Evercade VS Game of the Month #9: Gelatinous – Humanity Lost
The Game of the Month feature, exclusive to Evercade VS, offers a series of downloadable indie games between April and December of 2022, with each being available to play for free for a whole month. With December’s update to the Evercade VS, the ninth in the series, Gelatinous: Humanity Lost, is now available, offering you a stiff platforming challenge to try and conquer!
As always, don’t forget that all of the Game of the Month games will be available in physical form on the Indie Heroes Collection 2 cartridge, releasing early next year — so don’t worry if you miss your chance to play! Do please note, however, that any save games from the Game of the Month version of Gelatinous: Humanity Lost will not transfer over to the Indie Heroes Collection 2 cartridge.
Gelatinous: Humanity Lost comes to us from John Roo of The Retro Room and co-creator Steven Long. It’s a strong contrast to Roo’s previous work Quest Arrest, which many of you have doubtless enjoyed as part of the Indie Heroes Collection 1 cartridge for Evercade. While Quest Arrest riffed on the conventions of the top-down 8-bit RPG by combining cutesy graphics with a foul-mouthed, violence-packed script, Gelatinous: Humanity Lost takes on the exploratory platformer genre.
Gelatinous: Humanity Lost was originally a Kickstarter-funded project, successfully smashing through its modest goal in just over an hour. This allowed Roo and Long to add some additional stretch goals to the project, including additional endings, more passwords, a death counter and multiple difficulty levels. This is a game made to be replayed and enjoyed multiple times — with the Nightmare mode offering an incredibly difficult challenge for those who didn’t find the base game hard enough!
In Gelatinous: Humanity Lost, you’ve been turned into a ball of gooey slime after uncovering a legendary crystal that promises the secret to eternal life.
To make matters worse, you’ve fallen down a grate into what appears to be a huge ancient temple. In your new slimy form, there’s initially not much you can do other than slither left and right with the D-Pad and slide up walls and across ceilings by moving into them.
As you explore the strange new environment in which you find yourself, you’ll stumble across mystical machines which serve two purposes. Firstly, they’ll save your progress, and secondly, they’ll provide you with new abilities — though not always! You’ll be pleased to hear that one of the first skills you earn is the ability to jump; once you’ve unlocked this feature, you can jump with the A button. Later, you’ll also be able to attack with the B button — but in the meantime, steer clear of anything that looks like it might wish you harm!
Although Gelatinous: Humanity Lost is a challenging game, it’s one that rewards exploration and experimentation. When entering a new room, take a moment to see what obstacles and enemies are present, and see if you can figure out a safe route around them. Don’t forget that even once you get the jump and attack abilities, you can still roll up the walls and across the ceilings — and, indeed, it’s often necessary to do this in order to succeed!
At certain points in the game, you’ll be awarded four-character passwords. For the true old-school experience, write these down and use them from the game’s main menu to pick up where you left off. Alternatively, you can always use the Evercade’s built-in save function to manually save your game at any time!
To say too much more is to spoil the experience, because Gelatinous: Humanity Lost is all about discovery and gradual mastery.
In the words of Roo and Long, “if you’re having trouble advancing in Gelatinous, don’t feel bad. Lots of gamers suck these days. Remember, the key to these old games is to actually memorise the levels.” Gelatinous: Humanity Lost isn’t actually an “old game” in itself, of course, but it very much channels the design conventions of classic old-school exploration platformers! So if you’re struggling, take a step back, look at what’s happening on screen and consider how you might be able to do things a little differently.
Roo and Long have put in some solid work in bringing the world of Gelatinous: Humanity Lost to life, and Roo hopes that he will be able to work together with Long on numerous future projects. Perhaps we’ll see more of their work together on future Indie Heroes cartridges for Evercade? Going on past experience, we can doubtless expect a completely different kind of game again if that happens.
To get started with Gelatinous: Humanity Lost and the Game of the Month feature, connect your Evercade VS to a Wi-Fi network through the Network menu in Settings, then update your system’s firmware through the System menu.
When you’re updated to version 2.1.9 or later, you’re ready to go — select the star icon on the left of the screen and get ready to enjoy Gelatinous: Humanity Lost!
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