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What A Ballast: The Aurora Wager


Hot-air balloons are just like zombies. Slow-moving, bloated, gassy, and every summer the people of Bath gather and watch them take off. The many ways they're not like zombies are evident in The Aurora Wager, a free indie game built for the 7DRL competition. It’s not very roguelike, because a lot of those elements fell out of the basket as the game was hastily put together, but it is fun.

It's a very Jim game. It revels in the being rather than the doing, though there is some doing. You're in a race to get to the North Pole. You need to set-up your balloon, hooking up the gas tank, compass, and burner, and head up into the wind trails and hope they take you to where you need to be. It's a tough thing game to conquer because you can't control the winds, and you can easily run out of fuel on the way, though you can land on islands to pick up supplies. I confess I never made it to the North Pole, instead sacrificing my character to see just how committed the game was to letting me fall out of the basket. The answer is "verrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyy".

It's from the developer of Tim Stone's favourite wingsuit game, so I think we can all agree that a world where both games exist, where wingsuited darts pass by our cumbersome balloons, is where the game should be heading.

Thanks for the email, Martijn.

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