Just a few weeks ago, Dano Kablamo of Prismic Studios put his game Gnomes Vs Fairies up on Steam Greenlight. The game already had a bit of a cult following on sites like Reddit and apparently, that following carried over to Greenlight and the game was greenlit after about 3 weeks on the service.
I spent some time playing the latest version of the game available for download at the Prismic’s website. While the game is still in a very early stage of development, it shows a lot of promise.
GvF stars a gnome on a mission to free his fellow gnomes from the clutches of an evil and insane fairy king and his fairy and monster forces. There is a lot of variety to the monsters from bats, to blocky monsters that look similar to Meatboy and large plant monsters.
To get some of the negatives out of the way, the game still has some floaty controls and a camera that gets in the way far too often. But other than that, it is a fun action platformer with a clever visual aesthetic.
When it comes to the action gameplay, GvF feel pretty solid. The game features a combo system in which each successive attack with your sword leads to a much larger and more powerful attack. This culminates in a special attack depending on which element your gnome is currently using. For example, the fire element ignites the surrounding area doing damage to all the monsters around you. The ice element freezes the surrounding monsters allowing you to get extra attacks in. The game requires you to switch elements to bypass certain obstacles, but if you find an element you like, it is relatively easy to switch to the preferred element if you wish.
The game also features an alternative weapon in balls you can throw. This allows you to do some long range fighting and is needed to get passed certain obstacles. There are also bombs in the game which also do area damage and destroy certain rock obstacles.
The art of the game is pretty well done. None of the elements look out of place and everything has a kind of a toy-like look. The animations are smooth, at least nothing really seems jerky or jagged. It also has a lot of visual quirks that add to the game such as the gnome’s hat falling off when damage is taken and you have to pick it back up or you will have a bald hatless gnome running around.
The UI is pretty minimal and certain elements, such as health, are hidden away until you actually need the information, such as when you take damage or have low health. This is actually a good thing as it helps you stay immersed in the action. This is also something you don’t see too often and is always welcome in many games.
The music is also something to take note. Dano is a music composer by trade (check out some of his work) and the music he has created for GvF fits seamlessly into the game. A lot of video game music overpowers the game you are playing, but in GvF the music helps to draw you into it.
One other thing I really love is that GvF is developed using Unity which means that it is easy to release on windows, Mac and Linux. This came in handy as when i tried to play the Windows version, I couldn’t get passed the naming my gnome screen. However, I was able to play the game easily on Linux. I don’t have a Mac, so was unable to try it out there.
If you are a fan of 3D adventure platformers, there is a lot to love about this game and its potential. It does need a fair amount of work, but that is something that Dano is putting a lot of time into making better.
Dano hasn’t announced a release date for the full version of the game, so we will let you know as soon as we find out. But for now, you can help him iron out the game by playing the beta and sending him emails about bugs you find in the game.
If you just want to follow the game’s development, you can follow Dano on Twitter.