“You are a despondent lizardperson living in your space van…" Yeah, when the premise to a game starts like that, you know you’re in for a weird time. And that’s just how Bounty Hunter Space Lizard from Stay Inside Games starts you off. As the titular Space Lizard, you’ve hit a bit of a speed bump in your life. Or maybe it’s more of a brick wall. You’ve alienated your family, your friends, your lover, and have gone off to “find yourself" on a journey to nowhere in particular. In other words, you are a despondent lizardperson living in your space van. Just when things are looking utterly hopeless, a near-death experience gives you the clarity you need. You realize that in order to find yourself and feel alive again, you need to become a bounty hunter. Because… yeah. Wacky exposition aside, Bounty Hunter Space Lizard plays very much like a traditional turn-based roguelike where you’ll move about each level trying to kill or capture your quota of bounties and escaping through the exit before dying yourself. Here’s a video of it in action.
What stands out the most to me about Bounty Hunter Space Lizard is how it allows you to wrap around the sides of the screen, like taking the shortcuts in Pac-Man. Since positioning is so key in this game, in a very similar way to the classic Hoplite, being able to both move and fire your weaponry from one side of the screen and out through the other wrap-around-style opens up all sorts of different strategies. In addition there are things like portals so you can hop to and from different spots on the map, and enemy “friendly fire" where if one enemy is in the way of another’s attack, those two will go at it against each other typically resulting in one of them dying and the other becoming weakened. I use to LOVE when that would happen in Doom and again it’s a neat wrinkle that can add a lot of strategy to how you play. Bounty Hunter Space Lizard may have a totally silly premise, but it looks to have some serious chops when it comes to gameplay. It’s set to launch next week on October 8th, but if you just can’t wait you can find links to the open beta version for both iOS and Android over on the game’s official site.