[Oliver Price | News Manager]
It’s pretty clear to see why the demo of Ascent won Game of the Year from the CG Student Awards. In Ascent you play as a grasshopper-person named Tari, as she tries to make it from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen. The description says that you have been compelled to climb a tree after being infected with a cordyceps fungus, the very same fungus infecting people in the smash hit zombie game The Last of Us. However, the comparison with grotesque zombie games basically ends there.
On the surface, Ascent appears to be a fairly regular 2.5d platformer, in the same vein as Trine, which it stylistically borrows a lot from. What sets the game apart is the main mechanic/gimmick: throwing seeds at objects to create jumping mushrooms, vine platforms, or vine ropes. It sounds simple but it has a surprising amount of depth. You may have to jump, create a bouncy mushroom, and then as you are in the air, create a vine platform to land on. If the game gets developed into a full version, I look forward to seeing how this mechanic can be further developed.
Then there’s the art and graphics. It’s fair to say that Ascent is very pretty. It very effectively gives the player the sense they are in a mystical woodland world. Did I mention that it looks really pretty?