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Crowdforging: Below Kryll

Kryller Instincts

I am increasingly aware that I'm a creaking old granddad, stuck in my archaic ways and unable to understand the games the kids play these days. Starbound leaves me utterly bemused, shouting something about how it was all better on the wireless, and wondering what happened to good old fashioned big band swing music. But Below Kryll, which too is a side-scrolling platform-based game made of those ever-more familiar Terraria-like squares, has drawn me in much more quickly. And that's despite this being a game entirely created by its players.

Okay, not quite entirely. The opening tutorial and above ground area is built by the developers, and while it will mercilessly mock you while you stay up there, you can get the hang of its platforming and RPG ways, before taking the plunge into the player-created content below. Here's the trailer:

The team behind it are currently Indiegogoing, but be warned, it's "flexible funding", so if they fall far short of their goal, they'll get all the pledged money anyway. The game is already out, and will cost you $10 for an "unlimited account". There's also a trial version for free, which you can play directly in your browser. It switches to fullscreen nice and easily, and seems well implemented.

The game itself is interesting. It's quite the opposite of perma-death - killing yourself is often the correct thing to do, should you have destroyed a pathway you need, or simply want to be back at the start of an area. Hitting Backspace any time takes you back to your last spawn point, and Shift-Backspace resets the area completely. Once you're down below, player-created levels are grouped by theme, with Creative and Action in separate areas, and then further split in those themes. It seems like a damned smart idea.

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