Acclaimed bitwrangler zillix (exposure, denudation, endeavor) emerges from the pixel mines once again for Ludum Dare's Ancient Technology game jam, and are we ever glad he did! Someone needs to get the lights on around here, and in his new anachroma that means doing it one color at a time. In the classic style of metroidvania games you'll be toodling around an increasingly sophisticated map, but your accessible range will be limited at first and increase as you discover new abilities and game mechanisms that bring on new game mechanics and freedom. Right from the start, a new mechanic helps you survive long falls — and encourages exploration — with what we like to think of as Retroactive Fall Avoidance: fall beyond a certain distance and you'll crash hard, but the game will then courteously rewind you to the last ledge you were on minus anything you may have acquired during the fall. This neatly enables you to repeat the process several more times a la Groundhog Day until you find a better approach, but we like the encouragement to explore that anachroma provides along with that charitable approach.
As the captain of your vessel you'll blip around saving the day with the [arrow] keys, or [WASD]. This is fairly straightforward at first, at least until you begin to acquire your various new abilities! We'll strive to avoid spoiling the discoveries for you, but let's just say you'll have a newfound appreciation for octagons! Swash those buckles as you bound around an area on your ship that's fairly limited until you gain those snazzy new abilities enabling you to master ever more of the map. New abilities appear as stars, while you'll occasionally encounter triangles that allow you to restore your missing chromatics and get things fully operational again. Anachroma comes up to zillix' usual top-notch standard and demonstrates quite a lot of innovation, especially for an entry in a gaming competition that some developers would consider so brief that it's not worth putting a lot of ingenuity into — and that emphasis on quality and high standards is exactly what separates the developers of renown from the rest of the pack. Even the level design took some doing, taking into account the special abilities you'll encounter later on. We'd love to see anachroma expanded at some point from a brief proof-of-concept into something more substantial because it's the kind of enjoyable play environment indie games should be, and we think you'll agree.