Sunday, 16 August 2020

It's a Moose, Moose, Moose Life with proton/linux

Jeff Minter's Moose Life has arrived. I passed Polybius because it seemed so decidedly 'VR', this felt something like I could play.

It's a Windows game, but as Proton works so well, I thought I'd buy this game from Steam even if there were no positive (or negative) reports at that moment in the proton database.

Happy to say it works on my Linux Mint/Steam.

Trying to 'configure keyboard' did throw me out, though. Also, if I launched it in a windowed mode it would not sync to the vertical refresh and was over-fast. (Ticking vsync on in Nvidia settings did not help.)

I'm also doubtful if the VR/3DTV options can be made to work in Linux.

But apart from these choices, there was no tweaking.

Off we go!

You control this voxellated moose that can move left, right, forward and backward in a flat 3D plane.  And shoot everything.

In addition you can jump back and forth between the upside down plane at the top of the screen. In the beginning this has no immediate value, but later you'll find uses for it and eventually it becomes a necessity.

Instead of mining Tempest or Robotron for inspiration, the game somewhat brings into mind a less known Eugene Jarvis game Blaster from 1983. But it's far from a remake of that game.

Although some ideas from all the above games might be found here, it's more clearly a Llamasoft creation.

At least in this Linux workaround setup, some of the game keys (control, alt) pressed together will tend to loose the window focus. Possibly I could just change my system settings, if I can't get to the keyboard configuration. Fortunately this does not result in a crash, in fact the game gets paused and can be continued.

Apparently you can't play the non-arcade mode without a gamepad. Didn't have one at hand just now.

Like with many Jeff Minter games, it's a bit tricky to make a screenshot that would somehow do justice to the moving graphics. No doubt it looks really fascinating in VR.

The wide variety of power-ups brings about hilarious effects, such as creating a vertical mirror double of your moose. Various beasts appear, rotate and whirl around in different formations. Pixels, voxels and particles form clusters of explosions.

Even if the cumulative amount of effects can get very high, they are never too 'violent', which I guess is a result of considering the VR environment. In any case it gives a particular tone to these effects - there might be a second or two where you can even appreciate the expanding particle clouds.

A very nice game altogether. I'm somewhat afraid to get too deeply into it, as I might get addicted. Soo... a thumbs up I guess!

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