In Blue Beacon, players take control of Sasha in a quest across three worlds, each with four stages, to collect three ‘Discs of Power.’ From the moment you begin the first stage you’re treated to an immediate homage of the beginning 1-1 stage to the original Super Mario Bros.—no doubt telling you what sort of game Blue Beacon will be. Continue further in the game and you’re treated to allusions of other early console platformers such as Kid Icarus, Kid Chameleon, Adventure Island, Bonk, and so on. Yet adding its own personality, Sasha collects diamonds instead of coins (with 100 granting an extra life) while enemies like Goombas and Koopas are replaced by ladybugs and pillbugs. Meanwhile each of the three worlds possesses an insect themed power-up headgear to aid Sasha in better traversing them, such as the beetle helmet to crash through obstacles, the butterfly helmet to glide short distances across terrain, and the grasshopper helmet to super jump up and over both.
Before the convention was even halfway over attendees already anticipated returning next year to SUPER! BitCon held in Oklahoma City, OK. Organized by the Retro…
It’s always possible for any gamer to find their flow, that inner state that lulls them into a meditative-like trance as they play. But this is often a side-product they discover inside the hurricane of gameplay, displays, and control functions rather than it being an intentional creation of the game’s design. Yet instead of having the player discover or carve out a meditative state within the game, programmer and game developer Kevin Harris encourages and facilitates one by designed intent.
The browser based game, Saga, Crushed was his recent entry for this past January’s Global Game Jam and Candy Jam. As part of the 2014 Global Game Jam’s theme of “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”, it was created from beginning to end across three days and inside the span of 48 hours. Meanwhile, as part of Candy Jam it was entered among a larger game development community protest against the considered abusive trademark practices recently performed by the game development company King.