Recently, with the Steam Next Fest, I revived my taste for demos: small doses with lots of flavor. And I have been playing them when I have the opportunity. Hence, I am happy I discovered Star Fetchers, developed by Svavelstickan, released in 2020 on Steam. It is a 1-hit kill hack & slash 2D platformer inspired by grindhouse movies, that works great on Linux with any Proton.
The art looks like it was made in
MS Paint Pinta, but there are so much attention to detail, to properly set the world, and the game physics. All done so well, that gives the game its authenticity and uniqueness.
I was soon captured by the gameplay, you point your mouse and click to slash with your sword, that can be used to parry, deflect bullets or chop your enemies. The movements are nimble, with an option to slow time, so you can get some cinematic kills.
The fights take places in small scenes with a set number of enemies armed with guns and swords. If you die, you can restart that scene by pressing ‘R’. After cleaning a bunch of areas, you will face the boss of that gang armed with a unique weapon and more elaborated move pattern.
I am not that good, I was just shaking the mouse around and figuring out the pattern of the bosses (and a way to cheese them), while trying to avoid insta-death.
In the game you are trying to climb the Grey Zone gang’s power ladder, defeating caricature groups that remind me of the movie Warriors (1979), each on its characteristic
comically zone, clothes and names. Full of humour, it plays as a serious tone on philosophical aspects of society in general, like the disfranchisement of the poor, or greed pushing mandatory obsolescence just to hit you with more and more absurd as girl scouts endeavours to sell you weapons, or an android tells you he was replaced by another that could do 1 more computation per second.
More than a demo, Star Fetchers is a free pilot and base for episodic releases. Good on its own, it made me excited about the next installment: The Episode 1, was founded with Kickstarter in 2021, a work in progress soon to be released.