Oh, sure, life is terrific with all your fancy RTS's and FPS's and MMORPG's and ROUS's and other acronym-able gaming genres. Developers spend years honing polygons, designing levels, and basically making the experience as complicated and creative as possible. And that's just great. But for now, let us forsake those years of planning and millions of dollars in budgeting and explore an exercise in minimalism. e7, a new sci-fi adventure game from Jgames, gives you a simple mission: save the Earth... on a planet that seems to be composed of a material that can only be described as "waterbed."
You are luke, a small probe dropped from a larger spaceship onto the surface of a strangely gelatinous hostile planet. Somewhere to the east is e7, a bomb pointed directly at the Earth (the physics of planetary motion notwithstanding. just... go with it). Of course, the global economy has left the "Strategic Offensive Weaponry in Dire Earth-Threatening Circumstances" budget of NASA completely underfunded, so you'll have to deal with the hostile robots—here co-starring with deadly lasers—in some other fashion. Fortunately for you and the rest of humanity, your probe is its own weapon, as pressing the [down] arrow will allow you to sink a bit into the surface of the squishy planet and propel yourself Juggernaut-style at your enemies. Your commander will provide hints and encouragement as you go along, but otherwise you're on your own. Proceed in this fashion through 20 levels of surprisingly varied gameplay and disarm that bomb—for Earth!
e7 is lovingly understated and beautiful, from the rush of wind and light piano track that convey a simultaneous sense of isolation and hope, to the silhouetted foreground scenery overlaying a distant and imaginative landscape. The gameplay is simple, to be sure, but the central mechanic is fun to learn, tricky to master, and wholly satisfying once you've reigned it in. You're likely to experience some aggravation at later enemies, especially at the one that locks in on you with a particularly potent laser, but it's the good kind of aggravation that can be subdued with a little patience. My only real complaint with the game is that it sometimes takes too long to destroy enemies. I mean, they all require multiple hits and all must be destroyed before the portal to the next level is opened. Of course, this is but a drop in an ocean of delicious Jello, which, incidentally, is also sort of how the planet's surface behaves. See what I did there?
Thanks to Brian and Pe-ads for sending this one in!