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Out of ammo, nearly dead, monsters outside. But! I have a can of meat.
February 26, 2013 1:47 PM   Subscribe

If Doom and Nethack lived in Estonia and had a baby, it'd be named Teleglitch, a recently released pixelated action roguelike that will completely murder you if you're not very careful about how you explore its procedurally-generated corridors, fighting off former coworkers, crafting spare parts into new stuff and hunting for ammo and food and clues as to what the hell went so terribly wrong at the Militech R&D facility on Medusa 1-C. The game has a 4-level demo (Windows and Linux, Mac too apparently) which will probably kick your ass plenty all by itself.

The visuals are intentionally graphically crude at a glance; big blocky pixels and a fixed overhead camera make for screenshots that look like they are from a modified copy of Doom, running on a box not quite up to the job. But in motion, it all works; the figurative looks to the baddies and the items and the world manages, as with much good horror, to put your brain to work filling in the details. The eerie glitchy voids, the claustrophobic line-of-sight visual masking, the live-or-die attention to sound details, and the terse diegetic scraps of story combine to make a legitimately compelling and tense world.

Death is permanent, and really easy to stumble into; ammo is scarce, so aiming (or finding other ways to kill bad guys or escape them) is important; crafting found items can turn trash into treasure at vital moments; randomly generated levels have similar key sections but wholly random layouts and item/enemy/secret distributions.

It's brutal and brilliant.

Rock Paper Shotgun talks a bit more about what makes it so compelling. Games Are Evil talk to developers Test3 Projects. TotalBiscuit offers a charming and somewhat bumbling tour of the gameplay.
posted by cortex (56 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's very Hotline Miami and I absolutely adored that game.

Also, in the same vein, 99 Levels to Hell comes out tomorrow as well for those of us who prefer the side on perspective!
posted by Talez at 2:14 PM on February 26, 2013


"action roguelike", huh. Ok, I can try that.

The blocky HUD font is inexcusable, though. Why do that to your players?
posted by kprincehouse at 2:33 PM on February 26, 2013


And speaking of Hotline Miami.

The presence of a Mac port for Teleglitch pleases me. I saw the game on RPS and wanted to try it.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:36 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


given I'm at Medusa, done ludios and the quest in a current NH game (haven't played in a few years), not sure I can put one down for the other yet ..
posted by k5.user at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2013


This game delivers what I was hoping to get from the Dead Space games. In style.
posted by Busithoth at 2:40 PM on February 26, 2013


In case anyone reading this FPP doesn't already know, if RPS likes a game, even a little bit, it's probably a really good game. Just sayin'. Those peeps have taste.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:46 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


God, I wish I had the time right now to investigate this.
posted by JHarris at 3:04 PM on February 26, 2013


Those peeps have taste.

Which is why I'm now downloading Mountain Lion, having realized that OSX went up a version without my noticing.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:04 PM on February 26, 2013


Yeah, that's what I hate about OSX. Every year there's a new version, that version will quickly become what's required for all new software, and it won't support hardware more than three or four years old. It's Apple's way of enforcing an update cycle.
posted by JHarris at 3:08 PM on February 26, 2013


Looks like it's time to start shopping for non-OSX laptops, then.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:14 PM on February 26, 2013


And speaking of Hotline Miami.

I will never get work done again.
posted by cortex at 3:19 PM on February 26, 2013


"action roguelike", huh. Ok, I can try that.

See also Red Rogue, which is basically a roguelike done as a 2D platformer.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:28 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


And speaking of Hotline Miami.

OH GOD I HAVE WAITED SO LONG
posted by grobstein at 3:32 PM on February 26, 2013


I will never get work done again.

See also FTL for Mac.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:39 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh God I just opened FTL
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:42 PM on February 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Aw, hell's ditch. Can somebody point me to directions that will allow even a *&^% moron like me to configure Ubuntu so I can run a game in one or another of my screens, instead of split between two screens? I've tried about eight times and nothing works. It's cost me Darwinia, Multiwinia, Gratuitous Space Battles, and now this.
posted by Shepherd at 3:45 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


"action roguelike", huh. Ok, I can try that.

All the cool game designer kids are doing it these days. See also Spelunky and The Binding of Isaac, both of which I recommend wholeheartedly. (Both for Mac/Windows, too.)

Teleglitch is right up there too. It's quite well-designed and tense.
posted by neckro23 at 3:50 PM on February 26, 2013


procedurally generated content is my kryptonite.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:04 PM on February 26, 2013


Roguelikes are certainly making their mark on the gaming world. It seems they have many medicines. Or, perhaps more accurately, people are using roguelikes as a method of diagnosis and prognosis.

It's kind of weird because the influence and attribution often extends far beyond the boundaries of anything you'd otherwise recognize as a roguelike. The core vision of Minecraft was influenced/inspired by Dwarf Fortress, for example. I don't think anyone in the roguelike community expected roguelikes to have the role or second life it's having now.

