Mandarth’s Cavern
Danger – reading this blog can be fatally addictive.

Review 4- Attack of the Killer Swarm

In the many years that I have been combing the Internet in search of ways to pointlessly waste time, it is no surprise that I have stumbled upon more than a few proverbial Meccas of Procrastination. Perhaps the most interesting of these that I have found would be a little website called ‘The Experimental Gameplay Project.’ The premise of this site is rather simple. Occasionally the masters of the website will challenge those game developers on the site to make a small game in a limited number of days (For arguments sake lets say 5 for now), based on one overriding theme. For example, past themes have included Gravity and Water. However, perhaps my favourite theme, and indeed an area that is near and dear to my heart, was Swarms. I just simply love the concept of this. In any game, whether it be RTS, FPS or RPG, usually my only tactic is to find either the best or the weakest unit/weapon around and attack with them/it en-mass. In Starcraft, it was the Zergling. In Command and Conquer 3, it was the Buzzers. In UT2004, it was the Dual Enforcers. So, today I present to you the latest in Swarm Gameplay!

‘Attack of the Killer Swarm’ is a small game created by one of the Experimental Gameplay Project’s top designers, Kyle Gabler. If you like this game, you are sure to like some of his others which you can also find on this and other websites. It is not a particularly in depth game. There are no real set challenges. There isn’t any coherent character or levels. What there is is a Whole lot of Fun. There are only 3 points that you are required to know to play this game:

  1. You are the swarm
  2. You dislike humans
  3. Kill them

Using your mouse you direct you swarm of….Things around the screen, attacking the humans below. To kill them you must use your Swarmtastic power to fling them as high into the air as possible and watch them splatter mercilessly as fast as possible upon the ground. This simplistic gameplay is what has made this game so accessible. unlike other games that i have reviewed, such as N, it requires no practice or in depth mastery of the game. All you have to do is drag your mouse to move The Swarm, and kill. As there are not actually many parts of this game to look at I think it would be appropriate to look at what makes this game so god damn fun!

The Greatest Instructions in a Game. Ever.

The Greatest Instructions in a Game. Ever.

First there is the actual look of the game. To compensate for the fact that this game was made in only 1 Day (HOLY SHIT!) it has opted out of attempting to look like a miniature Crysis and has gone for a more retro, artistic feel. The game is set against an old picture of a city, its browns and greys perfectly complementing the blacks and reds of the characters of the game. The main visual feature of this game is, of course, The Swarm itself, and boy has it been done to a tee. This game contains some of the best swarm physics I have ever witnessed. Dragging The Swarm across the screen will result in a realistic breaking of the swarm until you stop, at which point all of the little bits of the entity will rush towards the centre of the cursor faster and more eloquently than a Drunk to a Kebab shop. When it settles, you believe that each small particle of The Swarm is vigilantly trying to work its way closer to the centre. Perhaps one of my favourite touches is the ability for the small parts of The Swarm to suck the blood right out of its victims. It serves absolutely no purpose except to provide a colour contrast and to fulfil the sick fantasies of those out there who enjoy torturing their kill before flinging it into the air. I do praise the decision to leave the humans that you kill faceless. This opens up the game to a wider audience, all those looking for a challenge, rather than those slightly more violent gamers who want to imagine someone else in the shoes of the victim.

Swarms are Beautiful Things

Swarms are Beautiful Things

Now onto sound. Two words- Hilariously Perfect. The Soundtrack for the game is absolutely spot on. There is one song on repeat, a classical piece by the composer Shostakovich. This turns a fun game into a comedic affair, as the strains of a classical score are mixed with the sound of cartoony screaming and the sound of splattering stick people. A lesser game designer could have easily got away with leaving all of the smaller sounds out and still ended up with a good game, but Gabler goes that extra mile. As such, when The Swarm moves, we hear its whooshing rush. Each person screams individually as you attack them. There are varying sounds of splaterfication, ranging from the small squirt of a body compacting to a fully fledged atomic bomb sound as the velocity of the falling victim gets faster. Each of these elements only serve to enhance the gameplay even more.

And now a short word on gameplay. “Attack of the Killer Swarm” appeals to one of humanities most basic instincts to make it fun and addictive- Competition. The game is endless: each level you are given around 15 humans to toy with. When they are all dead, you are given another 15 and so on. What the challenge of this game is is to see how fast you can get these pawns to hit the ground. This competition is fueled by a series of counters in the top right of the screen detailing your Fastest Splatter Velocity, your Average Splatter Velocity and your Total Splatter Velocity. As there are no online leaderboards or high score lists, this game encourages you to challenge yourself to beat you own record. This game, like Warning Forever, is great to play around others. The classical music, mixed with screaming and the simple fact you are killing endless hoards of defenceless businessmen induces, at the very least a grin and a sense of demonic enjoyment and at most a cacophony of laughter as person after person hits the ground (I should use Cacophony more often!). Many a time I have been playing this game with friends, taking it in turns to beat each others top score, or to see who can get the best sounding rhythm of splatters.

BOOM!

BOOM!

“Attack of the Killer Swarm” is one of those games that will be pulled out at any occasion, the sort that you will show to your friends or simply just fire up to kill a minute or two. Its simple premise means that any one with fingers can play, its addictive gameplay means that they will play for a long time trying to get that elusive high velocity score and its small touches, such as music and sound, will mean that they will have fun doing it. This is simply a game that is an absolute pleasure to play

Mandarth Out

Tips for playing

  • The best results come from when The Swarm is at its tightest. Move it slowly.
  • Try bringing down a balled up Swarm slowly on top of a person.
  • Try to get the splatter sounds into some sort of rhythmic pattern. It sounds fantastic.

Mandarth’s Challenge

Ok, this one is fairly simple. My best score was a velocity of 208. Try and beat it!

Download from here!

Advertisements

One Response to “Review 4- Attack of the Killer Swarm”

  1. 205.00 splatter velocity yeah!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: