Electron Dance
12Apr/190

Dabbling With… Recompile

The tenth episode of a short series on games I discovered at EGX Rezzed 2019.

One of the best gifts of a videogame expo are the surprises. Like this: you sit down in front of a game you don't expect much from, yet find yourself falling under its strange spell.

In the Tentacle Collective room, I was hoping to have a crack at Dicey Dungeons (Terry Cavanagh) but it was permanently mobbed. Dicey's neighbour, Recompile from Phigames, had an open seat so, sure, I took it. I'd pass the time with a game I felt didn't stand out too much. A third-person platformer set in a now-familiar digital landscape: hard neon edges, metallic sheen. A child of Tron, I've always been a sucker for this aesthetic. Recompile was pretty.

If you're expecting me to tell you about some groundbreaking mechanics, I've got nothing. Recompile went through the platformer fundamentals - jumping, switches, shooting. As you explored, twisted, glitched areas reassembled into structures. What this doesn't put across, though, was that there was real punch to the execution: it felt good. And then Recompile gave me the power of the "infinite quantum jump" and, well, I was sold. Instead of the basic double jump, it gave me an infinite jump. I could infinite jump wherever I wanted. Bloody Hell.

And the greatest thing in the Recompile world was jumping crazy high into the air then letting yourself fall. The impact creates a shockwave on the ground, rippling out across the tiles, making you feel like you're a goddarned superhero. And after that, the demo gave me the ability to hover. There was a real danger I might never leave my seat.

One of the best gifts of a videogame expo are the surprises. And this was how Recompile became one to watch out for.

From the Recompile website:

Combining traditional Metroidvania mechanics with a dynamic branching narrative system, Recompile challenges players to explore, fight, hack and survive. Discover the many secrets beneath the ancient digital landscape, and prepare for system-wide reconfiguration.

The game's entire narrative takes place within 1 second of real time.

Recompile is scheduled to be released on Steam for PC sometime next year.

Interested in other games I've dabbled with? Check out the series index!

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