A good boss theme sells a game more than all the marketing, CGI trailers and press conferences in the world. This is a Game Fact, with which there can be no disagreeing. Final Fantasy VII, one of the most popular and well-known games in history: great boss theme. Advance Wars, the best game on the GBA: godlike boss theme. Warlocks, a co-op wave defense action-platformer which you can play in the demo right now? Excellent boss theme. The demo was released as part of Polish studio One More Level’s attempt to secure $25k (~£15k) in crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
Having had a little solo play, it’s definitely designed with multiple players and a couch in mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not boring on your own, but it lacks a certain chaotic charm. There’s a LoL-like synergy between a character’s skills, applying debuffs or marks to targets that other abilities trigger off or use up. Each clearly improves in a party: slowing down enemies so they will sit in another player’s AoEs or healing the glass cannon damage-dealers when they’re swamped by foes.
The characters themselves are caricatured coolness, a giant angel wielding a sword twice their size or a pyromanic small boy with a pet phoenix. They’re only a little undermined by having some of the worst voiceovers in history–both the dialogue and performance–though part of the Kickstarter money would go to hiring professional voice actors.
If the demo’s to your taste, pledging at least $12 (£7.39) will get you Warlocks when it arrives on Steam Early Access in November. One More Level are looking to finish the game for April. As a homework assignment, what’s your favourite boss theme ever?