It makes me slightly bit unhappy typically, after I play one thing completely fascinating that additionally occurs to have barely any probability of getting the popularity it deserves. These video games aren’t confined to obscurity due to the ol’ David & Goliath narrative of plucky indies and omnipotent AAA ogres, however as a result of they appear to be made with no look after mass market attraction. Lucifer’s Atoms, from Peter Inventory (the developer of the marvellous Armadillo Run), is one such recreation.
Armadillo Run is nice. It’s a sandbox-ish building recreation, of the “make a factor out of a library of elements with a purpose to resolve a collection of puzzles” selection. The stuff you construct is perhaps rocket sleds, or large Rube Goldberg assemblies, relying in your urge for food. I dunno should you bear in mind my Have You Performed… Fort Crashers?, the place I talked about getting actually depressed in Melbourne and hiding in a abandoned indie recreation gallery for 2 days, however Armadillo Run occupied me for the whole thing of the second of these days. It was nice.
Feeling nostalgic for that day, I set out earlier this yr to get myself a duplicate of Armadillo Run, and tracked it down on Peter Inventory’s web site – which I’d solely have discovered if I used to be looking for Armadillo Run. I emailed Peter to talk concerning the recreation, and he kindly despatched me a duplicate of Lucifer’s Atoms, its sort-of-sequel. It’s wild. LA is Armadillo Run’s primary premise, however with each function cranked up – it is a physics-based building toy that beats Besieged, Nimbatus, or any of the opposite video games of this kind I’ve performed just lately.
The one factor is, it’s actually, actually obtuse. Not within the sense that it’s baffling to determine – I imply it is, however solely in as a lot as something involving automation, logic, and programmable thrust must be by necessity. But it surely additionally simply… seems forbidding? The UI is austere, prefer it’s from a chunk of enterprise software program, or one thing utilized by scientists to electrocute worms, and all of it feels prefer it’s from the late 1990s. Which is completely advantageous, in my ebook. But it surely’s very hardly ever a path to megasales. And that’s a disgrace, as a result of extra folks ought to be capable to have enjoyable with this recreation. In reality – you: go test it out.
Additionally, the identify? It’s good, IMHO. However once more, it doesn’t precisely promote the sport. You’d assume it was a roguelike set in a demon-infested quantum analysis facility, relatively than a placid recreation about shifting spheres about with rockets and jury-rigged cam assemblies. See this charming entry from the sport’s FAQ:
Is your recreation Satanic?
No. Lucifer means light-bearing – the planet Venus (the night/morning star) known as Lucifer, and animals that glow at the hours of darkness use a chemical known as Luciferase. Gentle is related to data. Lucifer’s Atoms challenges gamers to mix easy objects collectively to create extra complicated mechanisms and I hope it provides them a sense of enlightenment.
That’s a commendably elegant rationale, nevertheless it’s hardly self-explanatory. And once more, that’s not a slam – it’s not like “Fortnite” means something, in any case. And I don’t even need Lucifer’s Atoms to be any totally different. It’s only a disgrace that in a world the place those that shout loudest get gross sales, quiet oddities like this could languish.