Vlambeer bring a pop songwriter’s sensibility to PC gaming – writing the cool, clean equivalent of a three-minute Sia smash and giving it a name like Luftrausers or Nuclear Throne. At least two of their games made the shortlist for our best PC indie games ever – but we eventually decided they’re yet to pen their Elastic Heart. For that reason it’s worth watching them closely, particularly when designer Jan Willem Nijman is prone to doing things like secreting a new game away in a Humble Bundle.
HOKY is a minimalist local multiplayer game that freelance PR Kitty Calis has built with Nijman. A hockey sim that somebody who’s read the Wikipedia entry on the sport might have made, HOKY bends the rules and “intentionally avoids deep knowledge of the source material”.
“Ignorance or a fresh perspective?,” write its creators. “There’s only one way to find out!”
Up to four players grab their sticks and slip-slide about the ice, cheered on by dynamic audience AI and, er, their “personal lust for sports”.
Audio comes courtesy of Eirik Suhrke, whose music is in Spelunky, Ridiculous Fishing and Hotline Miami.
HOKY is showing at Austin’s Fantastic Arcade this week, alongside a bunch of others that also appear in the bundle: Hellmouth, ALEA, Risky Bison, CRAP! No One Loves Me, and Wheels of Aurelia. They are probably all worth the $8 you’d pay to unlock another tier of better-known games, including Fez, Hotline Miami and Luftrausers.
True story: once, in the three months I was finishing a dissertation, I restricted my gaming to only 30-second rushes at Minesweeper and Vlambeer’s half-finished Karate prototype. What’s your favourite Vlambeer thing?