Preview: Patchman vs Blue Squares

Enkian Games wasn’t the only developer that emailed me about checking out their game. I also got an email from Naturally Intelligent Inc, who talked about the game they got up on Kickstarter and I thought, “sure, let’s check this out.”

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Patchman vs. Blue Squares is the upcoming second game of a series called Don’t Be Patchman. You play as Patchman, but, you also don’t want to. I don’t know the specifics, but apparently Patchman caused the drone-filled dystopia tormenting people (called “Sheeple”), so that’s a pretty good reason why he doesn’t want to be him. But, I guess Patchman’s taking responsibility to fix the mess that he apparently made. The plot seems to be going in the direction of fighting corporate entities and if that idea’s approached sincerely, I’m all for that.

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The demo consists of one level, running around a junkyard on the outskirts of some facility to help a drifter. While there’s platforming elements, Patchman’s more of an adventure/stealth game. From the trailer, you can do stuff like putting on disguises to fool drones, but it doesn’t show up here. It’s mainly just dodging around and running like hell. The gameplay is just sorta alright to me. I’m not exactly wowed, but everything works fine. Gotta say though, isometric platforming is usually hell for me, but it works out fine in this game, so props for that.

Personally, the strongest aspect of the game is the art style. The character designs themselves are simple, but their pixel work is pretty detailed. On Patchman’s design, him being mostly purple helps him stand against the environment, which I appreciate. I also think the environments are done well and I especially love how dirty and decrepit the junkyard is. There’s also a lot of minor details to the game that I appreciate. For instance, Patchman’s facial expression shifts for a bit after a cutscene, like running and crying in despair after seeing a picture of the new villain to fight before eventually collecting himself. There’s a whole lot of debris in the junkyard that adds detail, with a lot of it being capable of being kicked around for some interactivity. Stand near one of those blue square posters for long enough and Patchman rips it off the wall and crumples it into another object to kick around. I really love these kinds of details, it adds more life to the game.

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Development of Patchman vs Blue Squares is being funded on Kickstarter and has 26 days to go, as of this writing. Personally, I feel that the demo needs to be longer. Looking at the trailer and some of the promotional stuff for the first game, there’s a whole lot of mechanics beyond what’s shown in the demo and if that stuff’s going to carry into the new game, I feel that Kickstarter backers should have a taste of some of that. I like the look of the game, but I don’t think the demo is a sufficient taste, if that makes sense.

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