The game, which at one point they were calling Troopies, has players taking command of five soldiers as they puzzle-solve their way through the game’s 60 to 80 levels spread over four wars. Gamers will start each level by choosing five soldiers for their squad, and pick from 20 or so skills. Once in the game, players switch between the characters as they try to move them to safety, avoiding capture or killing at the hands of enemy soldiers.
I played a very early build of one mission on a Playstation Vita. In the level I had to move a muscleman, engineer and rifleman down from the rooftops of the level’s buildings, over to a mountain and then back up again.
In the build I played I could control the red soldiers with the Vita’s touch screen or physical controllers. I started by using my muscleman to pick up and drop a large crate on a trapdoor. Next I used an engineer to open the trap door, killing one of the patrolling soldiers below. The game’s finicky controls (something developers Bloober said was still being overhauled) kept me from making it entirely through the mission. But I could see what I was meant to do next. After taking out patrolling soldiers with dropped crates, I needed to move my engineer to a mountain side where I would tunnel my way to freedom, but not before using my rifleman to drop a crate dangling from a rope with the single shot from his gun.
The short play session gave me a sense of what the two developers are going for: A game that leans heavily on the puzzle-solving elements and sense of urgency of The Lost Vikings and the rolling level design of some parts of Lemmings.
The graphics, which developer Piotr Bielatowicz said were still not final, “not final at all”, looked like stylised cartoon army men. They come in red and blue. The game will have you play through first as one army and then as the other and will take eight to ten hours to complete, Bielatowicz said.
Bloober is hoping to release the game in Japan for the Vita when the system launches, developer Piotr Babieno told me. But, he added, they still need a publisher. He hopes to release the game in the U.S. and Europe when the Vita launches here and there as well, he said.
Down the line the game could come to the PS3 and Xbox 360, they said.