Armillo was one of the games I stopped to see at the Penny Arcade Expo just to be polite. I'd never heard of the studio behind the game, Fuzzy Wuzzy Games. I wasn't in the mood for a cute, colourful platformer.
But... they roped me in. The guy handing out promo postcards for the game did his PAX job well and made eye contact. I couldn't brush him off. So I sat down to play Armillo, not mentioning where I was from. I ran the game's title character around a spherical world, dashed with one button, jumped with the other. I started thinking about Sonic controls and Super Mario Galaxy level design (Sonic Adventure 2 had spherical worlds before Galaxy, some Sega fan is yelling at me now). As I played, someone else behind me said they saw some Bomberman in this game, too. The whole thing felt like a throwback, even when I -- surprise -- found a machine gun for my armadillo to briefly use, twin-stick-shooter-style against enemies.
I had enough fun that, after a couple of minutes, I dropped the veil of anonymity. I told the Fuzzy Wuzzy guys I was from Kotaku and needed to show our readers the game. So we filmed it, with two of the developers explaining the action. You see a little bit of two levels of the game. What you don't see is a two-player mode which I ran out of time to check out.
The game is about six months from completion. Fuzzy Wuzzy hopes to put it out on Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, but it doesn't sound like they've found a publisher yet. I enjoyed what they've made so far. Is it weird to think of a colourful platformer that combines 3D Mario and Sonic games as a throwback already? Maybe. But let's think of it as fun too. There is promise here, but still a lot to prove for a new studio's debut game.
Enjoy the video above and keep tabs on the game through the developer's official site.