What wonderful gems there are hidden in the bowels of the RPS hivemind/CMS. Just behind the mechanism that pumps melted down Generation One Transformers into Alec to keep him awake for the 763rd day in a row, nestled in a nook of the great million monitor machine from which Alice observes all of human civilisation with a slight, knowing smile I found the cassette tape containing a trailer for Odallus: The Dark Call. It’s grainy and battered but clearly shows a classically inspired platforming RPG filled with ghastly ghouls, terrible ghosts and big swords held by big men. It’s from JoyMasher, who you may remember from similarly retro but more robot-filled Oniken. I’ve been listening to that trailer music for a full 20 minutes. Odallus details below.
Even for someone who never experienced it ‘at the time’ there’s something about this hyper-retro art style that I love. Odallus also goes further than that, everything from the animations to the UI looks like I should be spending half an hour setting up a delicate series of switchboards and punchcards just to play the thing. Of course, that’s all for naught if it also plays like it was made in the late 80s, but reactions to both it and Oniken seem to be fairly positive across the board.
JoyMasher, hailing from Brazil, actually funded the game through IndieGoGo back in 2013 and were only a year out in their prediction for release. There’s a demo on that page that I’ve just had a shot of and was quite good, though I’ve no idea how current it is. It’s slightly awkward to control in that binary platforming way of old consoles, but the level was varied in enemy types and packed with secret routes. There’s a selection of special weapons picked up throughout which it took me a little while to realise were bound to holding up and pressing the attack key and picking out which to use and when seems to be vital. Death comes swiftly but there’s no insta-gibbing and it definitely always felt like my fault. Lovely sense of exploration too. Give it a try.
Any fans of either JoyMasher game out there? How do they compare to the well-worn classics?