October 05, 2007
There's a growing tendency of late for companies to buy up succesful PC homebrew or casual games and dump them onto every system they can. The results usually range from uninspired to disastrous, but sometimes they rock. flOw on PS3 is captivating, Line Rider looks great, and Blast Works could be fantastic. Based upon a PC homebrew game called Tumiki Fighters, it actually combines the gameplay of old fashioned, 2D shooters with the sticky world of ball-rolling sensation Katamari Damacy.
You begin the game with a simple plane that constantly flies to the right and does its best to blow everything in that direction into little lego-like blocks. That much is typical of roughly 20,000 arcade shooters dating back to the Early Eightieslithic Era.
However, once you succeed in exploding something, you can then run into the pieces, which will stick to your ship and increase your firepower. On the flip side, this also makes your ship larger, making it easier for the enemy to hit you. If they do, bits of your ship will disintegrate and your firepower will decrease again.
That's about all there is to the original game, which you can actually try out here. However, developer Budcat has completely upped the ante in this new version, sprucing up the graphics and adding a crazy-robust customization mode.
You can design your own ships. Your own enemies. Your own items and scenery. You can, in fact, create entire levels all your own, first designing and then placing every piece and even choosing how enemy ships will behave.
Then you can save them, play them, or email them to a friend to show them just how tragic it is that you work at a fast food restaurant instead of as a level designer for a video game developer. 'Cause you know, it really is a damn shame. You have a gift you should share with the world. In fact, there's every chance that Blast Works will be your ticket to stardom when it comes out in early 2008. Live the dream, future designer!