Written by Mark Del Rio Tuesday, 29 May 2012 08:30
Indie Spotlight is a new article I hope to run on a regular basis. Every week or two I fire up a different little indie game (generally one in my Steam library that I’ve never played before) and give it a go! Is it good? Is it “meh”? We’ll find out together. This isn’t exactly a full-on review so I won’t go into too much depth.
Today’s spotlight is on Rochard – available on PS3 and Steam (PC/Mac). I played the PC version with an Xbox 360 controller on a 46” LCD television.
Rochard first caught my attention late last year with its side scrolling action and “portal” themed gameplay. I finally purchased the game a few days ago after hearing how wonderful it was and eagerly fired it up. First thing I noticed is that the lead character, Rochard, is voiced by the legendary Jon St. John (the voice of Duke Nukem). What’s cool about this (besides the fact that it’s Duke, himself) is that it doesn’t sound anything like Duke. Jon’s performance as a dry as dirt miner is spot-on with the character.
Rochard takes place on a mining asteroid somewhere in deep space. Things go wrong and before you know it you’re fighting for your life just to get off the rock with your crew. Early in the game you are given a gravity type gun that allows you to pick up and move object around the levels. This is where the fun begins.
Crates can be picked up and used as shields or tossed at enemies. Latches can be opened underneath enemies who drop to their death. Malfunctioning flying droids can be captured and fired like exploding projectiles. The list goes on and none of it grows tedious or repetitive before a new feature or upgrade is introduced.
Tossing into the mix is some really great level design with plenty of “kinks” to throw you out-of-whack. When the gravity malfunctions in one level, you’re left walking upside down on the ceiling. It’s trippy, fun and very cool! Rochard’s level design is very reminiscent of a Metroid/Castlevania game (or more recently Shadow Conspiracy on XBOX 360) full of little secrets and passageways.
Graphics-wise, Rochard looks like a Saturday morning cartoon with bright colors and clean over-mechanical environments. It’s all very pretty and never feels like a kid’s game. The visual and sound ques are great as well; in all, no complaints from me on its wonderful presentation.
I’ve logged in 2 hours into what is approximately a 6 hour game and so far Rochard is a fantastic little indie gem! If it weren’t for the fact that I had to write about it, I’d still be playing it right now (the curse of being a game writer). I highly recommend it!