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Drill, Baby, Drill! The Joylancer

Action-platforming with a drill

Look, I entirely agree with you about The Past: let's not venerate it, but instead gut it, skin it, burn its flesh, stir its ashes into our daub, and stitch its hide around a silver birch beyond the wall as a warning to future Pasts. So please do understand that I'm posting about The Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight not because "Ooh doesn't it look like one of those old video games?"

The currently-on-Early Access 2D action-platformer has fun fighting inspired by Devil May Cry 4 and Platinum Games, and has a demo, and is on sale now, and that's why I'm posting about it.

Developers Alpha Six Productions have been putting out demos and selling development builds for ages, but Joylancer hadn't caught my eye before. Then I saw this video of someone playing while chatting with the game's creator, and then I played the demo, and then I bought it in the Steam sale. Parries, counter-attacks, juggling, cancels, dodges, combos, and talk about being inspired by the wonderful work of Platinum Games have me interested. Also, your weapon is a drill lance.

I am historically quite bad at mastering hack and slash-y fighting systems, but I'm doing all right with Joylancer. It's in 2D and uses only three buttons - jump, attack, and charge up your drill - in intuitive combinations with directions and timings to pull off what seems like, so far, zippy platforming and satisfying monster-drilling. It has multiplayer too, though I haven't touched that.

Alpha Six plan to add more levels, enemies, bosses, and polish before launching properly at a higher price in January. The usual disclaimers for Early Access games apply but it's down to £3.49 on Steam, half-price in the autumn sale, which I'm certainly happy to pay. It's full price on and Desura if you want DRM-free. Both Steam and Itch host the demo, which Alpha Six update alongside the paid version.

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