LOWREZJAM 2017 – Part 3
I’m back with more peeks into the creatively constrained world of LOWREZJAM 2017! In our last two outings we covered a whole host of browser-playable experiments from the great minds of indie developers. Now we’ll take a look at some of the downloadable offerings, starting from the top. All the games have been rated by the participants so I’ll be featuring five entries that scored well overall.
Soluna’s Secret – This one isn’t much more than a demo, but it shows plenty of promise. You’re on a quest to find a fabled queen, and to do that you’ll have to navigate a shadowy labyrinth. Light is the key here, using your lantern to make objects appear and trigger switches to unlock doors. The ultra-low-res look hearkens back to the earliest days of FPSes, and it fits the overall melancholy feel and simple art style. I’d love to see where they’re going to take this one.
She Plays Ultra High Definition Games – I love clever hooks like this. You play a lady playing games, presumably very high-end ones, in your tiny 64×64 window. There are three games to try, including knock-offs of Street Fighter II and DOOM. The charm here is undeniable, mainly in how earnest and entertaining these little postage-stamp versions of games are. Winning all three also gets you an adorable closing cutscene, which is all the incentive I need to get to the end.
Legend of Xenia 2 – Zelda is much beloved for a reason, and this title captures a lot of that in a bite-sized package. Xenia 2 is clever enough to recap Xenia 1 right at the beginning and then send you on a quest to find your father the king, swinging your sword and casting magic the whole way. The excellent animations are the stars of the show here, giving life to the bright and clear graphics for people, enemies, and landscapes alike. For a game jam game this one has impressive scope, making it more than worth a look.
Don’t Let Them In – This low-rez take on horde defense manages to be creepier than I ever thought one-color monsters could be. It plays from an odd over-the-shoulder perspective that’ll take some getting used to paired with tank controls, but it works well with the pace of the game. Wander around your cabin in the woods, grab weapons and ammo and food, and blast the strange misshapen creatures back to where they came from. The sharp sound design makes quite a cherry on this horror sundae.
7 Deeds – Here’s a neat spin on the survive-the-night genre. Instead of locking doors or waving flashlights, your little dude just has to cover his ears or close his eyes to keep out the scary stuff. You can’t stay in rooms where you were scared without running up your terror meter further, but you gotta eat and you gotta pee. It’s a basic level of strategy but one you can work with, and the cute graphics pair well with the horror stylings and excellent sound design.
Only a few titles in and the downloadable entries are already plenty impressive! I’m planning to go through at least 10 more, picking out some of the more interesting ones on the list to look at. Until then, definitely have a look for yourself if you get the chance because there’s a lot of gold out there to find. As always, thanks for reading!