Aztez Trailer Lays It Out In Black And White (And Red)

We first mentioned monochrome side-scrolling brawler (with strategy bits), Aztez, back in the dark times of July of last year. It seems it’s take another year and half to spool itself to release, with the game now due in early 2014. As Adam noted when we first saw this, artist/designer Ben Ruiz seems to be a gentleman who knows his fighting-game talk, so this could well be an impressive beast – what we see here is excruciatingly stylish as it is. Take a look.

Quite a few people saw this at PAX, and came away impressed. That number included Indiegames, who revealed that the fights are strung together through a strategic map section: “The overworld map will provide locations for the brawler segments to take place. For example, a plague may break out in one of your cities. You may have to go in and kill the infected commoners before they can spread the disease. Another situation may require you to put down rebels during a tax related uprising. Failure may result in a loss of money, or even the city itself.”



  1. Matthew says:

    Matthew from Team Colorblind here. We’re pretty bad at disseminating information–there’s just the two of us–but to quick append some of the frequently asked questions we had from PAX:

    – We’re releasing 2014 on Steam (PC/Mac/Linux) and some combination of consoles (talking to folks now).

    – The game structure is turn-based empire management (think simple board game), where conflicts in your empire are resolved via beat-em-up sequences.

    – You play the Aztec empire about 20 years before the Spanish show up.

    – We’re based in Phoenix, Arizona. Formerly I ran Flashbang Studios/Blurst (Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, Minotaur China Shop, etc). Ben and I are basically the remnants of Flashbang. The other dudes are doing things like getting Astrophysics PhDs, ha!

    • dagudman says:

      So can you beat up the Spanish?

    • Seedybest says:

      Hey Matt! This is going to sound strange, but seven years ago back before I really read game reviews, FunMotion was pretty much the only gaming blog I read. That’s obviously changed, but a couple of times after FunMotion shut I wondered what you were getting up to because I loved you work.

      Minotaur China Shop kicked arse, and this game looks great.

  2. SominiTheCommenter says:

    I thought this was a sports game.
    FIFAztec. Now with more polygons per enemy head!

  3. DrGonzo says:

    This looks really fun. I’ve been wanting an updated Streets of Rage, Guardian Heroes or Golden Axe for years now. Castle Crashers was great, but didn’t reignite the genre like I’d hoped, but a lot of things like this seem to be coming out now, very exciting!

    • mooken says:

      Check out Ben Ruiz’s blog on the Aztez site — he just showcased/analyzed a newly released brawler game called Wild Aces.
      link to
      He does a great job of breaking down DMC and Guacamelee as well.

      • Mantolith says:

        Ah yeah thanks! I love doing those write ups so much; they’ve been instrumental in helping me understand these games. There’s a bunch of ’em at this point, and even some in video format!

        link to

  4. KDR_11k says:

    Black, white and red. The Reich really was on the forefront of color choice.

    • Mantolith says:

      Hahaha! That made me laugh really hard.

      (Ben Ruiz here; artist and combat designer on Aztez). ;)

    • misterT0AST says:

      The second one first.

    • svendelmaus says:

      Well, if you only have three colour words, you get black (or really, cool, encompassing black/blue/green), white, and red (which also tends to include yellow). See: link to

  5. Easy says:

    In fact, the only reason I got interested in fighting games is after reading Ben’s dev blog…. it started with his combat analysis for Bayonetta <3 and down the rabbit hole I went.

  6. Warduke says:

    Needs more blood..

    Seriously though, I hope there’s a way to tone that down or make it just black “effects”

  7. crinkles esq. says:

    The starkness of color, or lack thereof, feels a bit stifling to me. There’s a rich palette that could be drawn from that culture, but by showing blood as the only color you’re basically presenting Aztecs to the masses as a purely bloodthirsty, savage people. Showing military conquests and defending borders could be interesting, but it sounds more like the game is based around solving internal problems by murdering your people.

    The combat mechanics seem solid though, so please take the above as constructive criticism.

    • Matthew says:

      Actually, the Spanish interpretation of Aztec art was more colorful than it was natively…

      • crinkles esq. says:

        Agreed that there were embellishments done by the Spanish and a lot of the tones were reds and browns (from the pieces I’ve seen), but there were also some vivid colors used like in their headdresses: link to

  8. Goodtwist says:

    Wasn’t there a similar game- from the visual art POV- dealing with Sparta?

  9. Foosnark says:

    MadWorld on the Wii was the first thing this made me think of. Except less torture-porny and probably less disorienting.

  10. ostrich160 says:

    I usually dont like hack and slash games. But this looks amazing!