Class Warfare: Our Darker Purpose

By Adam Smith on June 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

As I prepared to rest my weary head last night, I peered inside my mailbox to check for the latest issue of the superlative Moustache Fancier Periodical. It was not to be. Rather than being greeted by a booklet of handsome lip furniture, I found myself confronted with several messages about Our Darker Purpose, the Kickstarter project that reminds me of The Binding of Isaac, set in a grimly humorous orphanage/school in which monsters are devouring the pupils, and the pupils are on the verge of devouring one another. Avidly Wild Games have almost reached their target but there are only a few hours to go. I downloaded the demo to see if it lived up to the excellent writing that graces the project page.

You can try the demo yourself by clicking here, remembering as you play that it represents an early version of the game. That said, it’s solid and successfully demonstrates that the team have indeed learned and borrowed from Isaac and its own inspirations, but also shows the game’s more unique qualities.

The Gorey art style is cute and sinister, although not at all gory, and transfers well from static images to the game itself. Creatures, objects and obstacles appear to be handcrafted, which can cause them to appear superimposed onto the background at first, making movement feel a little disjointed, but it’s a feeling that I quickly shook off. The player character’s ability to roll, which is a dodge and sprint in one, allows for more unpredictable and faster enemies, sometimes bouncing around enclosed spaces. In the long term, particularly in combination with the variable room sizes, that should allow for more varied approaches to combat as the game plays out.

Perhaps the most appealing feature, as I suspected it would be, is the writing. Whether it’s a one line description of an upgrade or one of several conversations between the school’s sentient desks, Our Darker Purpose is packed with appealing turns of phrase. There are plenty of things to discover as well, with loot drops from tougher, unique enemies, vending machines and even an overarching upgrade system in the form of lessons learned on a timetable.

It’s a supremely satisfying slice of game. In need of more attention – that’s what the Kickstarter is for – but demonstrating the scope and the mechanics admirably. I suspect that it’ll reach its target this morning but if you have been on the fence, or would simply like a demo to while away an hour of the day, do take a look.

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7 Comments »

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  1. Didden says:

    Isn’t that girl off of Hemlock Grove (What a terrible television that TV Series was.) But lovely artwork here and I hope the team do well.

  2. Ansob says:

    I am hugely disappointed that this article isn’t about RPS pledging their loyalty and support to the Fifth International.

  3. TsunamiWombat says:

    As of 6:50 AM EST, they’ve hit their target with 93 bucks to spare.

  4. Kollega says:

    Aaaaand they’re funded. Can’t say i’m displeased about it, even though i have zero to little interest in the game proper. After all, the style is at least more tolerable to me than The Binding of Isaac’s dead baby architecture. I’m sure some people haven’t played Isaac for the same reason, so i’d say that this is the game for them.

  5. BobsLawnService says:

    “C” is also a programming language. Just saying.

  6. The Random One says:

    I backed this! The alpha demo was delightfully written and the atmosphere was just right, but the game proper just looked like they wanted to make something like Binding but weren’t sure of what made it tick. I’ll probably enjoy it even if it doesn’t improve much, but I hope it manages to replicate Binding’s flawless design.