PEGBRJE: Toto Temple Deluxe and SuperLuminauts

Rounding out 21 with some good ol’ fashion chaos.

I’ve never wanted a goat this bad before.

Toto Temple Deluxe is a competitive multiplayer title made by Juicy Beast, an indie studio based out of Canada. Players will be set up deep within spooky temples as one of four colourful characters, all with the goal of acquiring a goat that — for some reason — lays eggs. I don’t get it much, but it’s a valuable goat and it gives points so I can’t question it.

As these four temple characters, players will be playing a capture the flag/king of the hill stylized game, to which the goal is to be the first to 3000 points through the acquisition of the goat. This goat gives a constant supply of points every second, which can easily overtake players that are just attempting to acquire coins as a supplementary method of scoring. As those without the goat, players will be able to dash in a specified direction until they come in to contact with a player or the wall. If this player is carrying the goat, then it is transferred to the dashing player and those around the miniature explosion will be stunned. Those carrying the goat lose this dash in favour of a shield, which if timed correctly can deflect a dash and cause the dasher to stun themselves. This makes up the core gameplay, as players attempt to grab the goat while still grabbing the coins to ensure that they are at least gaining some points, while the goat holder is dodging and weaving while also wanting to grab extra points to keep their lead going. Dashes have one extra perk as well, as they are able to ‘destroy’ walls, specifically rainbow-coloured ones for they give a power up to those that destroy them. These powerups can completely change the game, such as the crystal that will fire a massive laser in all cardinal directions after a delay, or the anti-magnet that pushes all coins away from every other player. Since the goat holder cannot dash, these powerups can put them at a severe disadvantage if they are not careful, but at the same time they are the ones gaining points so does it matter?

Winning a round of Toto Temple Deluxe adds a small gem to the player’s podium, and if they acquire two they are the winner of the entire game, unlocking new features and explanations for certain powerups for doing so. Rounds rarely last longer than a few minutes, but the chaotic nonsense that can ensue is exhilarating to say the least. Plus with all the new levels and gamemodes to spice things up a bit, anyone who enjoys local multiplayer games of any kind will adore this one.

SuperLuminauts is a curious arcade arena ‘shooter’ made by LampFire, an indie trio that launched this title back in 2017. While gridlike in appearance, players will be actively attempting to shoot their friends with missiles that leave strange neon trails behind them in the hopes of being victorious.

Players will begin a game of SuperLuminauts by deciding the colour and shape of their ship before diving in to a monochromatic grid world with mysterious faded lines in the backdrop and a single goal; destroy every other player. To do so, collecting the white rocks gives players a tail representing their ammunition for their missiles, with one shot consuming a rock. These missiles then leave this trail, which acts as a barrier that damages enemy players that run in to it; three strikes against an opposing barrier, and that player is out. Now the original shooter of that missile has free reign to travel through their own barriers, but any shot made will bounce off of it creating some funky patterns thanks to the magic of physics. It creates a sense of excitement to trap another within a certain location and snipe them out, but the same can happen in reverse if not careful. Thankfully, there is a unique mechanic that brings about counterplay; the breaking of the trails.

See, if a player shoots a missile at their own barrier it bounces off, but if they shoot at an opposing trail it breaks it at that exact point, making a convergence of some kind by fusing the two together with a star at the collision site. This allows for players to bust out of tricky situations, but also creates a bizarre sequence of events if a collision sight had already existed. When a new collision point is created, the previous shot made by the player that created the initial collision will become a missile once again, as if freed from the struggle against the previous attack. It continues onwards until it runs out of gas and creates a new point in the wall as it would’ve before, or collides and creates a new collision point with an enemy wall, thus creating the absolute chaos of physics. Shots can go in to new locations by simply colliding with an enemy’s and suddenly there are lines everywhere. Thankfully there’s a dodge on a short cooldown to slip past these barriers, but a mistimed dodge can spell disaster.

What makes it even more interesting is after a round win, for the map begins to zoom in and the lines created by the players fade to white and become the new arena to play the next round. This style of player-made fractured maps is amazing, because it creates a sense that no matter what occurs, the player has influenced the game in some way; especially since these maps are ‘saved’ by the game and can be found in the Galactic Tour game mode, where players build the sequence of maps to fight each other. There is one more game mode outside of the Dive/Galactic tour style called Chaotic Anomaly, which involves quick 1-missile-1-kill rounds to create a purely insane speed round system.

SuperLuminauts is a masterclass in executing a simple mechanic to its fullest, from the ease of understanding the game’s limitations and expectations to the clean aesthetic to avoid any visual issues. Players can enter a game with little knowledge of angles and understandings and immediately begin firing away on their friends and foes. If you love sci-fi like games that take angles to the extreme, this is exactly the style of game for you.

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Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.