Epic Loon is a zany take on the saturated platformer genre. Published by Ukuza and developed by Macrales Studio, Epic Loon will forever be imprinted in my mind whether it be for its silly, over the top story, wild nostalgic visuals, or for its ball busting difficulties, this game will not soon be forgotten.
The story opens with Joe, a cinephile who claims to have the largest VHS collection in Wyoming, who trying to watch his favorite VHS tapes in what looks like a basement man cave full of trash, junk food, depression, and an implied funky odor that comes from spending all day in a bathrobe on the couch. Much to Joe’s disappointment, his tape player seems to be on the fritz. So he does what anyone would do when his beloved VCR acts up… goes to a Chinese hardware store and buys a special VCR cleaner with explicit instructions that are written in a foreign language along with pictures of warnings and dangers. When he inserts the tape into the player, aliens are unleashed into his movies and are ruining the films.
You take control of the aliens and move through multiple levels all with the theme of the movie chosen. Explore the worlds of famous movies remade as cheesy knock-offs with your choice of Nosferacula, a Dracula wannabe, the Jurassic Park spoof, Jurassik Land, the mildly racist Grojira (with director commentary), or the super low budget AlieII (alien) movie. Each movie has 3 acts and several levels per act.
The gameplay is best described as a platformer but not like most platformers. The only controls are Jump and Transform. Your alien transforms from a standing position in which they can jump a very short distance in the direction of your choosing. Transforming will cause your alien to become a catapult of sorts, allowing you to fling yourself over massive distances. While in the catapult mode you are also sticky, meaning you will attach to most surfaces, allowing for better shots. Most of the platforms you are manouevering upon are not stationary and can be affected by physics. Couple this with the fact that this is a party game and is played with 3 others whether they be human or AI and you quickly find yourself laughing and incredibly frustrated in a matter of moments.
The music and the visuals in this game are by far its biggest redeeming factor to me. The music in this game is provided by the band Pryapisme, power Viking metal meets 8-bit video game music from the early 90’s, oh and a lot of cats. The visuals are a mix of stop motion and classic CRT televisions with the lousy VHS quality, it’s a lot better than it sounds.
The game offers two modes to play in, Story and Battle, with special modes within both. The story mode will have you and 3 others, AI or human, playing through each act until you finish it unlocking the hardcore version and a skin for your alien.
Hardcore is an unlocked difficulty in which time is sped up making timing ever more critical, and including the no respawn feature, this will quickly infuriate even the most dedicated try-hard. Speedrun mode is much like the story mode except you are doing the levels alone and have a stopwatch keeping your running time.
There is also a battle mode in which you and friends or the AI battle it out in randomly selected levels. You also have options to mix it up by adding hardcore rules and modifiers. An extra level can also be unlocked by completing the story mode.
Developer: Macrales Studio
Release Date: 13th July 2018
File Size: 2.66GB