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9

BEEP!

I do like green.

This one’s a cutie. A side-scrolling physics platformer, in which you must negotiate levels with the goal of collecting materials for, well, further exploration. BEEP is a robot. Robots are cool, or cute. BEEP is not cool. He’s programmed to complete basic tasks, such as gather items, shoot baddies, and manipulate the environment. Thank goodness those are the things anyone needs to do in a physics platformer!

And it all works rather well. You control BEEP with the keyboard, and then independently control a mouse cursor that lets him aim, whether to shoot at something or use his tractor-beam-type-thing to move it around. Then you collect stuff. It’s all rather simple, really.

It’s quite primitive looking in places, especially the desert levels. Which at times is endearing, and at others looks a bit under-designed, really. I’d love to see more detail, especially on BEEP, who is a rather monotone grey. His eye animation is cute, reacting to his circumstances, and the whole game has a bold cartoon style that’s certainly not problematic. But at the same time, it could all really have done with more shading, a bit more finesse. There’s also a rather peculiar bug that’s plagued me a couple of times, where BEEP starts madly driving off to his doom at his own volition. Hopefully that’ll be fixed soon.

I much less prefer brown.

As with the adorable Tiny Bang Story I mentioned this morning, this is a very small indie team. This time it’s the first game from the excellently named Big Fat Alien. It was started by Kiaran Ritchie, a former LucasArts/BioWare employee who decided to go independent. But unlike Tiny Bang Story, Big Fat Alien have got the price for their game exactly right. $10/£6 is the ideal impulse fee for what’s a lengthy platformer.

Oh, and you can find out for free with the demo.

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