I am sad to report that Sam Coster of Butterscotch Shenanigans, half of the two-man team that made Towelfight 2, Quadropus Rampage, and more, is fighting stage 4 lymphoma. He’s currently getting treatment, saying “I took my first round of chemo on Friday and am happy to report that I’m feeling better. Or rather, less cancery and more poisoned (the latter of which I’d certainly prefer)” which he sent over in an email titled “Well [expletive], I got cancer.” While I’m glad to see his sense of humor is still intact, I hope that’s the only email of that type that I ever get!
However, he and his brother Seth are going to continue Butterscotch Shenanigans’ mission of making goofy games, with their upcoming Extreme Slothcycling still in the works, but being adjusted as more of an action-platform game than an adventure-type game. As well,Towelfight 2 on Android has been updated as a free-to-play game to help support the studio.
Best of luck to Sam Coster in his fight against lymphoma, and I hope to see him alive and healthy at GDC 2014 which he plans to attend.
Butterscotch Shenanigans has a unique take on the dual-stick shooter, one that mixes in a lot of the original NES Legend of Zelda game with the chaos that comes from shooting lots of things. While Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny may have a number in its title, it’s merely a sequel to a game jam title, so feel free to dig in without any prior knowledge, because it’s a fun combination of styles that’s worth checking out.
Players control Hardik, a man of class, what with his beard, monocle, and suit. He winds up in a dispute between gods that he must settle by firing animals at evil creatures, both random creeps and large bosses, throughout the gridded, room-based world. Combat is at its heart based on dual-stick shooting, with the ability to fire in 8 directions. Players have a set of 6 animals known as ‘Jectiles that they fire at enemies, with upgrades to add additional power and effects. Coins can be earned to spend on new ‘Jectiles, upgrades, and temporary upgrades, though there’s no IAP for coins.
The game has a sense of humor to it, particularly in the premise of a man launching exploding animals from his monocle, sure, but the dialogue also all makes the game particularly hilarious. The random phrases that pop up when enemies are hit like “Arranged Marriage!,” “Terrorism!,” and “TSA Groped!” serve as comic relief during the action, though they also can be distracting as they flood the screen.
The action takes place on a small centered area with controls off to the side, which appears to have been done to make the game work with a variety of resolutions and aspect ratios, particularly as all the rooms are square; there’s the three standard iOS ones but also the various Android ones that the game supports. The controls are by default fixed to their locations on the sides, along with various menu buttons, but controls can be made to work as floating joysticks as well.
The game can be easy to get lost in, but thankfully, the various warp points and comprehensive map make things very easy to explore. It’s possible to wander about in unknown areas, and there’s plenty of discovery along the way, but there’s never really that sensation of feeling lost and confused.
The different animal ‘Jectiles all have different functions, and it’s possible to get some sort of strategization going from the various creatures’ effects, but it ultimately is all just chaos. Getting the most damage done is the best idea, and really any changes are small ones in the grand scheme of things, though cluttering up the screen can be a problem.
The chaos can be difficult to manage, but there’s a lot of enjoyable entropy to have fun with here.