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Monday, October 01, 2007

Varia is a new vertical shooter from Kairos, featuring four playable levels and a combination of influences from several classic shmups. Rotating powerups can be collected using the Cho Ren Sha 68K method, while options can absorb and mimic enemy attacks.

Hold the Z key to shoot, and use the X key to freeze options in their places. Tap the C key to free the ability of the currently selected option.

Name: Varia
Developer: Kairos
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB
Direct download link: Click here

[online high score table]


Anonymous Anonymous said at 10/02/2007 05:58:00 AM:  
Very cool games. All the different elements (Chorensha-style power up, Ikaruga-chaining...) fit together quite nicely. However, selecting the options while moving the ship is a total mess unless you restrict your ship movement during that moment to left right. Wouldn't it be better to use "A" and "S" for switching between options? Anyway, nice one...I keep playing it:-)
Anonymous Anonymous said at 10/02/2007 06:00:00 AM:  
^I meant "very cool game" of course...sorry
Anonymous Kairos said at 10/02/2007 12:25:00 PM:  
Thanks Tim.

@anonymous comments:

The selecting felt natural for me, though I can understand. I prefer it this way because I hate having any more buttons than ZXC, Enter and the arrow keys in a shoot-em-up.
Anonymous Melly said at 10/02/2007 03:50:00 PM:  
Also, you should remember that not all keyboards have ZXC beside eachother, which makes it a pain to play for a lot of people.

I love the game, personally. I'm still not fully aware of all its intricacies, but what I saw I liked. The effects and bg lagged my computer, but the game still looks pretty good without them. I'm sure collecting only the powers you want takes only time and practice (and a good bit of memorization).

Very awesome.
Anonymous Kairos said at 10/02/2007 04:18:00 PM:  
Support for QZERTZ and AZERTY type keyboards - already in the game. I'm just not sure if it works properly.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 10/02/2007 04:42:00 PM:  
Changing set.ini works very good...just like you decribed it in the readme which is very good by the way - not too long, well structured.
How about letting the player cycle through options with "space"? Kinda hard to do while dodging bullets...and yes, I'm the same guy who complained in the first commment...just another suggestion;-)
Read the readme...there are some intricacies you should be aware of to fully enjoy it.
Anonymous Kairos said at 10/02/2007 05:14:00 PM:  
I could probably allow for something like that in future releases. Most people didn't have a problem though.
Anonymous Melly said at 10/02/2007 10:03:00 PM:  
Playing through the game more and all, I think I now have the ability to give a few more opinions.

The game's greatest flaw, for me, is the fact that it tries to do too much, and doesn't fully realize any of it.

You took Cho Ren Sha's power-up system and it works, but there's not much challenge in getting the three powerups most of the time.

You took Ikaruga's color chaining, but color chaining is at the same time very easy because enemies will almost always come in continuous groups of the same color, and a bit out of your control thanks to your 45 degree shots which may hit other color enemies you're not aiming for. There is a reason Ikaruga's shots were always the same power and only fired straight.

The options being able to pick abilities from enemies is the most unique aspect, and to be honest I'd have preferred if you had focused on this gameplay element and ran with it. Right now there is little to no incentive in getting any other ability than the average vulcan bullets. As long as you get the triple power-ups (pretty easy) and is good at dodging there is no need for better weapons, and the game gives you no opportunities and situations in which different weapons will be more useful than others.

It's still a great game, and I love the fact it was made in GM (kind of obvious by your previous works and the loading bar, though you may correct me if I'm mistaken), but it just seems like you got a bit overexcited while designing its gameplay. :)
Anonymous Melly said at 10/02/2007 10:08:00 PM:  
Also, to make my point more valid, I beat the game in both Easy and Normal not aiming to get any of the fancy weapons.
Anonymous Kairos said at 10/03/2007 02:53:00 AM:  
Well, I tried my best. The Ikaruga chaining, as explained in the manual, isn't the same at all. Its an bonus aspect there for you to try to get a higher score.

While there is no incentive to get any other bullets, that's how you play it. Its implied that if you want the game to be more fun, you can choose to get those abilities.

But then again, I didn't get in everything I want because it was for a competition and I had personal time problems.
Anonymous Melly said at 10/03/2007 01:20:00 PM:  
Well, I surely hope after the competition you continue developing it.