by Joseph Leray
Sony’s attempt to position itself as the console of choice for independent developers as we shift from one console generation to another is continuing unabated: in a post on the official PlayStation Blog, they announced the pricing and release date details for “Guacamelee!,” the alebrije-inspired brawler-platformer-puzzle game from DrinkBox Studios.
Drumroll, por favor: as detailed in Sony’s rest-of-the-year plan for indie games, “Guacamelee!” will be available under the cross-buy program for both the PlayStation 3 and Vita. It’ll run you $14.99 and be available on April 9th.
Bankrolled by the Canada Media Fund, Toronto-based DrinkBox Studios has been working on “Guacamelee!” (that exclamation point never gets old, really) since 2011. The game started off, as most do, with a bit of concept art and some spreadsheets, and DrinkBox first showed it off at GDC 2011 — it’s fitting that it’s triumphant release would be announced at the same event two years later.
“Guacamelee!”’s bright, flashy visuals — there’s a reason it’s nominated for an Excellence in Visual Design award at this year’s Independent Games Festival — are supported by the slick, Día de los Muertos-inspired alternate dimension puzzles and luchador combat illustrated by the game’s launch trailer above. DrinkBox describes the game as a “Metroidvania brawler,” which suggests sprawling maps and fair bit of exploration.
In any case, it all looks very polished and well-developed, but I have to admit I raised an eyebrow when I realized DrinkBox were Canadian, and it will be interesting to see how it handles its Mexican aesthetic. It’s no surprised that the first comment on the trailer’s YouTube page asked, “Why do all [people] think Mexico looks like this?”