Jul. 11th, 2015 06:06 pm
tepidsnake: (witch)
[personal profile] tepidsnake
Taito is, by far, one of my favourite developers- The Newzeland Story is probably my favourite game of all time, and their arcade output is fantastic- so it'll be fair to expect plenty of rainbowgames posts from me about them! So for starters, let's talk about one of their paddle games, Cameltry.

Released in 1989 in arcades, Cameltry is a maze-style game that takes combines rotating graphics with a paddle controller to create a somewhat-dizzying race to the finish. Rather than directly move your marble, you rotate the maze around it with the analogue paddle and while you can press a button to make the ball jump or fall faster- essential for destroying blocks- that's all you've got. The main challenge comes in the form of obstacles like one-way paths, stop/go signs, bumpers, time-reducing cross marks and the all-important timer which is your only real foe. Your marble can't be destroyed by any environmental hazards, only by the clock, and you only get a certain amount of time added after each stage, so making it to the end quickly to have more time for the next stage is the only way to go.

What sticks with me about Cameltry is this strange 'feel' that is has, not necessarily in mechanics but tiny visual things. In particular, the backgrounds (which don't rotate with the maze, but do scroll and range from a thunderstorm, neon signs and pastel smears with the occasional angry clock scrolling by) and the appearance of some kind of Goddess apparently watching over your marble (she runs the tutorial, appears on the Continue prompt and in the ending is identified as Yurika Cery, the Space Time Goddess) give the game this weird atmosphere. Special mention must also go to the ending of each course which we'll see in a moment which emphasize this.

 They're just little things, and you'd think they wouldn't add much, but take them away and the game feels like it loses a lot- there was a remake titled Cameltry 2005, pictured above and included as an extra game on the Taito PSP collection (Taito Memories Pocket in Japan, Taito Legends: Power-Up in the US/EU) and it's fairly colourful, but these elements are gone, and with it a lot of the game's charm and appeal. Hopefully, you'll see what I mean in the little gallery after the cut (which does spoil the endings, but as the game's only a few minutes long...)


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