With strange eons even death may die, sure, but death seems just fine and dandy in Elders of Madness. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time though, grabbing a jet fighter and really taking it to the hordes of Lovecraftian horrors that came swooping in. I mean, it seems like a better plan than curling up into a ball while unworldly colors out of space left your sanity in tatters. Well, sometimes attacking a monstrous god with a machine gun in a flimsy jet works as well as you can imagine, meaning lots and lots of flaming wreckage and some very intact elder gods. You might fare better than I did playing the collaborative student project that is Miguel Ángel García Guerra’s Elders of Madness, but you will still die, and often.
Elders of Madness‘ shmup action is pretty intense, and fill with all the tentacled, gelatinous monstrosities one would expect from a Lovecraft story. They’re all well-armed, too, and since one hit sends you all the way back to the start of the stage, expect to get real comfortable with how each level starts off. Now, horrors from beyond time and space are enough trouble, but you can’t really have a game inspired by Lovecraft’s work without some sanity effects. In Elders of Madness, this means that you have a sanity meter that steadily trickles down as you fire away. As it drains, your sight grows dimmer, eventually leaving you with only a small circle of light around your ship. The game is already hard enough as is, but once you’re about to crack up from sanity loss, you can barely see any of the shots coming.
Elders of Madness is a collaborative project between 120 students from the Colegio San Juan Bosco in Madrid, Spain, where Miguel Ángel García Guerra works teaching several subjects. Drawing students from many different disciplines helped show the connections that mathematics and literature bring to games, drawing from all manner of departments to create a singular vision. The project is now available for free for anyone who wants to test their reflexes against the brutal monsters of Elders of Madness. Best of luck trying to shoot down the embodiment of insanity!