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Kaiju Panic Preview at EGX Rezzed 2014

There were many interesting games at EGX Rezzed this year, one of which is a new indie title by Mechabit: Kaiju Panic. From its adorable art style to its take on classic tower defense games, it’s an interesting title you should probably have a look at, and you’ll find a few reasons why in this preview!

The story of the game is relatively simple: a meteorite impacts into the Earth and shortly afterwards, giant monsters start appearing and rampaging around the globe. It’s your job to defend the world’s populace and protect the landmark buildings by building turrets, defenses and rescuing scientists to develop new monster-destroying technology and calming measures. It’s relatively fast paced, and the game increases in difficulty as you progress through. The game takes place through an overworld map, where you can select a country and the missions available in that area. For the purpose of EGX Rezzed, there only appeared to be one area unlocked: Europe.

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The first thing you notice while playing the game is the adorable art style. Everything is bright, cheerful and completely what you wouldn’t expect from a world about to be destroyed by rampaging Kaiju. The first level introduces you to the elements of the game, mainly resource harvesting and defending against bouncing balls (the monsters). A large part of the game relies on your resource management, and to buy turrets, guns and other technology you need to make sure you can afford it. This is done by harvesting the purple meteorites that land around the level, and to do this you need to build a Harvester. It’s really that simple. Once it’s built it automatically harvests, and you collect your ‘money’ by walking near it. This allows you to build guns and start destroying the monsters.

Items can only be built within a certain radius of either your character (for guns) or the meteorite (for the harvesters), so you need to move your player around a fair bit. However, once you’ve got your defenses in place it leaves you free to complete the secondary part of the game: saving civilians!

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The civilians have a purpose in the game: walking over to them attaches them to your player, and you can place them inside the turrets for extra effects. These bunkers also help to keep the little guys safe, and the more you save the bigger bonus you get after completing the level! Also after each level you get to unlock the character bios, like the ones above! In fact, if you fancy being in the game or designing your own character, you can now pre-order the $100 edition which lets you do just that.

As for the creatures themselves, in the demo you only really see two creatures. The first is a small red blob which is relatively easy to kill. Simply place your turret and it’s easy sailing! The second creature however is a bigger, more armored version which requires a whole new toy to kill. As demonstrated in the level, you’re required to build acid launchers which weakens their armor and makes them more susceptible to regular turret fire. However, this is where the problem arose.

The second level was hard. Perhaps a little TOO hard. Even the designers who were there admitted that they may have made the game a little too hard, although it was funny watching everyone struggle against the second level. I’ll admit at first I thought there was some ‘trick’ to it, as you are being attacked from two sides and need to defend both accordingly before your home base is squished. By the time the acid launcher and the turrets were built on both sides, usually some of the creatures had made their way past the defensive line and were destroying the base. Luckily you can use landmines and barriers to help, but I’m hoping it’s made a little easier when the beta is released. Despite the short time I had to play it, Kaiju Panic was an enjoyable title that was fun, simple to learn, memorably quirky and had the most adorable art style I’ve seen in a tower defense game. I mean seriously, look at these little monsters!

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I have to say that the chibi Godzilla and the Swamp Monster are my favourites, with chibi Mothra coming in close afterwards! In case you missed it at EGX Rezzed this year or haven’t have a chance to check it out yet, you can now have a look at the pre-alpha footage from the dev blog. Kaiju Panic is now available to pre-order, and currently if you do it’s 50% off so you’re only paying $10. It’s a fantastic price for such an adorable game that has a fair bit of potential. If you pre-order it now you will get beta access, but if you buy the $100 version you get to create your own character and also get access from the early alpha, so it depends how badly you really want to play Kaiju Panic. There’s also a dev blog you can keep up to date with, and it should be heading to PC and Mac ‘soon’.



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