After playing an impressive demo of the upcoming Metroidvania title Outbuddies during its Kickstarter campaign, I was excited to see what more the game has to offer throughout its development. This week, developer Julian Laufer kindly gave me access to the early build of the game that is currently only available to backers of the Kickstarter campaign.
The latest build of the game doesn’t offer a whole lot more gameplay than the demo, but it definitely gives a grand taste of what is to come — along with a few changes here and there that improve the experience.
- Note: This article covers an early build of Outbuddies and does not necessarily represent the finished product.
What’s changed from the demo?
The demo of Outbuddies definitely did a great job of showing what the game is about, but the latest build gives a taste of what is to come throughout the game’s development. So what has been done with the game since my last visit?
For starters, the new build gives players extra areas to explore, bringing them as far as the village of a friendly race of robed creatures that are very excited by your presence. It is teased that visiting the creatures and their village will be a regular thing throughout the game. These new areas almost double the amount of gameplay that the demo offered.
Along with that, there has certainly been some refinement to the game overall, with small-yet-effective adjustments to both the visuals and the gameplay. New lighting has been added as well, making it easier to see clearly in darker areas.
The gameplay has been balanced a bit better, offering the player a charged attack for their weapon while dropping the droid’s grenade attack for the moment. Doing this also makes the game a bit easier to follow and balances the combat more evenly.
The boss battle now has a health bar, so you know how close you are to defeating it — giving the game a bit more of a polished feel in its more intense encounters.
The latest build also gives a far better picture of how the gateways work, which allow you to transport from area to area throughout the world. Essentially different colored gateways require various forms of attacks to open. Blue, for example, needs to just simply be shot at — while red requires a charged shot from your gun to open. These are the only two gateways currently present in the game, but I foresee plenty more in the future.
As I said, not a whole lot has changed from the demo of the game — but there is no mistaking that the refinement and balancing which has been done gives the player a real feel of what is to come.
Heading in the right direction
Without a doubt, Outbuddies is heading in the right direction. It’s already nailing the atmosphere with an uncomfortable and mysterious feel — exactly what you would expect from a game with Lovecraftian influence.
The combat is well-designed, balanced, and fun so far. Exploration and level design are nicely executed as well, allowing for easy access to all areas via shortcuts that allow you to return to previously explored areas in case you’ve missed any secrets.
It is clear that developer Julian Laufer knows what he is doing with the development of Outbuddies. The passion and love for Metroidvania titles is really obvious here, making it a great game for the fans of the genre.
Note: A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purpose of this preview.