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High Strangeness

High Strangeness, a 12-bit romp by our very own AgentMOO

7:30 PM on 01.16.2013 // Tony Ponce

Jump between 8- and 16-bit environments

What is the world coming to when Destructoid community members start making their own videogames? The endtimes are near! Repent! Repent!

The disarmingly charming and fetchingly fetching Ben "AgentMOO" Shostak already has a game under his belt -- Agent MOO: Maximum Overdeath on XBLIG -- but genius never rests! MOO and his buddy Steve Jenkins have joined forces for High Strangeness, a top-down action-adventure in the vein of SNES classics like Secret of Mana or Zombies Ate My Neighbors. It's been in production since at least 2009, when it was one of the very first successfully funded Kickstarter projects, and ought to land on PC and other unannounced platforms in late 2013.

I had a chance to play the demo, which was showcased in public for the first time during MAGFest 11. You run around town whacking specters with a flashlight, but towards the end you gain the ability to shift the environment from an 8-bit look to a 16-bit one (hence the "12-bit" label). You use this skill to solve puzzles and see markings that are invisible in the other view. Unfortunately, the feature was only briefly explored before the demo ended.

The art, by Sam Bennett, jumps between striking watercolor paintings and 8- / 16-bit pixel objects -- a marriage of old-school charm and modern sensibilities. Then on chiptune soundtrack duty is Rich "Disasterpeace" Vreeland, best known for his work on FEZ. Sounds like quite the package, don't it? You'll be doing yourself a favor by keeping an eye on High Strangeness either on Facebook or the development blog.

Tony Ponce, Contributor
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