AlCHeMoS / demo

Hey, I guess you already know, if you are following the Indie Skunk, that there are two minions (alive). One is a talented gamer/reviewer/writer. I’m the other one.

I usually write stupid comments on Twitter and, there, I’m lucky enough to meet many gamedevs and follow their progress through the different stages of their games.

The game reviewed here, AlCHeMoS, is one of the games I’ve been lucky to follow. I really liked the updates the dev posted about it during the last months. Last week, it finally made it to the launch phase (Congrats!!!).

Today, I decided to give the game demo a try and here is my experience.

A game of balls

Though the Steam page defines the game as an “Action/Exploration game set on molecular worlds based on real scientific data”, my first impression playing the game was “Ok, I’m a ball. The world is a lot of balls connected together. The enemies are balls, too. This can’t be too hard.”. And then, the narrator came in and said it was.

Your mission as a Proto-Atomic Shell Operator is to protect the Elemental Archives from the mysterious Dark Forces. That means that you need to find the protons, neutrons and electrons of an element in each level. To do that, you need to avoid undergoing fusion with the Dark Atoms (the bad guys), using the weapons at your disposal (jumping, shooting and running).

Each level is not a random sequence of connected balls. They’re created from real-world protein structure data, so there’s a nerdy layer that people more intelligent than me will appreciate. In terms of pure gameplay, that means that you start at the beginning of the protein, gather the particles and reach the end. Easy, right? Not at all!

The Dark Forces really do their best to protect the particles you need. They follow you, hide and suddenly appear (a little bit of zoom out helps). Basically, they do everything a subatomic evil guy can do to keep you away from your goal. They really pose a challenge, one that I haven’t been able to beat entirely at the moment of this review. A challenge that really surprised me, in a positive way.

I really hate the Dark Forces.

As you know, the Indie Skunk minions are bloody poor and not famous enough yet to receive full games from devs to review in their Steam curator’s page, so I wasn’t able to test all the upgrades system the complete game may have (in the demo, they’re automatically applied), but surely they will add more interesting features to the gameplay.

There’s also a decay mechanic that can make you lose your acquired subatomic particles if you have more protons than neutrons (and viceversa). To be honest, I was more worried about the Dark Forces, but I guess this will be more important in the full game.

So, to wrap it up, let’s say that if you’re looking for a challenge in a subatomic world with an accurate scientific background, I don’t know a better game to recommend to you than this one. Enjoy it and, please, give those buggers in Boron-11 my regards.

Ah, just one little more thing. The name of the studio and their intro are awesome.

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