What if you could influence a person trapped in a coma and possibly free them from its horrifying grasp? In Waking Amy by Martian Media Inc, that’s just what you attempt to do. This Kickstarter game is a “2.5D platformer” in which a portly doctor uses advanced technology to go into the mind of his coma patient, Amy, the victim of a brutal car accident. With the help of Amy’s mother, you delve into Amy’s warped, nightmarish memories in the hopes of fighting your way back to consciousness.
Waking Amy features numerous “Dream Worlds” in which you enter into a memory which has become convoluted by the coma. Amy melds together with various animals she has seen and takes on aspects of said creatures. One of the first Dream Worlds is influenced by a trip she once took to an Aquarium where her imagination was captivated by a jellyfish. In the Dream World the two fuse together to create Jelly Amy, a humanoid being with the tentacles of a jellyfish. You use these tentacles to stun and attack enemies.
I don’t often play platformers, primarily because I suck (there, I admited it…) Despite my prejudice against such games, the alpha demo I had the privilege of testing out was quite a bit of fun. The game is fast–really fast. There were times where the camera would change angles and she’d be running towards you which felt somewhat similar to Sonic games that I’ve watched my brother play in the past. Though I died many many times from jumps I’d failed to time properly, I don’t think that this is at all a detraction from the game. If anything, it’s part of its charm. How often these days do you find yourself having to actually work at a level rather than breezing straight through it? I was not expecting the speed which with I was met, and after the initial shock it became quite fun.
To possibly compensate for the extreme speed was a feature that I very much loved:the ability to cling to rocks and cliffs. This saved my butt so many times after I fell of a lift or just completely missed a jump all together. While this feature is not throughout the level, they seem to have put it into the most difficult areas to give you a little extra help.
The second thing that I absolutely adored about Waking Amy was the music. Given that it was just the alpha demo I was not expecting much, but it blew me away. I mean, I want that soundtrack. It was eerie, and weird, and perfectly fit the mood for the game. So, too, did the backgrounds and environments. Waking Amy is a visually bizarre and trippy experience which one should expect when traversing the twisted memories of a disturbed young woman.
The character models aren’t the best I’ve ever seen, but that’s the purpose of the Kickstarter! If it were already a polished, finished product, what would be the purpose of crowdsourcing in the first place? The only other gripe I really had was with the sound affects. Some of the cries the enemies made could do with some help, but again, all in good time.
Ultimately Waking Amy has a lot of promise, and once it is funded I will be interested to see where it goes. While we don’t know too much about the story so far (though the end of the demo hinted that perhaps there was more to the doctor than we initially were led to believe), it’s definitely an interesting concept and I’m eager to see how it pans out.
If you want to back this project or simply keep an eye on it to see when it gets finished, head over to their Kickstarter site.
The game will be available for PC, Mac, and Linux.