I’ve been casting my net into the 7 Day Roguelike pool again. No fish this time, but I did catch a turn-based third-person rail shooter. I’ve played turn-based chariot racing games, (sort of) turn-based first-person shooters and turn-based R-Type, but I think this is the first turn-based third-person rail shooter I’ve ever seen. Imagine Space Harrier as a roguelike and then imagine Afterburner as a roguelike. Now squish them together and you’ll be left with a glorious concoction that’s bristling with spaceplanes, weird aliens and lasers. It probably looks quite a bit like Hellion.
FACT: Space Harrier was the first game to give me nightmares. I still feel a bit queasy whenever I think about it. Call it a combination of the pseudo-3d scaling, surreal tiled landscapes and numerous aggressive floating heads. And the death scream, oh mercy, the death scream. Why would a man strap a booster to his back and propel his vulnerable body forward at such speeds that a collision with a tree is fatal? Why can he never stop moving? It’s a horrifying game.
The only other non-horror game that’s wormed into my mind in quite the same way is Liberation: Captive 2. Can’t watch videos of it without feeling intensely uncomfortable. Couldn’t tell you why.
As for Hellion? It’s free and it probably won’t give you nightmares, but it’ll almost certainly make you smile.