During Rezzed I saw a ton of games that I honestly didn’t write about, but It wasn’t because they weren’t interesting but because I couldn’t fit all the content in my weekly plan.
One of these is Between Heartbeats, currently on Indiegogo trying to raise £10.000, a game that tugs at my heartstrings for many reasons and yes, the pun is very much intended. Between Heartbeats is the dream cross between Innerspace and Shoot ‘em Ups. You control a couple of little robots inside a human body, shooting down viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. I love Innerspace and such stories where someone travels in miniaturised form inside a person’s body—though I have some nauseating memories of the Disney World Epcot Centre ‘Body Wars’ ride. And I’ve mentioned in the past how much I enjoy Shoot ‘em ups.
The developers sent me the link to the publicly available demo, mentioning our meeting at Rezzed. I downloaded the Unity-developed crowdfunding campaign alpha and I dug it. Sure, it has limitations, needs some heavy rebalancing and expansion on its overall gameplay mechanics, but it’s an alpha for a crowdfunding campaign, so I’m not getting too hung up on those. Also, the core of Between Heartbeats is solid.
The demo has three levels, a tutorial and two more exploring the wonderful passages of the human body…and they’re vicious and unforgiving, just as Shoot ‘em Ups should be—there’s even a time limit so you don’t take a leisurely pace! The only part of the core mechanics I’m not sold on is the second robot, used to scan and identify the viruses. This is because there’s very little use for it and the range of the thing is very short, so you need to be too close to opponents to scan them. It also slows the game down, which to me is a big NO-NO in the fast-paced world of Shoot ‘em ups.
The Indiegogo campaign started only last week so there’s plenty of time to back the project, though I would recommend to download the demo and try it out for yourselves. It’s a really cool concept and one I’d like to see come to fruition.
And if you’ve never seen Innerspace, go watch it NOW!