It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Doom-era FPS design. The combination of speed, simplicity and scalability is a heady mix that holds strong to this day, as demonstrated by the multitude of recent attempts to recapture that feel through the likes of Devil Daggers, Dusk, Strafe and Overload, as well as Doom's own undying modding scene.
When a game comes along that gets my Doom Senses tingling (Rip and tear!), but also makes me giggle, I figure it's worth sharing. So come and take a look at Fish, a new 'Fish Person Shooter' from Brazil currently seeking funding to help it to completion. Hit the jump for some video and a playable demo.
I can't deny that the MS Paint-y style has a certain charm to it. You can try it for yourself here, and if it tickles your fishy fancy, you can throw some money at it over at IndieGoGo here. No stretch goals, just $15,000 needed to help turn the current demo into a full game, with $10 counted as a preorder on the final product.
While clearly more Doom than anything, Fish has a few clever ideas of its own, first and foremost being the grappling fishhook. Being a hard-bitten man of the sea, shirtless protagonist 'The Pescador' has a shiny silver hook-hand that can be fired at any time. Snag an item or enemy and it's pulled towards you. Hit a wall or ceiling and you'll be pulled to it. It makes for a significantly more vertically mobile game than Doom was, and it doubles as an ever-present melee weapon too. It's a good mechanical hook, in every sense.
One secondary piece of good design is the checkpoint system. As you kill enemies, they drop scales. These fill up a little blue gauge on your HUD, which you can spend a quarter of at any point to create a checkpoint that you'll revert to if you die. It takes a few seconds, but you get enough to do this semi-regularly. It's a nice alternative to unlimited quicksaves that should help keep frustration low across larger levels.
My only complaints with the demo are that the bounding boxes on some obstacles and enemies feel a little too large, and that I should be able to squidge through gaps a tiny bit easier. Beyond that, all it needs now to take a page from Pirate Doom's book and have the hats pop off your enemies when killed.