Posts with ‘AuSableSeries’ Tag

The Hunt

By: fuzz

On: January 16th, 2010

Amon26‘s The Hunt is a prequel to his run-and-gun horror masterpiece, Au Sable. In first person shooter format, the characters and entities residing within the world of Au Sable are presented from an entirely different point of view than in the latter game. The player’s gun-wielding maniac acts as narrator in place of the original’s red-haired girl. It’s a fair bit shorter than All Of Our Friends Are Dead or Au Sable, but almost as effective.

Essentially, this is a creepy version of those weird deer hunting games you can find in arcades. What is lost in innovation in gameplay, however, is gained in disorientation. Being the first 3D game Benjamin (Amon26) has made, walls are frequently bumped up against and aiming is extremely difficult. Many would call this a fault; I would argue that the clear disorientation of the creator in the design process accentuates the player’s own disorientation. When the realization dawned on me that nobody was holding the reins and control had been relinquished to the game itself, rather than its creator, I wanted to scream and hide. The gradual removal of the player’s own power through larger and larger crowds of enemies is the conscious reply to the glitchy brokenness utilized in all of Amon’s work. Fear of the unknown guides the player’s emotions through the first section, where there are no enemies, only dead bodies. Later in the game, the only two enemy types have become familiar to the player yet still prove effective in scaring and unnerving them: the knowledge that The Hunt is “only a game” cannot and will not save you.

The graphics are the characteristic Amon red-and-black sprites. While these are very good, much is reused from Au Sable, and the colour scheme is beginning to wear itself thin. The faux 3D of The Hunt is similar to Judith‘s style in that all the action takes place in a three dimensional plane with two dimensional creatures living in it. It’s at once groan-inducing and horrifying to see these paper-thin monsters gambol about around blood-soaked remnants of humans in a dance of death. The device used to show the main character’s health is quite ingenious: the static covering the screen becomes more and more dense as greater amounts of damage are taken. Although as it is, the art is nowhere near perfection, different graphics would seriously alter the game and remove one of its most important elements.

The atmospheric glitch-industrial music playing in the background is fantastic. Amon26’s sound design and compositional abilities are easily his greatest artistic asset, and The Hunt showcases this to amazing effect. The voices of the last act are the primary vehicle to draw the player’s fear out until the end, and they succeed extremely well. None of it’s the sort of thing that can be properly listened to outside of the game, but as a part of a holistic experience, it’s essential.

In summation: The Hunt is brilliant, although flawed. A plethora of bleeding corpses and winged demons await you. Go forth and do battle.

You can download The Hunt here. You can also get a compilation CD with AOOFAD, Au Sable, and a few extras from Amon’s Lulu page. If you’d like weird t-shirts or plastic models of the characters from these games, those are here and here, respectively.

Au Sable

By: Paul Eres

On: November 5th, 2009

Au Sable is a game by the maker of All of Our Friends Are Dead, Amon26, and appears to be at least a spiritual sequel to that game. Fans of the previous game might enjoy the new one. For those who didn’t play that one, they are both platformers which focus on delivering dark and creepy feelings.

There’s more variety than the first game, and the controls feel tighter, and the art is just as nice. My only complaint is that the mouse cursor is off by default and the only way to learn how to turn it on is in the ReadMe file (which I missed and played through the game with that difficulty).

Again, you can get a taste of the game from Ortoslon’s playthrough if you’re sleepy or unconvinced by this review.

All Of Our Friends Are Dead

By: Paul Eres

On: May 9th, 2009

All Of Our Friends Are Dead is an atmospheric run and gun platformer. It’s pretty short (I finished it in under two hours), and what’s going on isn’t very clear, but it does a good job at immersing the player into a strange alien world and has nice and stylized visuals. To me it felt like a cross between Glum Buster and the final alien levels of Contra and Super C.

Though it’s not just a “zen platformer” as moi in the forums described a particular type of game, which I took to mean games like Knytt and Seiklus: there’s too many shooting enemies, precise platform jumps, bosses, and deaths from spikes for the player to zone out while playing it. But it shares their emphasis on carefully building up a strong sense of the game’s world and atmosphere with little interesting touches.

My only minor complaint is that the movement is a bit too slippery, causing me to fall into spikes unless I’m precise about it. But thankfully the emulator-style quicksave/quickload feature means that’s not a big problem. That and I wish the game were longer, as is often the case with games I like.

EDIT: Here’s a mirror for those who are annoyed by RapidShare. Also this is the willhostforfood download. Don’t download the first download in that forum thread, it’s v0.9, instead get v1.1 at one of the above links.