Award winning Developer, Ian MacLarty has just released his latest game, JUMPGRID. This is an arcade style leveller with a futuristic setting. You play as a blip on a grid and your purpose is to jump from intersection to intersection, collecting cubes along the way. As the levels progress, you must jump along the grid collecting cubes while also dodging obstacles.
The basic commands are simple. You can use either the WASD keys or the ←↑→↓ keys to jump around on the grid. Hence the name, JUMPGRID. What’s not so simple is making the correct split second decision to avoid death. This is a fast-paced game so if you stay in place for a fraction of a second longer than you should have, you lose. In the lower levels, you have some respite in the form in the grid’s centre. The obstacles don’t reach here so you can wait there while you observe the obstacle’s pattern. Find its gaps and exploit them to collect your prizes.
The higher levels don’t allow this luxury. Nowhere is safe for too long, so you must move quickly and use a combination of trial and error, memory, timing and sound to defeat your foe. I say sound because you make a little triumphant sound every time you collect a cube. The proportions of the grid remain the same and the obstacles move in a pattern. Therefore, if you learn the rhythm of success, you can move with the right timing to collect your cubes and level up.
JUMPGRID is the idea of Developer, Ian MacLarty of Dissembler, Boson X and The Catacombs of Solaris fame. Dissembler was awarded Excellence in Design at the 2018 Freeplay Awards and was part of the Official Selection at PAX AUS 2018. The Catacombs of Solaris won The Freeplay Award (the highest honour) at the 2018 Freeplay Awards. JUMPGRID looks set to live up to the expectations of its predecessors, having received an Honourable Mention for Excellence in Design at the 2019 Independent Games Festival.
Not satisfied with only developing games, MacLarty also developed his own open source toolkit called Amulet which he uses for most of his games. This is a Lua-based audio-visual toolkit which can run on Windows, MAC, Linux, HTML5 and iOS.