The new demo for Concurrence is a hot-looking “cinematic platform game” that bears a strikingly delicious resemblance to the early 90s ultra-classic Another World.
If you’re lucky enough to have played Eric Chahi’s 1991 game Another World [released in North America as Out of This World], you’ll know what I’m talking about: it was short, obtuse, arbitrary and utterly breathtaking. It’s not overstating things to say that Chahi’s masterpiece is one of finest early examples of cinematic achievement in videogames, doing things 20 years ago in MS-DOS that most games today still can’t pull off.
And now we have Concurrence, a new 2D platformer that, based on this Youtube video, rocks a very powerful Another World vibe of its own. Even the setup is very similar, as you take on the role of an astronaut stranded on a barren alien world, with no memory of how you got there. It was created as an entry for the Monthly AGS competition, “a friendly game development jam that involves making adventure games using AGS [Adventure Game Studio] in under four weeks,” but a full version is now in development.
Can it live up to the incredibly high standard set by Another World and other old-time platformers like Prince of Persia and Flashback? It’s definitely got the look and the minimalist ambient audio, but while the character animation is smooth and natural [and, I’m told, very Flashback-like] the actual gameplay is still a bit rough around the edges. Jumping mechanics in this type of game are definitely different than what you have in “modern” platformers, but the demo feels clunky and incomplete.
And yes, there is a playable demo, although creator Alexander Klingenbeck warns that there are “quite a few bugs” to be found in the later areas. The full release isn’t expected to be ready until late 2011; in the meantime, you can learn more about Concurrence and pick up a copy of the demo at the Adventure Game Studio forums.[And if you’ve never had the opportunity to sample the glory that is Another World, the updated 15th Anniversary Edition is available from Amazon or you can snag the demo from anotherworld.fr.]
UPDATE: Concurrence creator Alexander Klingenbeck goes by the name “mode7” on the MAGS forums but has no connection to Mode 7 Games, which is not involved with the project.