May 15, 2013 5:40 PM | Paul Hack
Sebastian Alvarez of Four Shadow Games unleashed Je Suis Pierre the Movie: The Game upon the world this week, and it's a remarkable opening salvo from this new developer. Je Suis Pierre is a tale of revenge set at the start of the French Revolution. A haughty aristocrat has murdered your family, and now you're going to take your sword and exact some vengeance.
In his email to us, Alvarez cited the recent PUNKSNOTDEAD as an inspiration for Pierre's minimalist gameplay and visual style. Another touchstone is Castlevania, with its simple control scheme and hardcore difficulty. You use the left and right arrow keys to run, and X to swing your heavy sword. Pressing down in conjunction with left or right will make you slide on the ground. Gameplay consists of running, sliding, and slashing your way through a whole bunch of armored guards as you approach the object of your vendetta. The aristocrat waits snugly in his palace, sneering and regaling his lady with the tale of how he had an entire family put to death for being boring. But one of them did manage to slide underfoot and away...
The display is split horizontally in half, like a Nintendo DS game. While the action unfolds on the top half, the bottom portion shows the aristocrat hanging out in his palatial chamber, making hilarious boasts and snide comments and jamming to an excellent piano tune that soundtracks the game. Alvarez and his crew worked in video and graphic design before making the switch to video games, and the game's polished, eye-catching visual presentation must be informed by those experiences. The gameplay itself is not quite as polished, but it's exciting and fun. Je Suis Pierre is a short game, but I would have appreciated a couple of checkpoints to avoid having to start over after each one of my many, many deaths.
Je Suis Pierre was made with Unity, so it's playable right in your browser on Game Jolt, though there is also a downloadable version available there. Have fun storming the castle!