When Gaming Irresponsibly made it over to this year’s E3, we had the pleasure of making our way to the IndieCade booth for some one-on-one time with upcoming indie games. For those who don’t already know, IndieCade is one of the largest independent gaming events in the world. In previous years, IndieCade has played host to many of the industry’s leading indie games such as Limbo and Fez. This year, at E3, IndieCade did not disappoint. Games from all different genres, backgrounds and platforms were on display, and we had the chance to get our hands on some.
Dark Dot was developed by Gambit Game Lab, exclusively for the iPad. We got a chance to play Dark Dot, while being instructed on how to play by one of the developers. Dark Dot is a scrolling shooter that features some very familiar mechanics, while incorporating some new and unique ideas. In Dark Dot, the player controls a small army of minions, and escorts them from the beginning of the level to the end. Using the touch screen features on the iPad, players maneuver their way through obstacles and enemies, while trying to reach the end of the level, where you will attempt to destroy a large crystal. Once the crystal is destroyed, you will complete the level and move on to the next.
What really sets Dark Dot apart from most scrolling shooter games is the total control of your small army. You can move them up and down, back and forth, like in most games of the genre, but you can also control their formations and change them on the fly. Want your tiny minions to form in a small circle for a more concentrated assault, simply draw a small circle on the screen. Want a wide rectangle in order to cover more ground, just draw a wide rectangle. You can conform your little warriors in any number of positions, so long as it is in some sort of shape, making sure all the edges connect. You can also expand and contract your current formation, using the pinch mechanic. Is your circle too small and needs to be larger? Don’t draw a larger circle, simple pinch your fingers close together and expand them on the screen. This also works to shrink shapes as well. This is a great use of the touch screen mechanic, and a very challenging way to approach such a unique title.
During you venture through the game, you will stumble across some strange formations on the ground. When you encounter such a formation, you can gain power-ups and score multipliers by reconfiguring your army into the corresponding shape, making sure at least one of your little guys is touching each of the specified rings. Gaining these power-ups are crucial to completing each level, as they give you temporary invincibility as well as increase your attacks by 300 percent for a short time.
The real challenge in Dark Dot is trying to configure your army into shapes that will fit through small hallways, while attempting to dodge incoming fire and trying to defeat attacking enemies. The game will take a while to master, but it is easy to play, and offers a great challenge for those who seek one. Lucky for you, Dark Dot is currently available for download in the Apple App Store, and the best part about it, it’s free!!! That means if you own an iPad, there is no reason why you shouldn’t already be downloading Dark Dot and experiencing the wonders it has to offer.
Gaming Irresponsibly will be bringing you more hands on looks at some of the indie games featured at this years IndieCade E3 booth. Stay tuned for more updates on great indie games from developers all over the world, coming directly from the largest event dedicated to indie games, IndieCade. You can learn more about IndieCade at their website, www.indiecade.com!