Last week in downtown San Francisco, Rising Star Games brought a range of its upcoming titles, the strangest (pun intended) of which comes from Indie developer, Sinclair Strange. His retro-style vampire anti-love story, I Want to be Human demonstrated that when it comes to vampire love, it isn’t all sparkles and sappy love songs.
I Want to be Human tells the story of two young vampire lovers who get the shaft by an unscrupulous corporation while attempting to become human. The boy half of the duo is turned into a hat (yes, a hat) and the girl then must visit a terrible bloody vengeance on the architects of his fate.
The game plays side-to-side in 2D scrolling fashion, and involves lots of running, dashing, jumping and shooting. The idea is to clear each level within a set time frame. That means blasting your way through enemies and navigating your way to various checkpoints that extend your time, thus giving you the chance to up your score and find more “secrets.”
Scores are based on the number of kills you make, as well as the number of combos you execute; this is harder than it sounds, what with all the pits, obstacles and pools of deadly holy water. The game’s tone is definitely tongue-in-cheek—designer Strange said at the event that its adult edge (translation: curse words) has been smoothed over a bit to make it more kid-friendly. Funnily enough, the gore is still there in full force, with blood splattering everywhere and the heroine collecting disembodied brains. (Note: the gore can be turned off.)
In addition to the main action, Strange showed off the optional secret levels, which entail things like timed puzzles and a console graveyard where players must fight off waves of old Gameboys, NES’s and other old-school game hardware. He also presented a taste of the game’s vehicles in the form of a round ball with a buzz-saw blade players can use to wreak temporary havoc.
Though the build on display was fairly put-together, it lacked voiceover and cutscenes, the presence of which would likely help convey the game’s overall feel. Strange mentioned that the simple hand-drawn black, white and red pixel graphics were inspired by the Tank Girl comics, although the correlation wasn’t readily apparent.
Upon release, I Want to be Human will have five levels with twenty-five sub-levels—impressive, considering the game is being made almost entirely by one guy—although right now those levels are currently in beta. So far, there’s no set release date or pricing for the game, but Rising Star says it should be ready and available via Steam some time this October.
For more information about I Want to be Human, visit the game’s Steam Greenlight page.