Overgrowth, my latest love. Overgrowth is by far the world’s greatest kung-fu rabbit combat simulator of the 21st century, not because you can be a rabbit that throws swords at wolves, but because you’ve got the tools to expand that to any number of sword-throwing scenarios. Overgrowth features a built-in editor that will let you customize the world in limitless ways as evidenced by the very active modding scene around the game. I played on a map that had floating islands, and one that was like something out of WarioWare. Was it nice? Yes. Did I drool a little? Yes. Was it the funnest thing since that-other-thing? Yes. But enough about mods, let’s talk base game, Wolfire, and rabbits.
Overgrowth is made by Wolfire Games, a small indie developer with a passion for rabbiting, and who you may have seen doing an AMA recently. They seem to like kung-fu and weren’t pleased with neither the kung nor fu levels found in other engines, so they made their own. Sporting the best blood system since Teh Day of all Teh Blod, Overgrowth really gives you that visceral feeling of punching animals. Don’t feel bad. Most of them are jerks. Primarily though Overgrowth is a third person adventure/fighting game where you control a rabbit and fight other animals, such as wolves, dogs, cats, and weird rabbit robots (rabbots). Seems great right? Well it will be. Overgrowth is currently in an alpha stage and though it is shaping up nicely with lots of updates it is still far from its final destination. I like buying into early access games because I like watching them evolve as I play and learning the game over time before its full release. If you’re the same way, Overgrowth is for you. If you expect a finished and polished game when you buy it, Overgrowth isn’t for you yet. Maybe wait a year and try again.
What more is there to say, really? I could tell you that I played a mission where I was a robot with four swords being chased by a huge mob of wolves around a desolate city and escaped by throwing my swords at their faces and using the bought time to do crazy parkour. I could tell you that I had an intense battle to the death thousands of feet off the ground on a floating platform, again and again until the A.I learned enough to finally best me. I could tell you that I climbed a massive structure to jump on an egg, only to miss my jump and fall to my death at record breaking (and rabbit breaking) speeds. Would that do it for you? Cause that would do it for me. That would do it for me in so many ways.
While we’re on the subject of Wolfire, they have another game I like. It’s older, but you get it for free when you buy Overgrowth so I might as well say something. That’s right, Receiver. Receiver is a first person shooter that takes a single mechanic (the gun) and tosses it into a cocaine volcano (Cocaino?). Everything is manual with this game. You grab the magazine, load it into the slot, pull back the slider, toggle auto, pull back lever, and then you can fire. I know how to handle a gun, but actually handling the thing is easier than this. They say it’s a shooter but in my experience it’s more of a horror game. The only two enemies I can find are turrets and hardcore Magnemite reboots. One sits there and shoots bullets at you, the other flies at you and shocks you on contact. One hit from either and you’re dead, but a well placed hit on them has the same effect. You have to collect audio tapes to advance the story, finding them through a seemingly randomly generated world. The problems start when you run out of ammo, as is the case in most games. Finding ammo is difficult, and if you come to an enemy without ammo you’re as good as dead. Receiver teaches patience, ammo conservation, and the ability to yell really loudly over things that other games do automatically for you. It makes me wonder what playing other games with the same mechanic would be like. What if in Half Life before climbing up into the Houndeye cage room you had to unload spent casings from your revolver? It’d make for an entirely different game.
I want more games like Receiver. Not just with the gun mechanics but with mechanics that change how we view the basics that we take for granted. I mean, I also want more of Receiver itself of course. More guns, more enemies, more stuff, more Receiver. This game was made in 7 days and it already in my top 100 games of all time (nonexistent list). I’d be astounded with what they could do with a month or two. Wolfire’s a company to keep your eye out for, even if you’re not a fan of rabbits or guns. Then again, how else could you spend an afternoon?