The last few years have seen so many vibrant, roguelite dungeon crawlers land on our PC telly boxes that you’d be forgiven for shrugging off new arrivals. If they don’t bring something new to the figurative gun-running table, then they’d best do the textbook stuff right. And if they do bring something fresh, then it’d better be interesting. Like Rat King’s Power of Love [official site], which leans heavy on local co-op play and nifty joint-firing mechanics to see you and a chum through its fast-flying, paint-splattered chambers. Fancy the sound of that? A prototype is out now to try.
First off: Power of Love leans so heavily on local co-op that it can’t be played unless you’ve got a friend and a second controller handy, but when it gets going it’s great fun. In fact, it began life as an entry for the Poznan Game Arena last year and although described as a “prototype”, its creators decided to share it with the world in its current state (which is nevertheless several levels) as they thought it “just too much fun to not have it played by other people.”
Firing paint-like projectiles around somewhat run-of-the-mill dungeon spaces, you and your partner wipe out waves of oncoming baddies to clear stages. So far, so familiar, however things get tricky when you’re required to work in concert with your pal; performing moves like an extended laser clothesline to take out monsters, or a room-shaking shockwave that sends enemies tumbling.
Later levels require you solve puzzles in tandem which, although at times involves some relatively tedious tasks – such as standing on weight-activated tiles simultaneously – also presents challenging and intricate set pieces where timing is absolutely key. Doing so (or failing to do so) while rubbing shoulders with a friend can become, ahem, interesting. It might be time to wider your friends circle.
Here’s some of that in practice: