Upcoming Games

GDC 2012: A Look at BinarySquare’s Upcoming ‘Puzzle Bebop’

Today at GDC I spent some time with retro strongman Dan Bliss of BinarySquare, who showed us his latest creation, Puzzle Bebop.

Puzzle Bebop is wonderfully pixellated falling block, match-four puzzle game wrapped in virtual CRT scan-lines, with chippy 8-bit audio to boot. As falling block games go, the core game mission is nothing too new. It’s in the control system where the real innovation of this game lies.

Instead of utilizing on-screen rotation buttons or a virtual D-pad, Puzzle Bebop makes use of TouchCircus, a system of touch control algorithms designed by Bliss, himself. As blocks fall into the game area from above, the player can rotate them by drawing large circles anywhere on the screen with his or her fingers. This approach feels much more natural for rotation than the control systems I’ve seen used in every other App Store falling block game I’ve tried.

The unique control mechanic, the lovey retro aesthetic (standard stuff for BinarySquare), and the lavish, pixellated visual effects that fill the screen during combo eliminations and the like make Puzzle Bebop a game well worth a look. And, stay tuned for more innovative control mechanics from Bliss — he’s spent some real time thinking outside the box about controls, and I saw a taste of his coming games that did impress.

Puzzle Bebop is a universal app (for both iPhone and iPad) that support the iCade controller device. It has recently been submitted to Apple and should be available shortly at a price of $0.99.