Quantcast
Indie Nation #58: Igneous - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Indie Nation #58: Igneous


3:20 PM on 04.24.2009
Indie Nation #58: Igneous photo



Every Friday, Destructoid highlights a fun, interesting, or just plain weird game produced without funding from a major publisher for our "Indie Nation" series.

I understand how boring that screenshot looks, but that's just the first two seconds of the game. Stuff gets intense after that.

I have long lamented two things in contemporary game design. Firstly, the lack of legitimately thrilling and frightening chase sequences in action games; secondly, the lack of intelligent and charming protagonists who also happen to be Tiki totems.

Igneous, a free student game out of Digipen, solves both of these problems.

While the development team isn't done working on it yet, and while the only page I could find linking to a download came from our own community blogs (don't watch the embedded video there, it's an almost-perfect playthrough of the entire game that will simultaneously spoil the surprises and make you feel completely inadequate once you start dying), I have to say I enjoyed Igneous quite a bit.

While the controls are a little too stiff and awkward for some of the incredibly fast and precise platforming the game forces you to indulge in, Igneous delivers a fantastically well-paced, surprisingly pretty five minute race against time (and lava). You can download it here or, as always, hit the jump if you want to hear me detail why I found it so interesting.

Even though a perfect playthrough only takes about five minutes, Igneous still manages to cram in three or four discrete levels, each requiring their own separate strategies while still united under an overall theme of panic and intensity. After rolling into the first cavern, there's never really a point where the player can rest, checkpoints notwithstanding; you're constantly being hounded by lava balls that hone in on your location, or a rising wave of lava that is perpetually so close to killing you that what would have otherwise been a pretty humdrum vertical jumping section is an edge-of-your-seat experience.

Igneous is incredibly good at making the player feel as if he is literally an inch away from fiery doom at all times, throughout each of its levels. After the aforementioned rising lava section, the player has to navigate a long, windy stone bridge whose sections are constantly being destroyed by projectile debris originating from behind the player.

My first time through this final section of the game, I assumed the bridge destruction was scripted: (A), because it looked so visually spectacular, and (B) because debris constantly hit areas that might force me to readjust my trajectory and strategy. If I thought I was going to have a relatively easy time rolling down a straight ramp, debris would completely demolish the bridge and force me to make a diagonal jump to the next stable section of the bridge.

After dying and playing through the section again, however, I realized something: like the little globs of lava that honed in on the player's location during the first level, so too did the flying debris destroy parts of the bridge that the game thinks you might want to use. If it looks like you're going to go in a certain direction with any degree of safety, the game says, "Nope! Now, quickly -- rethink your plan and try something else." The final chase down the bridge is a constant, stressful (in a good way) shift between planning and execution, bringing back memories of Clint Hocking's GDC lecture on improvisational gameplay.  Since you're constantly having your strategies dashed, you're also constantly in a state of tension.

The only (admittedly large) problems I have with Igneous are the controls. The camera moves far too slow, and the Tiki's movement is far too stiff, for the intensely precise platforming the game requires of you. In the above-linked community blog, community member Marc of Arabia suggested that the game looked a little like Super Monkey Ball, which is unfortunately somewhat true. Rather than feeling like I had precise control over the Tiki, I was never quite sure what jumps I could make and which I couldn't. The Tiki moves in a very stiff manner, whether it's jumping or just rolling across the landscape. I kept feeling an itch to turn up the sensitivity not only on the mouse-controlled camera so I could see where the heck I was going (at least once I fell off a cliff  because the camera couldn't turn quick enough), but also to make the TIki more manueverable in the air. I kept over- or under-shooting most of my jumps during the lava river level, but I never felt like I was learning anything from those failures -- I was constantly bewildered as to exactly how to make the Tiki control the way I wanted to, which would explain why it took me at least five tries to complete the final level. 

Overall, though, Igneous is a really short, really entertaining work-in-progress that I'm very interested to see develop into something greater. The game's eye for pacing and level design cannot be denied and, despite some unfortunately stiff controls, Igneous is still pretty damn exhilirating.

You can get it here.






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.



Indie Nation: Evoland photo
Indie Nation: Evoland
6:00 PM on 12.08.2012


Indie Nation: Zineth photo
Indie Nation: Zineth
4:00 PM on 11.03.2012


Indie Nation: Venus Patrol games photo


Indie Nation: To the Moon photo
Indie Nation: To the Moon
4:00 PM on 08.25.2012


Indie Nation: Ergon/Logos photo
Indie Nation: Ergon/Logos
12:00 PM on 08.29.2009






Indie Nation

6:00 PM on 01.18.2013
Indie Nation: A Fistful of Gun

A Fistful of Gun is a combination of a classic beat-'em-up like Turtles in Time and a shoot-'em-up like Jamestown. So naturally, I'm deeming it a sheat-'em-up. No, wait, that sounds terrible. A boot-'em-up? Better, but still not that great... How about a boosh-'em-up? Yeah, I'll go with that one. A Fistful of Gun is the best goddamn boosh-'em-up of all time. more



6:00 PM on 12.08.2012
Indie Nation: Evoland

Videogames sure have come a long way, haven't they? Well, then again, maybe they haven't. Sure, games now are way more advanced than they were twenty years ago. But what about the untapped potential within the medium? Videoga...more



4:00 PM on 11.03.2012
Indie Nation: Zineth

Jet Grind Radio is my favorite game of all time. I don't care that people think it no longer holds up -- its place is solidified in my mind as number one. It's a decade old and still has more style and better character design...more



View all Indie Nation






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more