The Informed Pixel team made our way to the Adult Swim booth, where we were shown several games, such as Duck Game, Toejam & Earl, and Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality, but one game caught my eye.
That game was Katana ZERO, being published by Adult Swim. It is a 16-bit inspired 2D side-scrolling game, meant to deliver a challenging and enjoyable experience for the player. The game is being developed by one Justin Stander, who says that his main goal with this title was to make every enemy an equal threat.
“Basically, I found that there was a void in the indie game space of very satisfying platformers with action. What I really like in games, is games that are brutally difficult and where death is meaningful.” Said Stander in an interview with InformedPixel. “I find in a lot of games you have a lot of health and take a lot of damage, fighting enemies just feels like you are fighting in masses and in a lot of numbers. I wanted to make a game where the enemies are as powerful as you, and that each enemy is its own challenge.”
He gives them the ability to kill the player with just one hit, and vice versa. Playing through the game, every hit was as satisfying as it was exhilarating. Each hit makes the game stutter for a brief moment while the entire screen shakes for a split-second, making it feel like there was a tremendous force behind your weapon.
Playing through the game, it still maintained a high level of challenge, despite being able to kill each enemy with one hit. The enemies’ actions were fast and swift, making the game even more challenging, especially when trying to navigate through tight corridors. Abilities like a dodge roll and a time slow will help players get through the multiple stages as they clear them out towards the end of the level.
The whole game has an 80’s design to it, with its crisp pixel graphics and its blue & purple color scheme. Stander said that he wanted his game to have this feel right from the start, and that some of the gameplay in Katana ZERO will showcase that fact.
Katana ZERO will be released for the PC in 2017.