New Retro Vault: Gaurodan
Sometimes we’re writing about a newly released retro-style game, but sometimes we want to tell you about a modern game with retro influences that’s been around for a while. A kind of recommendation feature to help you find the old hits, hidden gems or lesser known games that time forgot. To help avoid confusion, we’re now labelling these posts under “New Retro Vault”. For now, anyway. I’m terrible at naming.
Sometimes, you just need to hatch from your giant egg and fly around as a pterodon monster shooting buildings until they disintegrate completely, revealing health powerups inside. Sometimes though, you can settle for playing a game where you do the same. Locomalito’s Gaurodan fulfils that dream, faithfully replicating old school arcade action with some modern refinements.
In Gaurodan, your mission is to blast as many buildings and structures for points while fighting off the military before the level ends. To complete levels, the destruction of the various enemies that litter the screen, such as helicopters and tanks, will reduce the target counter, and when it reaches 0 the level is over. In theory you can aim to avoid shooting enemies until you’ve cleared the whole landscape for maximum points, but it’d be quite challenging to say the least.
In a nod to that more old school of the difficulty camps, here you have but a single life, and when its depleted completely, that’s it: game over, start again. From the start. And while you can take a few hits with your hard reptilian skin, your health bar doesn’t automatically replenish between levels, either. Luckily, your flying winged monstrosity grows at certain points gaining a slight health boost, and buildings also hide tasty power ups, including a health booster and a weapon power up. As with most of Locomalito’s games however, Gaurodan is no walk in the park, and while not one of those insane bullet hell shooters where you can’t see anything save coloured bullets absolutely everywhere, this game still requires careful attention and reflexes to survive.
As with Locomalito’s other servings, Gaurodan dishes up graphics and sound that would feel right at home in a late 80’s/early 90’s arcade cabinet, complete with retro screen filter (which can be turned off in the options if desired) to make it feel as if you’re playing from an old CRT screen. On the modern side, however, levels in Gaurodan provide a bit more variety than “the desert background, the jungle background”. You’ll literally begin this game as a giant egg, forced to roll around to crush men and buildings alike. Soon, you’ll break free from your opal casing, launching into the air to destroy cities while zapping tanks and helicopters, and then take to the high seas, facing off against battleships. When the first main boss encounter appears, it’s not what you’d first expect – and invokes the old schlock Godzilla movies of yore. It’s the level of attention and care like this that Locomalito puts into their games that make them special, and probably one of the best New Retro developers around. Amazingly, it’s 100% free.
Gaurodan | Download: http://www.locomalito.com/gaurodan.php
We also covered Locomalito’s excellent Maldita Castilla here, and the dev is currently working on his next game, The Curse of Issyos, which looks to be inspired by the greek mythology and the traditional Castlevanias (rather than the SOTN style Dark Flame goes for).