by Julie Morley
In the several months I’ve been writing about Crescent Games’ The Deer God, I may have suffocated you all with my continuous usage of horrible deer puns. I have covered The Deer God many times in the past, including a preview of it, a Another View piece, and a campaign announcement and conclusion notice. Since our last piece, The Deer God has grown, now into a playable alpha. Now, The Deer God is one of my most anticipated games from this year and the opportunity to play the alpha had me over the moon to say the least.
The Deer God is a gorgeous 3D pixelated/low-bit platformer game where a hunter has been reincarnated in that which he kills: a deer. For too long he,and humanity itself, has hunted deer and slowly decreased the population. Little did the hunter know, deer happen to be ancient mythical creatures – a force to be reckoned with. Now, in his new deer body, the hunter sees things from the perspective of the hunted and learns the secrets of the ancients.
The Deer God alpha does not have any story content going on in it at the moment, it is strictly a presentation of the gameplay for the backers. Let me stress though, it’s an amazing example of what is to come. Crescent Moon Games has come quite a way since the campaign.
After a few cut-scenes, I was thrown into the life of a newborn deer immediately. Here, I’m a tiny pixelated deer, sprinting all over the place. In the beginning, players use the WASD keys to move around and a combination of the shift and space keys for special abilities. Quickly, players learn about their hunger bar and feasting upon apples, located in the tress throughout the environment, to sustain their life.
Immediately, I began to explore, and upon interacting with the deer elder, learned a new ability. With this double jump, I was practically invincible. The more I ran onward, the more I grew, for The Deer God followed a day and night system and the more apples I collected contributed to my aging. Enemies such as foxes or porcupines were all over the place, sometimes even in hordes. If I wasn’t avoiding their attacks, it was horrible wildfires.
But there was some light at the end of the tunnel and they are called stags. Sometimes, stags would be hanging around in the woods and will protect the player against whatever enemies come near it. Unfortunately, when faced with a bush, stags just can’t move past them and have to depart from the player.
Aside from that, players can fall in love with fawns and become daddy deer. The baby deer is considered a checkpoint and when/if the player dies, they can be reincarnated as their child.
Each time I played, the levels were randomly generated. Since there is no story progression, the level comes to a dead end in a cavern. Players can run in the opposite direction and drag on their lifetime as much as they want, but it will not progress story-wise there.
The Deer God’s alpha was fun, beautiful, and graciously displayed what is to come. Personally, I wanted to throw wads of cash at my computer screen the entire time, as if that would speed up the release. All in all, everything seems optimistic and amazing for The Deer God and I cannot wait until the January release.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]