By Nathan Grayson on April 26th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.
Goscurry is kind of weird. It’s merciless – ruthless, even, sometimes – but bizarrely relaxing. Think Audiosurf, only it pretends to hate you in an attempt to mask an un-abiding desire to tell you all its secrets. And of course, it expresses those nuanced feelings through the medium of deliciously smooth beats. Oh, and also the tops of buildings. I am not explaining this well. Basically, you pilot a ship down a track so thin that it inspires this sick sense of dread in the pit of your stomach, but it’s all automatic and you only make turns (using the arrow keys) at right angles. In addition, gaps, barriers, and different barriers pop up, forcing you to rapidly jump, dodge, and shift direction – also via the arrow keys. If you fail (and you will, a lot), the game just randomly generates a new track. And while the action doesn’t sync up one-to-one with the music, the act of playing is exceedingly rhythmic. It just feels really, really, really good. If you need more convincing, there’s a trailer after the break, but oh jeez play this now. It is happiness in a tiny rocketship.
Impressively, given the care and craft on display here, the build that’s currently playable is only in alpha. So then, what’s next? Pretty much this stuff, says creator Daniele Giardini:
“Isak is creating a full electro-beat soundtrack, which will comprise some 7 songs when complete and will beat the shit out of you, while I’m adding a lot more features: more speedfreak modes, boss fights (kind of), a money system (only virtual money: there will be no in-app purchase) with delivery missions, achievements, and more.”
Which sounds great, because I’m already having trouble pulling myself away from the alpha version. The controls are intoxicatingly responsive, there’s tons of embedded, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it humor, and the visuals are simple yet gorgeous. It’s definitely one of those experiences that slots nicely into free five-minute segments of my life, which of course means my life no longer has any free five-minute segments.
So, right then. If you haven’t already, go check out the alpha. It’s basic and barebones, but with glimpses of sublimity. An excellent distraction, though maybe not quite enough of one to keep you from asking, “Hey, wait, why can’t the spaceship fly?”