Posts Tagged ‘Metanet’

What Makes N++ Different To Other Platformers?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, N++ [official site].

What makes Metanet’s long-running N series different to other platformers? Each level takes place on a single screen, and that makes it uncommon, but certainly not unique. It focuses on acrobatic avoidance of hazards, but that makes it an elder cousin to Super Meat Boy.

Instead, N is distinctive for its use of physics, or more precisely, its take on physics. Though it uses just three digital inputs: right, left and jump, the dynamic range of your little stick ninja’s movement is incredible, and just keeps expanding as you learn its nuances. The feel of N’s blend of low-gravity floatiness, inertia and lightness is irresistible, and Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns have constantly been refining it from when the first game came out in 2004 to N++, which came out on PC just yesterday. And at the core of how its physics works is a single principle:

THE MECHANIC: Jumping adds velocity

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Prepare To Die: N++ Coming To PC

N [official site], as I discovered this morning, is still a hole I’m more than happy to fall down. Along with Spelunky and ADOM, it’s one of the few games that has a permanent place on my hard drive. If you haven’t played it, you should go and do that right now. It’s free. Caution is advised, however, because N might consume you. It’s hard as nails but every time you die, you’ll recognise the error that lead to your doom.

N++ [official site] is a double-plus super upgraded version of the game, originally released on PS4. Despite some hitches in the porting process, it’s coming to PC.

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Have You Played… N?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

N consumed me. For months, for hours a day, I’d be poking at arrow keys, perfecting jumps, wall-jumps and slides in order to dodge electrifying scooters, crushing thwumps, explosive mines and laser-targeted missiles. My reward, a replay at the end of each exhausting level which discarded my failed attempts and left only the perfect, graceful, balletic triumph.

N had hundreds of levels, then. v2.0 has hundreds more and it’s still free.

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N Times: The Way Of The Ninja Updates

Take that, anti-aliasing!
Metanet’s charming platformer N is so old the only wallpapers available at their site are in a 4:3 aspect ratio. That’s as close to a ‘yo momma’ joke as I’m comfortable making, but it’s also true – the high-res desktop backgrounds are 1600×1200. Out of curiosity, is there anyone reading this on a 4:3 monitor? Are you visiting your parents? The platform puzzle game was released in 2005, which in game time means it’s due a comfortable and easy retirement at one of our specially constructed facilities. But N has other ideas: Version 2.0 has just been released, and the old Ninja’s joints are as flexible and detachable as ever.

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