In any case, everyone is benefiting from this. So, excellent!
posted by tychotesla at 4:08 PM on February 26, 2013


Teleglitch is pretty awesome, to the extent that I'm surprised it took RPS so long to say anything about it (much less actually review it). Probably because it's on Desura and not Steam.

See also Spelunky and The Binding of Isaac, both of which I recommend wholeheartedly. (Both for Mac/Windows, too.)

Desperately waiting for Spelunky HD on Windows. When I compare videos of HD to the free version available on Windows, I experience despair.
posted by Edgewise at 4:11 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Teleglitch is pretty awesome, to the extent that I'm surprised it took RPS so long to say anything about it (much less actually review it). Probably because it's on Desura and not Steam.

They actually apologize for not reviewing it sooner in one of the articles.
posted by vogon_poet at 4:14 PM on February 26, 2013


Awesome, this is excactly what I needed this week. I'm downloading just as soon as I get home.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:39 PM on February 26, 2013


OH GOD I HAVE WAITED SO LONG

You and me both, man. You and me both.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2013


And having played the game: Man, this is tense. Even the little guys can hurt. You have to fight them by hand, or you won't have ammo to fight the big guys. The lack of music puts me on alert.

Also, don't walk into the pulsating void. My desk pleaded for my head when I did that.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:30 PM on February 26, 2013


Man, this is tense.

I know, right? It's amazing. I have not snuck around a corner with such genuine trepidation in a long time. Like, maybe I can just stay here! Forever! That'll work, right?
posted by cortex at 5:40 PM on February 26, 2013


The high black walls do good work: They make you feel caught in a narrow space, even in the wide hallways.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:43 PM on February 26, 2013


Also, don't walk into the pulsating void. My desk pleaded for my head when I did that.

Doh!
posted by Gnatcho at 5:46 PM on February 26, 2013


I wish this thread had been titled "spacial anomalies detected".
posted by adamdschneider at 7:18 PM on February 26, 2013


Also, don't walk into the pulsating void. My desk pleaded for my head when I did that.

Ammo saving tip: You can get enemies to charge into the void by kiting them towards it and stepping out of the way at the last second. However, practice with care or they'll get a few hits in, or worse yet, you'll fall in, too.
posted by Edgewise at 7:56 PM on February 26, 2013


Northernlion's Let's Look At Teleglitch
posted by Ad hominem at 8:22 PM on February 26, 2013


I've lost a few too many otherwise promising games to missteps while voidscumming, yeah, after my initial lucky infatuation with that technique. Now I've settled into a proper state of respectful fear where I'll only try and pull that shit if it's actually my life on the line, not just some spare ammo. Surprise rush of mutants out of a pipe? Okay, we'll ride the lightning to thin the herd, but no recklessness. Ammo's scarce but lives are scarcer.
posted by cortex at 8:25 PM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wish this thread had been titled "spacial anomalies detected".

Reference?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:43 PM on February 26, 2013


Ok, this is a very excellent game. It feels just right to play on about every level.

procedurally generated content is my kryptonite

And this seems to be how to do it right. I like how the rationale for it was built into the plot, too.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:00 PM on February 26, 2013


Seems like it would be fun, but it is impossible to play with just a trackpad.
posted by Joe Chip at 9:12 PM on February 26, 2013


You have to fight them by hand,

I like how you don't even think about fighting them by hand until you don't have a choice, and then you are like, crap, I hope this works, because I'm out of options.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:26 PM on February 26, 2013


Reference?

It's in the opening flavor text, talking about the teleporter malfunction. I tried to take a screenshot, but it just comes up blank.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:29 PM on February 26, 2013


Also, finding an abandoned room filled with cans of meat was almost as awesome as using a throwable nail bomb for the first time.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:30 PM on February 26, 2013


It's in the opening flavor text, talking about the teleporter malfunction. I tried to take a screenshot, but it just comes up blank.

D'oh again. "You're in a place and shit's fucked up" tends to be as much plot as I pay attention to.

Also, finding an abandoned room filled with cans of meat was almost as awesome as using a throwable nail bomb for the first time.

And yet not as awesome as deploying the mighty CANGUN.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:07 PM on February 26, 2013


I like how you don't even think about fighting them by hand until you don't have a choice, and then you are like, crap, I hope this works, because I'm out of options.

Whenever I go into a room, I think, "All right, one-shot-one-kill. You got this. You're goin' in." Only to think, immediately upon entry, "AARGH IT ISN'T DYING AND THE BULLETS ARE HITTING WHAAAA"

So thanks for sharing this, cortex, it's really scratching an itch. Can't wait for the full version.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:11 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can't wait for the full version.

