of your own, resistance to stuns, heavier punches, and tons more. Then you die, lose it all, and start over. As creator Droqen says, “You will experience triumph, growth, and death. But mostly death.”
In addition to new enemies and abilities, the $9 version of Probability 0 will net you three of Droqen’s unreleased games if you pre-order it. Specifically, you’ll be getting free-roaming puzzler Starseed Pilgrim, four-player pirate survival game Pirattitude, and harpoons-solve-everything sim Fishbane.
If nothing else, I definitely love the idea behind this one, so here’s hoping Droqen’s managed to polish it into something really special. It’ll be out on October 1, so I’m sure we’ll know more very soon. And knowing, as they say, is half the battle. The other half is not being embarrassingly terrible at gleefully masochistic platformers. I’m, uh, still working on that part.