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ARTICLES > GADGETS & TECH


MALTESE GAMING APP GOES GLOBAL

Tags:   Technology,   Video Games

By Martin Calleja Urry   -  March 14, 2015



Steampunk Wizards are a group of passionate Maltese game developers currently enjoying their time in the limelight, fresh off the release of their smash-hit, Bungee Mummy: King’s Escape. Available for Android and iOS, it’s an ambitious gaming app which hits almost every nail on the head, providing players with a great mix of platform hopping and puzzle solving.

SWAG was lucky enough to have caught up with Josh O’Cock, Marketing Manager at Steampunk Wizards. Of course, we also spent a fair amount of time playing Bungee Mummy.

The high-production value is evident as soon as the title screen loads up. Greeted by the stars of the game, King Phero and Madu, players will instantly notice the sharp visuals and crisp sound booming out of their tablets/mobiles.

Gameplay is focused on maneuvering Phero, a small mummy shaped like a football, across various landscapes. Wielding a lantern, the green bat-like creature Madu will guide you along your journey as you collect golden scarabs and unlock a variety of powers ups.

Execute your movements carefully, or you may end up victim to a swinging axe, burnt to a crisp by a flaming booby trap or wind up as snake food. For every problem, there’s a solution, and players can’t simply breeze through levels.

Controls are responsive, and the physics are excellent. Generally, you’ll swing around by shooting out up to 3 bandages in a Spider-man like fashion to propel yourself over any obstacles. Should you need to move a box onto a lever to solve a puzzle, you’ll have to attach yourself onto a nearby ledge, hook yourself up to the box and swing it into the desired direction.

The game does a good job of showing you the ropes in the early stages, with simple instructions that you’ll internalize quickly.  Once you get the hang of it, moving Phero around becomes second nature.

However, even with full-mastery of the controls, launching Phero onto the right spot can still be tricky, and you’ll often find yourself stopping for a second to figure out how to solve a puzzle.

As you swiftly cascade from one ledge onto another, dodging enemy slugs, scorpions and sharp spikes, you may not notice the fine amount of detail injected into the game. Character models are superb, backgrounds are impressive and even the faint sound of crumbling ledges are pleasing to the ear.

Catapult Phero into the distance and he’ll let out a worried scream, and he’ll even whimper as he lands. The game’s music is enthralling, and plays to the context well. During a boss battle for example, the fast-paced music is exchanged for a down-tempo, ominous track which adds a nice touch of tension.

The difficulty is well-balanced, so both casual and hardcore gamers should be satisfied. With a number of secrets and extras to unlock, it’s also got its fair share of replay value.

Rarely, I experienced a slow frame-rate on my tablet, and I found myself occasionally getting stuck between a box and a wall, powerless to escape. Luckily, the Steampunk Wizards are on top of the situation, and they’ve already released one major update to the game. Besides those minor issues there isn’t too much to complain about, except the annoying advertisements popping up every so often. However, it’s a worthy sacrifice to make for a great game, and you can always buy the ad-free version for just €1.99.

Besides the addictive gameplay, Bungee Mummy is one of the first games to provide players with tangible rewards, in the form of 3D printable prizes. Steampunk Wizards teamed up with another local boundary breaking company, Malta 3D Printing. The collaboration between the two has resulted in some terrific models being printed. Players can select to print the protagonist King Phero and his green buddy Madu, amongst others.

The 5 Maltese men, 1 Belgian and 1 Briton were rewarded with a top 3 spot in the local gaming charts. Furthermore, it’s also only one spot away from the mega-popular Candy Crush in the Maltese App Store Charts. To top it all off, tens of thousands of users have downloaded the game via Google Play.

SWAG is proud to say this game was developed by a Maltese company. One long and arduous year of blood sweat and tears were poured into this project, and developers are now reaping the rewards.

The sky is the limit for the Steampunk Wizards, who are looking to go from strength to strength. Hopefully, this groundbreaking achievement will only serve to inspire other local developers to follow suit.

Download Bungee Mummy for free from www.bungeemummy.com/download.


Bungee Mummy: King's Escape - Official Launch Trailer




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