Lost in Sky: Violent Seed Bringing Co-Op Puzzle Platforming to Linux & Windows
While action-platformers aren't in short supply in today's gaming market, there is a definite lack of co-op games in the genre despite that being a natural fit. Thankfully, the team behind List in Sky: Violent Seed saw that and is setting out to bring a new IP into the industry alongside a merging of numerous gaming concepts. In a sci-fi setting, you and a partner will team up and not only battle a ton of nasty-looking mutants, but also team up to solve puzzles. Puzzle-platformers have seen an upswing in popularity, but co-op ones haven't really been done before. That sub-genre is an even more natural fit than a co-op action-platformer since it's much easier to solve puzzles when you put your minds together.
The primary playable character uses a shorter-range beam sword and has to be more precise with his movements and attacks. A missed shot leaves you wide open to attack and that means that your partner will be in a tougher spot if you go down and have to wait to respawn. Fortunately, each of the characters has a bit of contrast to them. The main male character has the sword while the secondary female character uses longer-range weapons like guns and a bow and arrow to lay the smackdown on all the mutant scum.
Environmental traversal is swift and bears a minor resemblance to the arcade and Sega Genesis classic Strider, while the sword attack's range and attack animation are nearly identical. This gives the game an instant air of familiarity that helps ease new players into it, while the usage of a bow and arrow as a primary long-range weapon stands out quite a bit in a side-scrolling game. They're becoming a bit more common in 3D games like Horizon Zero Dawn, but haven't been used much in 2D games.
The stages themselves feature a variety of perils - like conveyor belts that send you zooming along. You have to be careful with how you use them because going with the belt may get you past one area quickly, while going against the grain may be the only way to find a safe haven. This means that in the short term, you will extend the time it takes to get from point A to B, but in doing so, can find things like a weapon cache or power-up to make your trek easier.
Going with the belt isn't always super-safe either, as hydraulic presses can come at you from all angles. If they're coming down at you, you have to choose between sliding under them and risking being unable to attack a nearby enemy while you get up or waiting a bit and then dashing. This will take more time and put you at greater risk - but also allows you to dole out damage faster to an enemy and more importantly, avoid taking damage from the enemy.
You can also use your ally to hold a button down and let the other character get to the other side - but failure with your timing takes a character out since the buttons are pressure-sensitive and leaving the pad makes your ally a pancake. Lost in Sky: Violent Seed shows great potential and is set to launch on Steam early access for Windows and Linux in April of 2019.