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Not For The Weak Minded: Soft Body

Bullet hell world painting

I really can't deal with going in two directions at once. Give me a complex 3D space to navigate or an army to command and I'm fine. Two dots that need to be moved simultaneously? Blubbering, writhing mess of confusion. Soft Body, awkwardly, relies on just that but manages to be stylish enough to make my flailing more pleasant. In it you control two parts of the same creature on a 2D plane, one analogue stick each. They're able to interact with the world in different ways and the "ghost" half returns to you if it's inactive or killed. Take a look at the trailer and thoughts on a preview build below.

The core of the game is the different powers each half of your body has. One recolours blocks in the world, spawning more or finishing the level once they've all been touched. The other can push objects around or destroy certain enemies. They can also be merged into one, retaining all these properties but meaning you have to run your main yellow body into one-hit-kill danger.

How to manoeuvre yourself around a level is a puzzle-solving exercise with some bullet-hell twitch-dodging thrown in for good measure. It reminds me most of the infinite restarts required to master particularly tricky N levels, eventually putting together the right series of moves to be in exactly the right spot at all times. It's also possible to be more reactive than that, recolouring areas of the level as they come.

I really like how fast it is and how adept it makes me feel to complete a level with so many different things going on. It's got a great sound to it already, wonderful bleepbloop sound effects to everything that happens, but developer Zeke Virant says he wants to add procedural music. His planned release date isn't until Summer next year, so I'll be keeping an eye on it as he continues.

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