I had a chance to sit down with indie developer Hitbox Team’s new action platforming game called Dustforce. Dustforce is what I like to call a twitch platforming game. Much like N+ or Super Meat Boy, you are placed in an area and must jump, wall climb, and maneuver your way to victory. Victory in Dustforce is achieved by clearing out the level of enemies that are covered with dust, dirt, leaves and many other types of unclean garbage.
You play as a cleaner, with four different characters to choose from at the start of each level. Each plays slightly different from the rest, but for the most part the game play stays the same. You can double jump, wall jump, and use two attacks: strong and light. If you defeat an enemy while jumping in the air, you are given another jump. So creating combos is essential for making big jumps. There is also dust on the ground. When running over the dust, you clean it, beginning a combo. If you can keep the combo going by moving fast, cleaning dust in succession, and defeating enemies, you will obtain a special attack that can take out multiple enemies on screen.
The preview build doesn’t include too much story, but from what I can gather, you play as cleaners trying to clean up garbage as an evil force of pollution is releasing the trash on the world; at least that’s what I get from the opening scene.
The really unique aspect of Dustforce is the presentation, art style, and music. The graphics are smooth and crisp, giving off a cel-shaded look. The actions and movement are very fluid. It reminds me of the old cartoon, Samurai Jack. The music is a beautiful blend of new age sounds mixed with almost 16-bit sounding melodies. It’s a really nice touch.
With the couple of hours I have put into the preview, I have to say, I’m actually excited to play the full game and see what Dustforce has to offer. If you’re into games like Super Meat Boy, you really should check out Dustforce. It’s looking very promising. Luckily, you won’t have to wait long, as the game releases January 17th on Steam.