Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Technically this game is still in alpha.  I have a copy because I donated for the Humble Voxatron Debut.

Voxatron is an arcade-style shooter where you move from room to room blasting bad guys and collecting powerups.  What sets it apart from its competition is that its graphics are made up of voxels.  Voxels, for the uninitiated, are volume pixels.  Basically, make a pixel a three dimensional object.  There you go.  To emphasize the voxelly goodness of the graphics, the environments are fully destructible.

There are three main modes of gameplay.
  • Adventure - Takes around 1-2 hours to complete
  • Arcade - Basically just a "hold out as long as you can against wave after wave of enemies" deal
  • BBS Levels - Browse through and play user-made levels.  This provides the majority of your gameplay once you've beaten the adventure.  While browsing around, you can favorite levels you like so you can just go to your favorites list to find them later.  Levels can do all sorts of fun things, including changing the player model.
As the BBS Levels would suggest, there's a level editor.  I haven't used it, but from having played the main adventure and then a few user-made levels, it seems like it's powerful enough to be worth doing things in.

Now, we get to discuss the controls, and for this I have a little story.

In the beginning the controls were keyboard-only, and couldn't be configured.  You could face different directions and fire, but while you were holding fire, your aim was locked.  So basically to re-aim, you had to stop firing, look a different direction, and start firing again.  This was extremely unintuitive, and made the game unplayable for me.  However, since the game is still under development, an update was released that added keyboard+mouse controls and gamepad controls, as well as the ability to configure the controls any way you want.

In the control config, you can set buttons (or joystick axes, for the gamepad controls) to both move and fire in different directions.  Doing this basically un-cripples the controls and turns it into a twin stick shooter, and I highly recommend it.  The keyboard+mouse controls offer the same ability, you'll simply fire at wherever you're pointing with the mouse.

So it has mouse and gamepad support now, but one small thing is lacking.  You can't use your mouse or gamepad to navigate the menus.  For gamepads, a quick JoyToKey config solves this, but it really should be implemented into the game directly.  If you're making a JoyToKey config, you'll need to bind the arrow keys, Enter, and Escape to buttons.  For mice, I don't know of a solution unless you have a mouse with tons of extra buttons and a utility that lets you re-bind them per program.

I have no clue when the full game will be released, and I don't really feel like searching the internet to find the website for the game.  Google isn't that hard to use anyway.

In terms of how beefy of a computer you'll need to run the game, it seems like it's fairly light on resources.  I never ran into any lag or anything, and I built this computer in 2004.  If you're having issues, make sure that 2x Antialiasing is off (turning it off doubles the framerate for me), and set shadows to hard.  If all else fails, run it windowed.

Overall, it's a pretty fun and challenging game.  Once you've exhausted the main adventure, the BBS Levels are your friend, and there's a bunch of decent stuff up there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I moderate comments because when Blogger originally implemented a spam filter it wouldn't work without comment moderation enabled. So if your comment doesn't show up right away, that would be why.