PAX East Hands On: Swimsanity

Decoy Games is an independent gaming company started by two brothers, Ahmed and Khalil Abdullah. After exploring their passion for gaming, and finding they had an ability to create games, they began to build what they call team Decoy. Pulling alongside them childhood friend Chris Venne as a lead artist, Decoy Games was born. Currently the three work on developing for the company on the side while working full time jobs that can take up to 60 hours of their week. Their current goal is to find a publisher who will publish their game and allow them to go full time. They hope by building a close connection to a strong fan following, that they can make this a reality.

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Swimsanity is a 2D four-player underwater arena combat Brawler. You play as one of four underwater alien fighters, called Moobas, that have a special ability called a Swimsanity. You build up your Swimsanity Meter by dealing damage to enemies, whether they are NPC monsters, other Moobas, or players that you are fighting against. The game showcased four Swimsanity abilities, with the possibility of more being brought in later in development. The four abilities are: Stasis, which freezes all enemies on screen; Harpoon shower, which rains harpoons from the top of the screen that are next to impossible to completely dodge; Hyper Mine, a massive mine that is propelled in the direction you are shooting and explodes dealing massive damage to anything it hits, including yourself; and the Piranha Mech, which gives the player controlling it a large speed boost, a decent health increase and an astounding damage output for a limited amount of time. You can destroy the Piranha Mech but it will take a lot of damage and teamwork from your enemies to pull it off.

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The Moobas are armed with a semi-automatic blaster that will overheat with repeated fire. The game currently has no meter to determine how close you are to overheating, but the cool down is only about two seconds long. Moobas also have a teleport ability that morph them into a small invincible glowing orb and will move them in one direction for one second. Each Mooba starts off with three teleports and can replenish them by either picking up extra teleports or dying. NPC monsters drop power-ups that will help players, such as a speed boost, an express cool down that keeps your weapon from overheating, a stasis gun, a mine gun, and teleport replenishment. The power-ups have a limited duration, except for guns which give three ammo per pick up and can be swapped back and forth between your main gun and the special gun. Guns and extra teleports are lost if you die.

Decoy Games showed off Swimsanity with three game types and two maps. The game modes are: Last Mooba standing, a death match that can be played free-for-all or team based; Damu Rush, a CTF style game where players must pick up and transport an orb to their spawn point which can be dropped upon taking damage or teleporting, which can also be played either FFA or Team based; and Defiance, a co-op wave survival mode. The two maps showed were Serene, a calm underwater landscape for straight forward play, and Fortress, a factory style map with pistons that appear in from the sides and can block passage or provide a timely cover.

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If you are bored with destroying your friendships over Mario Party and Super Smash Bros., Swimsanity will give you another new game to prove to your friends just how much better you are at video games then they are. I cannot wait for the finished project, but with the lack of a publisher, a timeline and a release date will be unlikely for the near future. But, I am sure the finished project will be well worth the wait.