20 years ago Oasis, Blur, The Stone Roses, Paul Weller, Paul McCartney and many more created the first HELP album. It went on to raise £1.5M for War Child’s activities and helped protect children on the war-torn Balkans. Now, 2 decades later, the big players in our world are doing the same, and coming together in a unique ‘studio game jam’ to help keep Way Child’s activities strong.
War Child will be providing a brief to the studios taking part, who together, across their various offices around the world, will come together to create the title in just 6 days. Some big players have signed up to the jam, including:
A Brave Plan
Spilt Milk Studios
Together, these studios have sold well in excess of 100m games, so it’s certainly the dream team. Major technology providers including Unreal, GameMaker, and Unity are also backing the project by providing their tools to the teams at a ‘no cost and royalty free’ basis.
The game they will be creating will be called HELP: Real War is Not a Game, and will be releasing through Steam and other digital download platforms late in March 2016. With more announcement expected in the coming weeks, head to http://www.warchild.org.uk/helpgame for all the news, and follow War Child’s UK twitter for updates.
Hello, my crazy indie gamers! Find yourself in a position of potentially being trampled by the wild? I’d rather not catch myself in such a roar … Get it? Heh? Anyway, you’d best be careful then in Serious Jam: Last Sam Standing, a side-scrolling arcade shooter from BigO! You can join in on this run-and-gun which is available on Game Jolt!
In Last Sam Standing, you control a character named Sam who, wielding dual handguns, must shoot incoming creatures before they trample him, or move the freak out of the way. While trying to avoid being trampled, Sam can also pick up one of his other brawny mates, the African or the Cowboy, who wields a cannon or machine gun, respectively … or yet another Sam. The longer the trio survives and the farther they go, the more points earned before death!
Along this deadly desert trip, you will encounter warthogs and what seem to be explosive, headless baboons (and if you get far enough, what seem to be green, walking alien brain robots, and possibly more) . There are also powerups surrounded by the dangerous creatures. Powerups include ‘Serious Speed’, ‘Slow Moo’, ‘Holy Sam’, and ‘Serious S–t’, which the first two of them actually speak for themselves—speed up or slow down time, respectively—as for the last two … from what I have been able to figure out, I believe ‘Serious S–t’ must spawn a varied number of mates before you … and ‘Holy Sam’ … makes your character(s) flash? Anyway, as you reach higher point levels, you unlock new things, such as achievements or new playable characters that you can pick up as you would the others.
If all this hasn’t gotten you excited yet, then maybe the retro 16-bit desert accompanied by the ‘Neolith’ background music track will do that job! Its graphic style works out smoothly and flows nicely throughout. While playing, you’ll hear satisfying splats and booms from those which you kill, or if you’re clumsy, those under your control … all with exciting . When you pick up one of your mates, they’ll greet you with various tough-guy responses, for example, the titular response ‘This is getting serious!’. Lastly, as you run over powerups, their distinctive themes play, such as ‘Holy Sam’ and its ‘Hallelujah’ chant.
Throughout my time playing Last Sam Standing, I think I’ve improved my skill at the game and have found it very addicting. It’s one of those things where when you die, you want to try again, and discover what lies further on. Most of what you find in-game, however, you have to either determine yourself or ask the developer, as to what each element does or means, such as the powerups, controls, and the wild creatures, for all of which information outside playing the game is nil. In order to figure out what each is or does, you would need to pay much attention to those details. Also, you will notice from time to time that you have either unlocked an achievement or a new character. In my experience, I have only figured out what the unlocking of a new character means—so far for me, just the 3-way shotgun guy—but still have not a clue what the achievements are for.
Since months after starting my review, it’s been quite a long trip: determining game after game how the elements work. The small game that it is, it’s still hardly ever an issue coming back for more. After all, I’d have yet another chance to do a some research and have some fun while at it. On the flip side of things, this seems to be a near-exact copy of the Android version, minus the Ranking system … so PC users are missing out, but still not too much. The lack of information and the size of Last Sam Standing are also bummers. In the first place, I have to wonder why there are achievements in the game. The only spots you ever see them are either in-game, when you earn the achievement—whatever it is you earned it for—and then in the game settings file, which contains all the statistics for overall game time—which none other than highest score are ever seen constantly in-game. Other features that lack are more options to select from the game’s menu, which only offers ‘Play’ and ‘Exit’ (again, no ‘Rankings’ for PC). There being statistics in the game, there should at least be a section for such and as well for the achievements, making them less pointless. I also noticed that when you activate one of the speed-adjusting powerups, the frame rate will change—which is not generally good, according to a friend. But again, despite the lack of these features, Last Sam Standing is no doubt invigorating to go through multiple times!
Overall, Serious Jam: Last Sam Standing never fails to have invigorating gameplay! With its fluent environment and the exciting background tune, Last Sam Standing may have you going for multiple runs!