Apr 9, 2014
Orangepixel continues to impress me with each subsequent release. Ever since Chrono and Cash and especially with Gunslugs and Heroes of Loot, the releases seem like they just keep getting better, or at least are of a very high quality. Groundskeeper2 is the latest example of this quality, as it’s a very fun 2D action game from the solo developer.
This is a fully-formed followup to Groundskeeper, an action-platformer made in 48 hours for a Ludum Dare game jam. Players try to stay alive while fending off enemy waves that come in from both sides, collecting bits and bobs in order to unlock the portal. Yes, bits and bobs. That’s actually what the items are called. After so many bits and bobs are collected, then the portal in the center of the arena becomes active. Powerups like weapon pickups and shields also eventually become available so that players can turn the tide against the unending enemies.
The game starts to get to be clever with its portals and when players need to go into them. See, later levels start to get more difficult, so it’s worth sticking around in a level as long as possible because its difficulty stays static — a future level may bring players closer to their end. But entering a portal refills one’s health, so there’s benefits to entering them, just not every single one. But as well, given the various hazards unique to each level, there are reasons why one may not want to stick around for too long on a level. Giant stone death swords are something I would rather get away from as soon as possible.
The overall progression of the game is constructed quite well. As players learn what works and start to score more, new elements and stages are introduced. It’s paced to show new things based on how well players are doing in a smart way that doesn’t overwhelm them, but offers up new things as they are ready for them. Strategy is based a lot around survival, but little tactics become apparent like learning how to force enemy waves into corners while also managing to prevent being trapped in those corners.
This might be the best-looking Orangepixel game yet. The pixel art is still in that simple style that the developer is known for, but the game looks more colorful and more detailed in that style. Gavin Harrison does a good job with the music as always. The voice acting isperhaps not professionally-done, but it’s kind of charming in its own way. And like pretty much every other Orangepixel game, there’s gamepad support.
Really, this is just another well-done 2D action game from Orangepixel, and well worth checking out.