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New games: Warp is a trip into an open world of notebook doodles

An open-world adventure-shooter completely made of paper.

When I was a student many years ago, I was not very good about taking notes in class. I’d invariably start drawing little characters and monsters in the margins of my pages, which would then spill into the actual notes area as a lecture went on and I got sleepier. And so, Warp caught my eye immediately.

It’s an open-world twin-stick shooter, but there’s clearly more going on than that description might suggest on the surface. The developer, who goes by PizWiz, says that you have no idea of who you are or what you’re doing when you arrive in the game, and that it’s something you work out as you play.

But it’s the aesthetic that really grabs me – it’s all ink drawings on crumpled pieces of paper. There are creatures with the same huge mouths and pointy teeth that I remember from my own notebook scribbles, and there’s even an appearance by what I’m pretty sure is a Pilot G2 ballpoint pen. That may be what sold me on Warp completely, since the Pilot G2 is my favorite writing implement and I try to have at least three in my laptop bag at all times.

There’s more to it, too – you can do stuff that you don’t normally do in twin-stick shooters, like buy a house or become a cow. And it’s split into four different worlds, each accessible from a central hub city.

PizWiz is currently running a Kickstarter for Warp, and is seeking to raise $7,000 USD for the project, with about a week left in the campaign. As usual, there are rewards that get juicier for higher-tier backers, including a personal painting by PizWiz at the $85 level.

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Here is a trailer:

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There’s also a free demo you can try over at the Itch.io page.

PizWiz estimates the final version of Warp will be ready by February 2020, but you can opt for early access to help beta test the game if you’re interested.