Buddy Systems: The Nightmare Cooperative

it's top-down but the screenshot makes it look like a platform game. Treacherous screenshot.

During an average weekday, I play approximately 14 prototypes or demos, found while casting my Monocle of Sauron across Twitter, or searching IndieDB and the TIGforums. Most days, I end up bookmarking one or two projects and check back on them at a later date. Every now and then, faced with a deluge of AAA press releases for BB games, I decide to share a prototype instead, no matter how early in development it might be.

The Nightmare Cooperative caught my eye because it has the second best name for a game ever, being a description of this place on a Friday night when I want to make dinner and they’re all out of fresh veg. It’s also a single player team-based roguelike puzzler that shows great promise.

As has been the case since the very first dungeon-based adventure, in which Polyphemus was the QTE-based end-boss, parties of heroes are split into several classes. In The Nightmare Cooperative, these classes each have a unique special ability, triggered by pressing the space bar. Unfortunately, they’re all controlled using the arrow keys, simultaneously, so the challenge is to position the right person in the right place at the right time, without getting everybody else killed.

It’s a lot like leading small children on a school trip.

You can play the prototype demo now in your browser, provided you can run Unity.


  1. Syra says:

    but is it co-op?

  2. Perjoss says:

    That screen shot cracks me up, they really have used the bare minimum of pixels possible but you can still clearly see what each of those characters are supposed to be, awesome!

    • Noburu says:

      They are simply recolors/slight alterations of the free sprite set that is the same as what Realm of the Mad God uses.

      • jonbro says:

        yup! the amazing oryx makes them: link to oryxdesignlab.com – not quite free though. Highly recommended for prototyping, save so much time. They will probably be the last thing to fall in art do-over.

  3. SillyWizard says:

    Ooh this is interesting! I could see this ending up as something quite compelling.

  4. SillyWizard says:

    Hmm. On level 8/10 and I’m still not sure the rules by which certain classes function.

    • LTK says:

      I think I have it figured out. The archer does 1 damage to enemies in a vertical or horizontal line. The mage does 1 damage in a diagonal line. They don’t fire if there’s a friendly character in the way. The warrior kills an adjacent enemy. The miner breaks a nearby block. The priest heals an adjacent friendly character, and if there is none he heals himself. I think that’s everything you need to know

      • SillyWizard says:

        Indeed, thank you. The mage, I think does something else. Perhaps a magical counter-attack to adjacent foes? I’ve gotten him to kill some adjacent monsters, but I’m not sure how….

        • LTK says:

          All characters can attack adjacent enemies by moving in their direction. The mage’s special ability doesn’t trigger on adjacent enemies, so I think that’s what you’re seeing.

  5. SillyWizard says:

    These fucking spam-bots are getting out of control.

  6. LTK says:

    Is this not a PuzzleScript game? I could have sworn it was.

    • roguewombat says:

      Could have started that way, but PuzzleScript games are HTML5 (no Unity player) and rock even more lo-fi 5×5 pixel tiles.