The year is 2121. Scientists have discovered an asteroid (BAR-101), half the size of the moon, on a collision course with Earth. Normally this would cause great distress for the people of Earth, but because this asteroid will not impact Earth for another 1,000 years, most deem it as not important. Although there remain a few people that are concerned (a fringe political group formally called Republicans). To appease this minority group, the government of Earth spent billions of dollars to send a space ship to BAR-101. The crew’s mission is to place a Zero-Point-Energy bomb at the center of the asteroid and destroy it before it reaches Earth. The shuttle, your shuttle, is named “The UWN Superfluous”
I don’t know how many times I said the name in my head but I still don’t think I’m pronouncing it right! The Superfluous [Soo-pur-floo-us] originally caught my eye due to it’s pixel graphics and its platforming gameplay. Once getting my hand on the Alpha build, I soon realised that Jetpacks + Dungeon Crawling = a great idea.
While there are more 2D platformers than one can imagine, The Superfluous manages to stand out from the crowd. Introducing the jetpack adds a whole new level of maneuverability around the terrain, there is nowhere you can’t go and nobody can stop you from getting there. Another neat feature that I liked was the ability to bring multiple character with you on the same mission and switch between them whenever you wanted! This was handy while progressing through the levels – big group of enemy’s? Toss a grenade! Need a pickaxe? Swap to your next character! It’s the small things that get me, while some people may look past it, there was a turtle added to the game – was it a tribute to Mario? I don’t know, but every platform should have a turtle.
Gameplay & Graphics
To make a quick summary…Fast, intense and satisfying! While the game gives you opportunity to go in guns blazing, the addition of the “Perma-Death” may get you to reconsider. While your character may not permanently die, all the XP and perks that you had collected will be destroyed and you will start again from scratch. Each level is randomly generated, but get harder and harder as you move along. As of now there are no Boss Battles in the Alpha build, but the objective of the full game will be to progress through the levels and beat the boss to get to the next Biome. Currently there are 3 Biomes, the Dark Cave, The Underwater and The Lava Zone. Each Biome comes with a diverse array of enemies and challenges. (eg: Underwater you move slower, In lava zone if you stay on the ground too long your suit will overheat!)
The levels we tested were beautifully designed, maintaining pixel style but also making it very pleasing to the eye. The amount of small details put in such as the bubbles in the underwater level, the different coloured mineral deposits in the cave level and the exhaust coming out of the jetpack really show the dedication put into this game. The controls handles really smooth and having the option of using a controller will be a huge plus to certain players!
Check out this video for some of the Alpha build gameplay!
Another neat gameplay function that not many other platforms have is a co-op option. While I did not get the opportunity to test out the co-op feature this is a huge plus for me since it adds the option of having a friend join in on the adventure. I miss the younger days where we would gather everyone together around the N64 and just play for hours, and I hope that this game helps bring this back!
Voided Pixel Studios
Voided Pixel Studios was created by Adam Truncale (who teaches computer science at the high school level) after several of his students asked him how they would create and publish a mobile game. Throughout that school year, Adam and his students designed a game and published in on the Google Play store. That game was Tappy Flap Family. Ever since then Adam has created and published many more mobile games.
With many years of development, and a few more people working for Voided Pixel Studios, they are finally ready to move into the PC game market. Their first game The Superfluous should be ready for Early Access release come August 2016.
This game was a blast to play! Not only did it bring back my inner childhood, it kept adult Dylan entertained for hours on end. The developer mentioned some words that really got to me “Gameplay. You can have the coolest looking game, with the best soundtrack, and a kick-butt story; but if the game isn’t fun, you failed. Gameplay is everything.” The Superfluous may not have the best graphics, or the most compelling story, but they for sure have great gameplay and replay ability which everyone should try. With so much originality brought to such a familiar 2D style, The Superfluous is a soon to be hit and I wish it all the best as it approaches its completion.
Where to Follow
If you want to be kept up with the latest progress of the game, be sure to follow them on their links below!