Late last year I posted about Confetti Carnival, an indie game in development that looked to supercede World of Goo as the gooiest game in existence. This week developers Spiky Snail sent me a preview build out of the kindness of their sticky, explosive hearts, and I can now confirm that Confetti Carnival plays something like a cross between Peggle and World of Goo, and that it's every bit as awesome as that sounds.
So, here's a sample level:
Those adorable lumps with eyes are your projectiles. They're called Splatters, and they want to be famous. The gooey, glittery stuff of the same colour is your target on each level- that represents bombs. By flinging a Splatter at goo bombs of the same colour the bombs detonate in showers of sparks and confetti. But Splatters are fragile things, and begin leaking and bursting the moment you move them, meaning each Splatter can only be thrown once, as their flight will always end in them being reduced to a colourful puddle. Do they care? Probably not. Theirs is a beautiful death.
Ultimately, you must use your limited number of Splatters to pop every single bomb on the level, whereupon a different arrangement of confetti bombs and Splatters are dropped onto the stage, and you're expected to clear it again. Each level has several of these rounds, and once you complete the last one you're done! Free to move onto the next stage and continue to blindly follow the game's cheery suggestion that you're somehow getting famous through all this.
The seductive liquid physics of Confetti Carnival alone make it somewhat unique, but far more innovative is the multitude of ways you can interact with your Splatters in mid-flight. It's not just a matter of pointing them in a direction, holding down the mouse to set the power, then releasing it to send them flying.
To start with, by tapping space you can "Flip", reversing the direction your airborne Splatter is currently travelling in, meaning that once you've grazed a wall and have begun leaking fluid all over the level like some disgusting drunk, you can, say, keep hitting spacebar as you fly over a pile of bombs to remain roughly above it, continuing to leak, leak, leak, until you're spent. I'm aware this is starting to become one of the grossest and most suggestive things I've ever written, but then it's that kind of game. While playing I got the Girl to come over and have a look because I thought she'd find it cute, but after 10 seconds she was so disgusted that she had trouble finishing her porridge. Even the Splatters look a bit upset when you rub them against one another. Let's push on!
Far less gross that this leaking business is your ability to "Slam". Flipping changes your direction, but doesn't give you any extra momentum. Slamming, however, is essentially the ability to throw your Splatter again, once in mid flight. So you can first propel your stationary Splatter up into the air, and then, with a bit of skill, "Slam" him in an entirely different direction.
This is just the start, too. There are a ton of props to interact with, like slides and spikes, all of which give special point bonuses if you use them. The ideal level will see you travelling your Splatters around the level like Evel Knievel, before they finally crash spectacularly into a string of bombs, resulting in a final, glorious detonation. The game's most obvious nod to Peggle is that the game zooms in and slows everything right down as your Splatter gets close to the final bomb, resulting in a climactic hit or miss on every single round. Perfect.
Unless something goes seriously amiss between now and when Confetti Carnival comes out, you might want to put aside a tiny pile of money in preparation for when this game launches. All signs point to a charismatic, giggly puzzler that goads you into playing One More Level with both of its slimy hands.
As for when it'll come out, I suppose that'll depend on whether Microsoft get their hands on it and make it an Xbox exclusive for a time, a la Super Meat Boy. Which would be a sticky situation. Does that gag work? Who knows. Here are some videos!