First-person platformer Hot Lava launches – bring a pal

Hot Lava

It’s a risky gambit to launch an offbeat little game in the middle of the E3 hype-storm, but Klei Entertainment just love danger if Hot Lava is any indication. It’s a first-person platformer starring a cast of highly meltable plastic action figures, navigating a human-scale world where every child’s playtime nightmare has come to pass: the floor is lava. Today, it launches (as an open beta) at a discounted price, and every copy includes a second to share with a friend. Hopping between furniture isn’t as much fun without someone to confirm your falls, after all.

While Klei may have passed on flying the early access banner on Hot Lava’s store page, the game does put a note in its place declaring the game an open beta, technically incomplete and liable to change before release. Personally, I can’t really see the difference, especially given the plans to slightly raise the price of the game later, but Klei apparently march to the beat of their own drum, as you can see in the off-beat launch trailer, which is so weird even by ’80s cartoon standards that I’ve embedded below the somewhat older (but more informative) gameplay trailer.

There, now you’ve got that out of the way, here’s five minutes of pseudo-1980s fever-dream, ironically better animated than G.I. Joe ever was.

The game has been in development for quite some time now, with the first closed beta footage dating back all the way to 2016. The current iteration of the game does look a lot more involved, with maps requiring a good range of movement skills, including swinging from ropes, wall-running, grinding along rails and even a few tricks that look straight out of Counter-Strike ‘surf’ maps. I can see this game being a hit with the speedrunning crowd – especially those fond of Mirror’s Edge – and might even make for some interesting streamed races.

Hot Lava’s open beta version is available now on Steam for £7.19/$10, with a second copy for a friend included in the price. When the game leaves beta, it’ll go up to $13, although will still be a two-for-one deal.

4 Comments

  1. Godwhacker says:

    I always remember the moment in Half Life 2 where it clicked for me that the ‘Sandtraps’ section is basically ‘the floor is lava’.

  2. Kiah says:

    They’ve scaled difficulty kind of like mario odyssey. You can just run and jump normally, and complete everything (with a bit of challenge to it).

    OR you can leap into the advanced movement techs, and DESTROY ALL.

    One of the core mechanics of the game is a source-esque bunny hop system (plus a little bit of surf). If you’ve ever hopped on a bhop server, you should feel right at home.

    BHOP if you want the best times, and want to get all the collectibles.

    They’ve added custom map support too, people have already started porting over CS BHOP servers.

    Good fun. My hands hurt.

  3. Halk says:

    I love the idea, and I love that it is co-op. But no GOG, no purchase.

  4. bill says:

    I hadn’t realised this was Klei, as it doesn’t seem to be their usual awesomely animated style… then I watched the trailer and they’ve made a whole cartoon for it!

    That said, I have heard the theory that you can have a successful FPS by messing with anything, except movement… so I hope this doesn’t turn out to be true.

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