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Retro-Goth: Au Sable

This one-man-made indie platformer sports an unusually sinister style for something so lo-fi. Whilst I couldn’t say I personally experienced any moments of profundity from its messages of doomy gibber and images of mutilation, I was impressed by just how much tone and dark atmosphere it’s possible to evoke from so few colours and pixels. The all-black backgrounds are affectingly unsettling, while some of the monsters remind me of the shadow beasts of Another World. Awkward combat controls (though I appreciate they’re intended to reflect the frail heroine’s unfamiliarity with weapons) and some frustrating level design mean it’s not yet the slick, Castlevaniaesque thing I suspect it hopes to be, but it’s chock full of agreeably strange and inventive imagery. There’s a walkthrough video below if you don’t fancy a spot of gothic jumping’n’shooting yourself….

Someone needs a hug. Though creator Amon26 observes over on the TIGsource forums that this kind of ‘ugly-work’ is something like catharsis for him, and we can expect something lighter from his future projects. In fact, he’s also got a prototype of the next one, Transparent Feint, doing the rounds, though I’ve not had a chance to fire that one up yet. Sounds like it includes spaceships rather than floating eyeballs and dogs of death, though.

Download all 9Mb of Au Sable here, and follow his updates about it here.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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