The full version has been out for some time on Desura.
posted by Edgewise at 10:31 PM on February 26, 2013


OSX, too?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:37 PM on February 26, 2013


Edgewise: I think he's talking about the Mac port, which they're still working on.

Anyway, it's nice to see this game finally posted here. I would have done so ages ago, but I was afraid it might be considered too self-linky, as I personally know one of the developers.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:40 PM on February 26, 2013


OSX port for the full game is still in progress but should be along Any Day Now according to their dev blog; I think the Mac demo is essentially a proof of work-in-progress there (though I have no idea if the full release will be Mountain Lion bound the way it sounds like the demo is or if it'll be more backward compatible).

But you can get it for Windows and Linux right now for thirteen bucks. I made myself wait until I'd beaten the demo before I did that, to make sure I wasn't just paying for the idea that I'd eventually get good enough at it to proceed to level 5.

the mighty CANGUN

That was one of the first things I crafted in the game, and I fired it, and it was glorious, but I haven't built it since because I want all my cans for making armor and all my nails for powering my trinailgun. I'm getting pretty good at being miserly; I just saved-and-quit a game after finishing level 3 where I was totally out of inventory space and just picking up and then dropping duplicate guns to strip the ammo out. I need to start using high explosives more in combat because they don't stack much and so they take up a lot of space, and ever since I figured out that you can break open the secret walls with a couple shots from the grenade launcher I don't end up using the actual explosives for anything other than crafting nailgun ammo.

I personally know one of the developers.

If they feel like nerding out in here, I would be happy to comp 'em a mefi account or two.
posted by cortex at 10:44 PM on February 26, 2013


Cortex posted this game to mefightclub just before I did :)

It is *awesome*. Remember that claustrophic feeling when you first played Doom? You know, before you knew all the levels backwards including the monster placement: That moment when you open the door to the next room, not knowing what's going to be in there? Teleglitch is that and more, *all* the time.

And yes, I have kited great hoards of the undead up and down the main hallways trying to convince as many as possible to lurch into the void before using any of my precious, precious ammo.
posted by pharm at 1:15 AM on February 27, 2013


I just can't get into top down shooters and with aggressive FOV (similarly Monaco). Some ASCII roguelikes do that as well Something about it distracts me right out of the game completely.

Though, I guess, instead of true FOV, Teleglitch is doing a neat trick with tall black walls. I feel like I'm looking down into a deep hotel atrium when I watch that demo.
posted by fleacircus at 3:33 AM on February 27, 2013


Wow, I love this!

The TotalBiscuit video sold me on it, though I wish folks like him would be more willing to cut small-time game some slack on the details. His review basically boils down to "It's great! But I'm not really keen on the graphics or sound effects, and I wish there was music. But otherwise ..." C'mon, man. They're not EA and they're not throwing megabux at this thing. The ambience is there, the gameplay is absolutely engaging. Would photorealistic graphics make this game that much better?
posted by barnacles at 8:32 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks good, 'tex!
posted by ersatz at 9:28 AM on February 27, 2013


I can't....wait...how do you ork a cow?

Cow orkers....Oh.

never mind.
posted by mule98J at 11:12 AM on February 27, 2013


The ambience is there, the gameplay is absolutely engaging. Would photorealistic graphics make this game that much better?

TotalBiscuit's ignorance of visual design annoys me. He complained about Hotline Miami's graphics, too, if I remember right. Somehow, he managed to complain about the difficulty.

The guys at GiantBomb seem to better understand the intents of the games they play. But maybe I'm projecting, and maybe I've only seen the better Quick Plays.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:58 AM on February 27, 2013


"Ignorance of" is probably wrong; I mean "indifference to."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:05 PM on February 27, 2013


Wow, this is fantastic. Its execution is just perfect. Reminds me of The Colony, an old Mac game.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:54 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


This game is one of several that have come out lately that restored my faith in computer game developers.Besides the excellent games already mentioned another would be Don't Starve which is in beta and already a ferocious devourer of my time. (You can play it on mac using chrome)

I am very pleased with independent game developers embracing procedural content more often. It seems like the only sane path forward if you don't have a multimillion dollar budget to blow on content creation.
posted by Perfectibilist at 1:08 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Giant Bomb (and their Quick Looks), they just posted a Quick Look of the game today. Maybe I'm just used to it, but I really enjoy the way the GB guys talk about games as they play them.
posted by strangecargo at 1:48 PM on February 28, 2013


So, there's no other place on MeFi to put this.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:00 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, ah, I may be out of contact for a while.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:46 PM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh god, Rusticant, thank you, I have been waiting so long for this news. Actually I haven't clicked the link yet, but I assume it says that Hotline Miami Mac is live on Steam, in which case, damn!

Haven't played a computer game in weeks actually but this might be a priority override.
posted by grobstein at 4:00 PM on March 19, 2013


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