Cosmochoria

UPDATE: The game is now fully launched! "Cosmochoria has graduated from Steam Early Access and is now a full-fledged 1.0 release! Enjoy the fruits of labor of over a year and a half of development from independent designer, Nate Schmold and the tireless support of an amazing community of Kickstarter backers and Early Access supporters." -Cosmochoria Steam page.

Cosmochoria is a 2D space sidescrolling rogue-like, created by developer Nate Schmold, a talented artist and musician who brings his game into Steam. He also says that “im just some guy who loves video games putting together weird cartoons and making them move”. But what the common gamer doesn’t know is the amount of thought and work being put into it regularly. Schmold works on bug fixes and implements new features, from the early stages of the alpha builds he has been streaming gameplay of Cosmochoria via Twitch, allowing players to know his game and give him personal feedback or get answered questions live. After a successful kickstarter campaign, his game has reached a whole new goal.

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As Nate describes his game as a “planet-hopping, cartoon illustrated space shooter about a naked cosmonaut fending off aliens while planting seeds to restore life to a dying galaxy.” More in depth, you play as the small astronaut who can freely fly around in space thanks to your jetpack. You’re given seeds which you can plant easily with a simply button while holding it (S key). Nonetheless, you will get attacked by UFOs! They are shooting lasers at you preventing you from restoring life to the galaxy. You can fight them off with a wide variety of weapons, ranging from regular pistols, shotguns, rifles, and secret powerful blasting weapons, quite the dangerous little guy you control here huh?

You start in unique procedurally generated galaxies, and as you plant seeds in a planet and watch them grow into interestingly designed “trees”, the planet will start to fill up a heart; a heart that once fully completed will bring life to the planet and restore your health progressively for a determined time. You can choose to stay in one planet and make a base, or jump into space and maneuver through zero-gravity and discover new planets containing different gameplay mechanics. Sometimes you can find teleporters that will work once you restore the specific planet, sometimes you can find an egg which if treated carefully can turn into a 1 run pet that will fight alongside you, and sometimes you can find NPCs that will give you support, for a price. You can jump and blast off with your jetpack which is fueled inside a planet’s oxygen atmosphere; of course it will regenerate waaaaaay slower if you run out in the emptiness of space. For more features, you can plant different towers that will shoot enemies while you plant seeds, protecting the planet and yourself of course, be aware that they can be destroyed by the parasites being thrown at you by the ships.

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The whole zero-gravity mechanic works immensely well, as you boost yourself into the stars you will find it very difficult to maneuver, but once you get used to fuel distribution and holding the propulsion, you’ll be okay landing on specific planets but WARNING: Avoid red zones as they will burn you and destroy you instantly. As how rogue-likes work, once you defeat regular enemies, they will drop a special iconic currency. You can spend these points on the beginning of each run to permanently unlock new weapons, characters, stats upgrades, jetpack upgrades, improved mobility, faster planting and more. You will need to play more if you want to become stronger, once you fill up 3 planets you will have to fight very tough bosses!

The Hand Crafted Vector illustrations in the game are very cartoonish, enemies even look adorable. Each enemy is properly designed and unique with smooth animations. Color palette is very wide; you might think you’ll only see black and white space, well think again. Lightning and shading are detailed and give the 2D environment are simple yet effective sense of depth, which is what space is all about right?

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The soundtrack sounds very oldschool. With beep bop sci-fi special FX and pleasant musical themes made by Ilkae, Zebra & Mantrakid (Nate Schmold). This truly feels like playing a “love letter to old-school action / arcade games like Asteroids, Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong.”

Cosmochoria allows you to unravel the mysteries of the galaxy, one boost and one seed at a time.

4

In Short

  • + Smooth controls.
    + Fluid gameplay movement and interactions.
    + Cute yet simple art style.
    + Original soundtrack with thematically appropriate tunes.

  • - Some of its rogue-like elements can be difficult to get used to.

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Posted at 6:57am on Friday 21st July 2017

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