Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight Preview



Joylancer is a new early access 2D indie platformer currently available on Steam and While half of this introductory sentence may have you thinking this is a contrived play on your nostalgic heart and purse strings. As much as I like a good 2D platformer I’ve grown tired of hearing the pleas of well meaning amateur developers on kickstarter turn to derivative garbage. For every Shovel Knight, there are at least 10 crowdfunding experiments that don’t deserve mention. Joylancer, however, deserves your attention. It is the freshest 2d platformer I have played in years, and it is, as the name might suggest, a joy to play even in its early state.  Â

The first time I booted up Joylancer I skipped the tutorial. This was a mistake. While the game operates on two buttons, with one button for attacking and the other for jumping, it employs super smash brother’s style button inputs and an energy charging system. The motor on your blade losses one charge every time you use a basic attack, and you have to rev it up would you want to attack again. Many interesting attacks and maneuvers cost more than one unit of energy to perform, making combat and platforming feel more acrobatic and interesting without being obtuse. Enemies and obstacles are varied enough that you can’t rely on one or two moves. This results in a fun but demanding experience, more akin to experimental platformers of the GBA era than staples Mario, Rayman or Sonic.  Â

Music and sound effects are charming and unbelievably Gameboy-ey. Graphics are by default grayscale, but there are options to change the color scheme. I recommend you chose the “DX” or “Green” color modes, as I had trouble differentiating characters from backgrounds in the default mode. If this game were in a shipped state or it were any less fun, I would have a bigger problem with grayscale being the default color scheme, but Joylancer clearly isn’t complete. Hopefully the developers change this before the game is sold in its final form. I’ve seen many worse Early Access games or games in general, with worse problems.  Â

With only six or so levels and a tutorial on offer, Joylancer might not be for you even if you get a kick out of 2D platformers. What little content is available is mostly great. In it’s early access form, Joylancer is being sold for 7 dollars, and while I think it’s worth it, you may want to wait until it has more levels. Regardless on whether or not you decide to buy it now, you should keep your eyes on Joylancer. It’s the freshest platformer I have played in years, even if it is a bit starved for content. I have nothing but praise for Joylancer at this point. It isn’t finished, but it’s damn good. There are demos, and I recommend you go play them. My life is better with Joylancer in it, and if you like games in any form, your life will likely be improved with Joylancer in it too. This game deserves our attention, may you too find the True Joy in Lancing.