Posted in April 2012

Two Guard Pile Up

Critter Escape is an action-packed 3D maze chase game with more than 120 levels and 10 distinct environments. It features simple, one-touch controls and offers players unique challenges, bonus levels and the chance to unlock hidden content.

Screenshots? Don’t mind if I do…

Critter Escape is coming soon!

As the Critter Escape development process nears an end, our team here at Kiz Studios gets more excited by the day to share our splat-defying (and oft-splatted!) critter to the world. We first got the little guy running around in Unity at the beginning of summer 2011, and by the summer’s end, we thought we were close to release. We knew the gameplay was solid and our art looked better than most any mobile games we had seen. But the Critter Escape of spring 2012 has transformed from the little-game-that-could into a rich mobile gaming experience. So what changes ushered in that transformation? It’s a pretty long list, but these are the headlines…

Before each new section of levels we inserted motion comics to add depth and humor to the world. Letting the critter run in for a close up at the end of levels helped players identify with our hero. We finished up our 3D animated intro video and added another 3D animation to reward players who complete the final chapter. On each level we swapped out our collectible taco for a red crystal that better fit our Planet Muck story. And while designing our tutorial we dug deeper into the character of the critter. This exploration spawned our secret items (one hidden in each chapter!) which, when all are found, unlock an extra special bonus level. The awesome thing about these changes were how well they solidified the game’s themes, giving the game a more robust presence than the typical mobile game.

Some final touches came more recently, beginning with the implementation of our drawing controls. Initially this change was tough for us. Despite the vocal crowd of interweb-ers who struggle with virtual d-pads, we felt (and some of us still feel) that an analog stick, virtual or not, is THE way to play Critter Escape. But the drawing controls turned out really well. The action pauses while you draw, allowing players to survey level designs to better plan their escape. This creates some amazing visual moments—like when you draw your next path the moment the critter rampages through a Guardamaton, and you can watch the enemy robot fall apart in slow motion. Finally we added a selection of customization options, making sure that any change to the critter’s appearance had a corresponding change to the player’s game. We decided that half of these choices would add specific performance bonuses, while the others would switch up the music to match the selected style. And anyone thinking that a new tune won’t change the game clearly hasn’t raced down the hallways of Welk Tower while headbanging to our uber-addictive Viking helmet theme, “Run, Critter, Run!”

In summary, Critter Escape, Critter Escape, and more Critter Escape! We’ll be back to update soon… In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it yet, bounce over to CritterEscape.com to learn more about the game!