Auto-runners are in need of a dire switch-up.
Forget running to the left or straight ahead for eternity in the hopes of attaining a meaningless score or killing time. Let that score have purpose! Let it have a rewarding challenge and structure. I’m rambling again, but nevertheless, let’s talk about Wavey The Rocket, an auto-runner with a twist.
This is the debut title from UpperRoom Games, a team of four who’ve been at it with game jams for a while before finally trying to hit it big with this title here. The demo has seen a few iterations, with it even being available at last year’s EGX. But I wasn’t at last year’s EGX, so let’s talk about the demo that was at this year’s EGX: Rezzed.
You play as Wavey the Rocket, the cool dude with a ‘tude who ain’t rude, because that’d intrude on the feud between him and The Evil2. They’re looking to overtake the planet with all sorts of uncool things, like new Limp Bizkit albums, and Wavey is the only thing alive capable of taking them down.
Jumping right into basics, Wavey The Rocket at its core is an auto-runner. You go through set levels and attempt to dodge all of the hazards and obstacles set ahead of Wavey. So far, so generic, but where the magic of Wavey lies is within Wavey’s preferred path of progression: The use of physical soundwaves.
Not content with going in an entirely straight line, you have to use both the left and right thumbsticks in order to make an optimal path, with it all to do with oscillation. It’s all to do with tightening and increasing the size of the waves, along with making sure that Wavey isn’t too fast to run straight into anything that can destroy their frail body.
It sounds really silly while trying to describe it, but in all actuality, it’s quite intense. Upperroom have gone the extra mile in making sure that vertical and horizontal play get an equal balance of difficulty, and the first levels show this off perfectly. It’s like this insane mix of Guitar Hero and N+ that doesn’t get shown off all that often and it’s great.
There’s an underlying reminiscence of de Blob to it, which was a fantastic under-appreciated gem that needs more people playing it. The aesthetic, the style, the funky music in the background– It’s reminiscent and achieves the same feelings of comfy rebellion… or something. Regardless, while Wavey so far is simple impressions, they’re great impressions, and with that first release of 2019 on PC looming ever close, it’s not long until it’s definitive.
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