PAX Prime 2015: Apocalypse Cow
One of the games I was most excited about seeing during PAX Prime 2015 was a brutal looking platformer called “Apocalypse Cow.” Athens-based company Monsters is developing it, and the website (which is hilarious) describes it as “Super Mario, with a weapon, on crack.”
This is pretty much the perfect description of “Apocalypse Cow.” The environments are visually reminiscent of “Super Mario,” but the developers have added elements that lead to the player accidentally annihilating themselves on a hilariously regular basis. That’s not the only difference between this game and the games that inspired it; gameplay is much quicker, enemies are more aggressive, and the player will have access to a variety of weapons throughout the game. After all, why jump on a bad guy when you can sword him in the face?
Getting past the murderous environments relies heavily on the ability to slow down time. This seems like it would be relatively simple to use. But when you’re playing cooperatively, it’s pretty easy to accidentally (or, if you’re anything like me, purposely because I’m the worst to play co-op with) murder your friends by speeding time up when they’re vulnerable. When they’re running under a floating block covered by spikes, for example, it will slam down on them (hilariously) when you release the slow down time button.
Monsters founder John Koumoundouros explained that “Apocalypse Cow” was almost accidental. Monsters is working on another game, “Hybris,” which is much darker in tone. He said that the gloomier nature of that game was starting to wear on his team, so “Apocalypse Cow” became their on-the-side pleasure project, a way to blow off steam. It was never supposed to be released to the public.
Luckily for us, that pleasure project took on a life of its own, and we’ll all get to play it. (Some of us already did play it and cannot wait to play it again.)
I got to try it out with Marc from Press2Reset, and it was the most fun I’ve had playing co-op in a long time—especially at the end of the demo when the words “Kill your friend” flashed on the screen, and the game abruptly changed from co-op to PvP.
I totally killed the hell out of my friend—in the game, not in real life. That would be illegal.
“Apocalypse Cow” is a hilarious parody of old school platformers. Monsters hired writers to amp up the humor, and it shows. The game throws out joke references from all over pop culture; we ran into the Storm-King (one of the Nazgûl from “Lord of the Rings”) standing on the bow of the Titanic and declaring himself “the king of the MMO.”
We dropped an iceberg on him. I probably don’t have to tell you what happened to the Titanic.
I think weird stuff is awesome. So even if the gameplay was bad, I’d probably be excited about this game. The gameplay, however, is not bad. It’s damn good, and I’m looking forward to playing the hell out of this.
“Apocalypse Cow” has been Greenlit on Steam, with PC release slated for late 2015 or early 2016.
Marc from Press2Reset teamed up with me to interview Monsters founder John Koumandouros—check it out!