When mushrooms attack…
There’s a time for platforming and there’s a time for blowing stuff up, but in Apocalypse Cow the time for both is generally “Right now!” Bell of Can’t Talk Media and I sat down with (or rather, stood across from) Monsters founder John Koumoundouros at PAX Prime to get right into the gore of the title and discuss what led to Apocalypse Cow’s inception.
First up, the game mechanics draw heavily from the platformer genre, with multiple levels, hard-to-reach spaces, and destructible environments. Obstacles abound as well, both in the form of traps and enemies. Koumoundouros told us, “It’s a pretty tough platformer, and you’re expected to die a lot but there is no actual penalty for it. It’s just your perseverance to get through the obstacles.” After explaining that players will have infinite respawns, he added with a laugh, “Of course we have a death counter that rubs it in your face.”
The co-op gameplay of Apocalypse Cow can be both a huge bonus to the experience as well as a boost to its difficulty. Each player is given the ability to slow down time, but if they’re not paying attention (or are feeling particularly cheeky), they could release their grip on time too early, just as you’re running underneath a falling boulder. This may be why infinite respawns is such a good idea…
The Greek developer seems ready to push Apocalypse Cow to excellence, as we learned that even deep into development they decided to bring in comedy writer Jay Ziebarth (Sons of Butcher) to rewrite and improve the dialogue and perfect the script throughout the game. “We sat down one evening and we talked about it and said, ‘Do we want to put out a mediocre game or do we want to put out something that represents us, and we decided on the second [choice].’” said Koumoundouros.
Funny enough, Apocalypse Cow wasn’t even originally meant to be a fully developed release at first. “We were developing a different game [called Hybris]… we made a lot of mistakes with that and it was a dark and mysterious game,” Koumoundouros told us. “We decided to start a side project just for fun and to let off some steam, and we wrote on a wall: ‘Let’s make something like Super Mario with a weapon on crack!’ And we started working on it, had a lot of fun, and it turned into a real project.”
As of now, Apocalypse Cow is only set up for single player or two player local co-op, but Koumoundouros mentioned that the team would like to add four player online co-op later down the road. He expects that the average player could get through the story mode in around five hours, but also added that Monsters plan to add other modes to expand the gameplay even more.
Apocalypse Cow has been Greenlit on Steam for PC and Mac and Monsters hopes to bring it to consoles at a later time. Though it does not have a specific release date, the developer hopes to have it on Steam by early 2016.
If you want to hear about Apocalypse Cow from Bell’s perspective or to hear the audio version of our interview, check out her article at Can’t Talk Media!