There’s a reason you subscribe to Itch.io feeds from some developers. Ismael Rodriguez is a great examplewho published the marvelous Below the ocean Last year. In my emails I sent an update for a new free version Game, Toy caversand I’m so glad he did.
Created for the current Itch game jam, Lost Relics Games, Toy cavers takes the physical swinging ropes from Below the ocean (which you should get now!), and instead of applying them as oxygen tubes, this time using them as a tether between two pixel characters, working together to explore a cave system.
Don’t be fooled by the incredibly simplistic presentation. (No lease because it’s also gorgeous in bloom.) It’s a game to enjoy right away, but master while you play. Every clockwork the character has a pick, and you switch between them by their alternate swings. Once you have control of them, you can then move them around platforming style, including jumping them up walls due to what I’ve decided are very pointy shoes. The other is pulled behind by the tether.
However, pin one in place with their pickaxe, and the other can then swing somewhat improbably on the tether, allowing them to dash into caves and drive a pickaxe into another wall. So you begin to have the two characters work together to make their way through the pits, dodging the spikes and majestically negotiating their way through the chambers of the cave.
Mastery comes in the art of the swing. It’s technically playable on the controller, but I’ve had real issues getting jumping to work properly, so I’d suggest sticking to mouse/keyboard controls. Here you move them with WASD, and it will take some practice to get the rope swing controls just right. Once you’ve done that, wow, what fun to play, skillfully switching between the two to get past obstacles, scale pillars, and avoid those pesky pink thorns.
Most levels in the game take place in dimly lit caves, but light up in the area where your toys are. This creates beautiful effects on all six-color scenes, and also adds an extra element of exploration, because you want to make sure you know what you’re heading towards. (However, the game is extremely forgiving, with infinite lives and a checkpoint on every screen.) It pushes you to experiment with tethering and have some really sweet moments of achievement.
Each area also has an optional coin to collect, placed in a location that requires very tricky operations. maneuvers. I was so pleased with myself when I realized how to lower one of the figures into a hole above a pit of spikes to collect a golden jewel.
It’s a ridiculously solid game for a week game jam entry! Also for the one that is free. However, this being Itch.io, you can of course choose to pay for it if you can. I would recommend doing it. There’s a good hour of fun here, if you take your time and collect all the coins. I am very happy to have discovered this.