Ball and Chain Prototype


If you publish Flash games in some capacity and would like to fund further development based on this prototype, don't hesistate to contact me at nathan_AT_icecreambreakfast.com.


INSTRUCTIONS

Arrow keys: move
'f': fullscreen, 'escape': leave fullscreen.
'm': mute/unmute sound (not in fullscreen)

GOAL: Attack enemies by directing the ball of energy following you. Get as many points as possible, and survive until the timer counts down.


Please wait for this to load - there's no progress bar. Click the flash app a few times to give it input focus.
There's no way to restart, so press F5 to refresh the page to play again.

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How to Play Well


   Avoid enemies as you steer. Remember that your attacking ball orbits you as your steer. The further you pull from it, the faster it returns to you. So try to keep its inertia going. Combos play a key role here - kill many enemies with one attack for extra points. The ball absorbs enemy shots, which increases its attack power briefly.

Design Notes


Novel Attacking


   This is another arcade arena-style game.
   The key is you can't directly attack. Instead, this powerful orb of destruction is tethered to you. Pull far from it, and it chases you, damaging anyone it strikes.
   This prototype touches a few themes I like. One is games using only the four directional arrows for input. I find that an interesting / inspiring constraint.
   Another theme is player attack methods being more unusual than "press a button to attack!", and shaping the play so the player can't be attacking constantly. The timing alternates dodging, attacking, dodging, attacking... The rules demand it.
   As you steer, you're controlling the way the attacking orb moves. But you're also dodging attacks and enemies, and navigating to pick up powerups. The dual control situation here intrigues me.
   The windmill throwing stars in Ninja Gaiden for the NES inspired me here. That weapon would shoot out from the player, then return, like a boomerang. If it struck an enemy, it would damage them and keep going. But as it returned, if the player jumped or ducked correctly, they could dodge it. Then it would sail by, striking more enemies. Done well, a player could keep it orbitting for several screens, conserving ammo along the way. It always struck me as interesting; this prototype tried to captures some of its spirit.
   Chain-striking many enemies with a single orb attack arc makes a nice better/worse play situaiton. In an ideal world, I would do more to increase depth, of course.







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