Bad Day At The Office: Tom Vs. The Armies Of Hell

Another day at the RPS office

Tom vs. The Armies of Hell is the gun-toting, demon-slaughtering, Diablo-like brainchild of Sean Burgoon. It’s about a software engineer drone for an evil corporation who’ve (obviously) opened a portal to Hell in their basement and he’s blasting his way through it. The second attempt at Kickstarter, looking for $20,000 (£12k), has just been launched after failing to reach $100,000 last year. Despite that, it’s caught my eye with brilliant humour and an excellent preview build, along with a fantastic pitch video. Sacrifice a goat in my name to access the murky depths below.

It’s basic, glorious fun. Sean’s got the amount of chaos to have on screen just right, with loads of enemies swarming you almost constantly. A boss I fought took up an entire room – the exact right level of scale – and looked totally awesome in the cartoony, caricatured art style. The breaks for plot development are short and usually just an excuse for the quality humour to shine through. Weapon modification takes the place of character development, at least so far. It’s completely free to move upgrades around, so experimentation and switching them to guns with ammo remaining when you run out on others is key.

While the demo build is clearly very early when it comes to balance, the level design, weapons and art are already excellent. There’s a lot of systems jammed in that keep the action varied, like certain items turning Tom into a melee monster or timed events that yield rewards. I hope Sean manages to get it to the point where he’s comfortable releasing it to the public before the end of the campaign, it’ll be a great boon to funding. I’d be impressed with it from a much larger team, that it’s the work of a solo venture is amazing.

You might be worried about failed first attempt to crowdfund the game. Last year Sean put it down to mostly a poor pitch video and not marketing enough, which are pretty common failings. He’s continued to work on the game over this past year, hence the lower goal, and put together a much more solid pitch. Not releasing a prototype or demo didn’t help the first attempt either, and it seems a mistake to skip that now too, when it’s playable and enjoyable enough. If you fancy it, $10 will get you a finished copy of the game when it comes early next year.


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    distantlurker says:

    It’s great to see Mr Bramwell finally getting his own game!

    Maybe you can co-op with a buddy playing Rab Florence and take on corrupt journo’s and their cease and desist sidekicks in a wasteland of Doritos, framed by a Sea of Mountain Dew.

    Moar of this sort of thing!

  2. SkittleDiddler says:

    Looks really good. This may be the first Kickstarter I’ve ever contributed to.

  3. DrManhatten says:

    This thing has been on Steam GreenLight for Aeons I guess another one of these things that get green-lite and then it will never see the light of day. Just shows how many things are so wrong at Steam.

  4. AyeBraine says:

    Although I don’t really like this type of cartoon style, all of this looks really nice and fun, and made by a very endearing, intelligent guy! Lots of fun watching the pitch.

    But the thing that I liked the most is a seemingly minor detail: namely, how the “arc-type” gun is implemented. I saw this concept in dozens of games, but almost never used it. And I think now I see the reason why. The “arc gun” gives the designers a really nice opportunity to show off good FX detail… but this is the first time I saw a dev using the cartoonish “blinking see-through bad guy silhouette” effect for it – and it works so good! It gives the player a TON of information on enemy placement and tactical situation after you applied the arc gun. It basically turns a somewhat imprecise, confusing and seemingly “unreliable” weapon into a tactical tool! And if I’d played the game, I would definitely use it!