Oh, Mayan! Shoot Faces And Turtles In Rise Of The Ravager


Once you’ve made a game with zombies in it, where do you go from there? Oh, but hey, let’s not start off by implying that Gentleman Squid’s zombie game, Three Dead Zed, was like the rest of ‘em, okay?! Nah, it really wasn’t; you actually played as the zombies in a sidescrolling action platformer and could flick through their different abilities to deal with the situation at hand. It wasn’t too bad either. And as to the question posed at the start – well, it seems you make a game that you can describe as “Mayan Missile Command meets Guitar Hero.” Or to give it the name that Gentleman Squid have, Rise of the Ravager.

First off, the comparison to Guitar Hero in any form is a bit of a stretch. Missile Command, yes, very much so – Rise of the Ravager should cite that old classic as an inspiration that it can be aptly be compared to. But Guitar Hero…a bit of a push, perhaps. I can see why they’re saying that, though; as you shoot the incoming Mayan masks and creatures, you have to match your projectile with their colors; otherwise, it just completely misses. And the whole idea of the game is to stop any of these enemies from descending to the bottom of the screen because that is where your shield lies. Should it break, it won’t just be your demise, but the whole world’s. No pressure.

Rise of the RavagerThe backstory involves a Mayan prophecy that depicts a huge creature known simply as “Ravager.” Your goal is to seek the favor of The Old Ones, and to do that, you have to keep the enemies away from whatever it is your missile sits atop. And that’s why you have to defend it – you’ll lose their favor, and then they’ll send the Ravager up to get everyone. I’ve been playing the game, and it’s quite alright – a good time-waster if you just want some simple arcade fun. At first I thought it a little dull, and that’s because it completely lacked challenge at all. Everything descended very slowly, and only in one color.

“A god desires to be reborn, an event that would signal the End of Times. In Rise of the Ravager, seek favor from the Old Ones to prevent his avatar from destroying all.”

Soon, however, I was to eat those thoughts of mine. The four colors – red, blue, green and yellow – of the enemies were gradually introduced to me, and likewise, I became used to which fingers corresponded to which color. So long as I could keep the colors-to-fingers in my head, I was fine, or so I thought. The pathetic heads that puffed in smoke when shot that filled the game’s first Rise of the Ravagerlevels were soon accompanied by other types of enemy. And it was this that started to screw me up. Wings started to glide across the screen, huge turtles that shat out fireballs of color that needed shooting, touch spiky buggers that fell rather quickly; they all descended upon me, and my brain started to let out a little groan as I gave it a thwack in order to make sure that my fingers were colors, and not fingers, as they actually were. I needed to think in colors! Fortunately, there is one aspect of Rise of the Ravager that makes it a little easier than it otherwise would be. If you shoot an enemy with the wrong color, nothing happens, but imagine if that sped it up or had some other adverse effect! That’s what I was expecting at first, but luckily, the game doesn’t contain that mechanic, and thank goodness because it would probably be the most frustrating thing this side of Super Meat Boy if that were the case. So what I ended up doing if it got too much was just shoot as fast as I could in the general direction of the enemies, and with every single color. It sort of worked.

But ha! I’ve cheated you further, game – do you know what I did? I saved up the points I get to spend between each level and can spend on various upgrades so that I could purchase the extra little support turret to help me along. This little beauty just joins in with my symphony of death as we meet colors with colors and watch as they disappear in smoke. That little turret became my best friend. Until…until it failed me. We were caught out by an enemy that, when killed, would let out two smaller enemies of different colors. So a couple of those, along with all the other enemies, was just way too much, and so we lost our shield. And then the mighty exploding rage of the Ravager split through the ground, and there it stood in all its Mayan glory. Shit.

Rise of the Ravager has been released as of yesterday for Windows PCs and XBLIG, so if you want it, you can’t blame me for not telling you where you can get it. Just don’t send the Ravager after me again; that’s all I ask – that giant thing was actually quite scary.

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