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Nuclear Throne is an “action roguelike-like”: a top-down shooter with permadeath, set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and starring a cast of mutants who need to hoover up radiation to gain in power. It’s fast, frantic, and made by Vlambeer, the two-man indie development studio behind similarly compulsive shooters Super Crate Box and LUFTRAUSER.
Nuclear Throne (formerly Wasteland Kings) is currently available in Steam Early Access, and like those other games, it already feels great. “Feel” is a poisonous word in games criticism though, and I was unsatisfied with the normal language used to describe games like this: “meaty”, “weighty” and “crunchy” only gets us so far.
I wrote to Vlambeer game designer Jan Willem Nijman about how you make pixels bullets feel powerful, and about finding a better language to talk about videogames. He was gracious enough to do the hard work of explaining why Nuclear Throne feels great for me. (more…)
VLAMBEER NEVER STOPS. I know. They told me so. Seriously though, Luftrausers isn’t even off the launchpad yet, and the Super Crate Box developer is already making admirable progress on a very impressive-looking action-roguelike called Wasteland Kings. I actually had the chance to play it and discuss its various ins-and-outs with Vlambeer recently, so expect impressions very soon. But until then, know this: it’s a rapid-fire, deliciously crunchy randomized romp starring a cavalcade of characters from Vlambeer’s past. And the craziest part? The arcade action maestros are going to stream a very large portion of its development – with you playing along at home via Steam Early Access.
Ever had one of those days where it feels like the whole world’s out to get you? Like you just can’t win? Like you are a magnet whose polarity is perfectly calibrated to attract gigantic, writhing jerkswarms who will stop at nothing to steal everything you love? Congratulations: you might be Super Crate Box and LUFTRAUSERS (among many, many other things) developer Vlambeer. Between countless clones and a recent theft of what basically amounted to their entire company during E3, the two-man team has been plagued by a string of bad luck so crushing that you’d think it was a giant joke.>
So Rami Ismail and JW Nijman laugh at it. They laugh and count their blessings.>