Written by Daikon

2023年 10月 14日
Indie Tsushin 2023 October issueThis article was featured in our 2023 October issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

Reverberating through the once-silent forest is a thunderous roar. The game CALAMITY CREATURES by kagirohi opens with the steady booming of something impossibly large shaking the very trees. I approached what I thought was an enormous building. Huh? The building is rising into the air! This is no building, but a huge leg! Indeed, it is such a huge leg that it cannot even fit in the screen.

CALAMITY CREATURES is an action and puzzle platforming game where you face off against giant mechanical beasts. Your job is to take down these creatures from causing more destruction by using your powerful prosthetic arm to find its weak points and dismantle them piece by piece.

Tiny player character running alongside a screen-filling mechanical foot. The text reads, 'The girl's monologues can sometimes provide hints for the game. If not needed, they can be hidden from the GAME SETTING.'

This is only one foot of Eagle Eye, the first level's massive creature.

The first level teaches you how the game works by simply throwing you at Eagle Eye, a creature the size of a skyscraper. You get hints of what objects you can grab and hang from, such as bolts or air ducts, but you are largely left to experiment on your own. Disabling or removing parts of the machinery opens new options and platforms to progress. All of this takes place while you are climbing a moving creature, so timing and planning is very important to making sure you do not fall off. There is a palpable sense of tension as you leap across this enormous, lumbering machine.

The first time I loaded up this game, I saw the screen-filling mechanical leg and could not imagine how I was supposed to take down such a massive creature. I thought there was no way I was supposed to fight this thing, and only thought to run away. Just when I was wondering if this was some kind of escape sequence, the tutorial text kicked in and told me to climb up. The moment I realized what the game was trying to tell me, I was filled with supreme joy, like an exciting adventure was unfurling before me. What I was about to do was going to be amazing.

Character portrait of Chisel, a young person with a prosthetic metal arm. She says, 'Hmmm...'

You play as the very cool and collected Chisel, an expert at dismantling the enormous metal creatures of this world.

For me, it felt like a dream come true, and I was excited to get going. But unlike me, Chisel, the protagonist of the game, is a seasoned expert. She calmly analyzes the situation, searches for opportunities to move forward or disable the creature's defenses, and gives the player hints and strategies. I appreciated the way the game guided me to arrive at the solutions myself while never letting me feel stuck.

The creature I was climbing had moss and plants dangling down here and there, indicating that it had been moving slowly for many years. That moss is also a clue telling you where to climb. You need to grapple up to the joints and unscrew the bolts holding down the defensive outer plates on the creature's flanks. Doing so opens even more platforms. There are batteries that you can shoot at with your electric arrows, causing them to overload and malfunction, thus shutting down things like electrical barriers or moving platforms. Eagle Eye also has enormous dials that correlate with its internal pressure, so overloading its systems and grappling up using the dial of the needle is also possible. The machinery of each creature is elaborate and detailed, and experimenting with it is fun and has a real tactile sense to it.

Chisel dangling off some hanging plants growing out of the side of Eagle Eye, the massive mechanical creature. Above her are two huge dials, and she wonders to herself if she can grab the needles.

There is generous checkpointing and infinite retries, but dangling off a huge, mobile creature always feels tense and frightening.

As you make your way across the torso and back of Eagle Eye, you finally arrive at a long neck stretching up and away. Your meters indicate that the source of the creature's power lies at the top. It is at this point that Eagle Eye must have finally realized that you have come to destroy it, and so fans out electric defenses to stop you. Could this be the end of your arduous journey?

The levels of CALAMITY CREATURES are designed around a single huge boss fight, and each boss requires a different set of strategies to take them down. In the second level, in place of puzzle elements there are more action sequences, such as dodging the enemy's huge attacks and grappling away at the right time. Both creatures showcase a lot of creativity and the unique properties of these mysterious machines. It must have been challenging to incorporate so many different elements and ideas into the boss fights while maintaining the original concept of the game.

Chisel drawing back her fist full of energy to land the final blow on the creature's power source.

Time for the finishing blow!!

CALAMITY CREATURES is available for free on Steam in Early Access, and more levels are planned to be added. What will the new machines look like, and what kinds of strategies will they require? I am looking forward to seeing what kinds of designs and solutions the creator will experiment with in future updates. If you can, I highly recommend checking this game out and keeping an eye on how it progresses and expands in the future.

CALAMITY CREATURES is available for free on Steam in Early Access. Follow developer @kagirohi_gp on Twitter for more information and updates. And you can watch us play it on stream!