Publisher Rising Star returned to EGX this year with a new selection of four titles for attendees to try out. Alongside Brut@l, which has already been released on Playstation 4, and Earth's Dawn, a western port of Earth Wars, there were two titles that were vying for our attention. We got hands-on with both of them.
This title is a party game in every way. Not only is the main aim to form a conga line at a party, at EGX it was also a game that could only be played with other people. Up to four local players can battle it out to woo over other party-goers and convince them to join their conga line. This is done by dancing around the target party-goer until their satisfation meter is filled up. Once that happens, they will join the back of your conga line. The longer your conga line, the quicker that meter fills up.
The aim of the game mode that I played was to create the longest conga line before the time ran out. This wasn't just as simple as recruiting partygoers to join you. Power ups could either help or hinder your progress; for example, I could pick up a giant pair of scissors that allowed me to sever the conga lines of my opponents, but they could do the same to me if they picked up the scissors first. Whenever a line was severed, a large group of partygoers were left milling closely together and were a prime target to add a large number of people to my line quickly, but did I risk moving in while the scissor wielder was still nearby or did I wait it out until the pickup expired while somebody else could potentially get there first?
While the game's premise seems simple, there is the potential for matches to become chaotic when players are competing for the same partygoers in the same small space. Although not available at the show this year, the game will also have a single-player mode and different multiplayer modes upon release to add more content to the game. Previously confirmed just for "consoles", Conga Master will be winding its way to an Xbox One near you early next year.
This game is obsessed with the number 8. At 8 minutes past 8 on August 8th, 1988, the world is being held to ransom by villain Dr. H8. If you are to prevent the launch of 88 thermo-nuclear warheads that would annihilate Earth, the planet's 88th president must pay the ransom of 88 octillion dollars within 88 hours. The issue is that the planet is bankrupt and this isn't an option. 88 leaders from 88 of the planet's countries come up with a plan. You and your team of 88 different characters must infiltrate Dr. H8's super lairs and retrieve the 8 digit coordinates that tell you where his space base is located. If you destroy the base, you won't have to pay the ransom! The catch is that you only have a total of 7744 seconds, or 88 seconds for each of the lairs' 88 levels, to reach Dr H8 and stop him by other means.
In this challenging platformer, that is sometimes easier said than done. You see, each of the 88 heroes has their own abilities, some of which are extremely helpful. Then there are others that are really, really annoying. I don't get to choose which of the heroes I will be using to take on the level -- the game decides this for me. While all of the heroes can reach the end of the level, there are some areas that can only be reached by heroes with a certain ability, like a character that can fly. There are coins of different values that can be collected throughout the level, but reaching the larger value coins is often a matter of being lucky enough to have the right character. Here is just a selection of the heroes that I was able to meet.
Whenever I made a mistake, the hero that I have just killed is replaced by another hero; there are no respawns here. Whenever a new hero is introduced into the fray, the game pauses to give me a rundown of that character's abilities. I can take as long as I wish during this pause to decide on the best course of action and how the hero is going to help me, something that becomes necessary when the new character often has a completely different ability to the previous.
Of the many different heroes that I tried out, there were those that could glide, those that could bounce their way out of trouble, many that could fire different projectiles and one particular mite sized character that could just crawl under all of the overhanging traps before performing a huge leap over the largest of gaps. The most memorable of these was inspired by Clippy, who most will remember as the extremely annoying paperclip that offered you help every 10 seconds while you were trying to use one of Microsoft's Office programs. Instead of assisting me, he stopped the level at 5-10 second intervals to ask if I was annoyed enough yet. Here he is:
Only a handful of levels were available to try out and I completed those with a loss of just 16 heroes. Having said that, I'll need to be a lot more careful if I'm to complete all of the games 88 levels without running out of heroes along the way. Maybe I need to practice a bit more before the game is released later this year.
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