PAX East First Impressions – Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche

I was not prepared for Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche.

Demoing the game at PAX East in front of Will Seegers, who mainly composes music for the game, I gave it a couple of tries, lasting maybe up to a minute on my best go. “Okay, we have to give these other people a turn,” he said sympathetically, handing off the controller to eager attendees taken from my crestfallen hands. Part of my excuse can be the fact that I haven’t played the original flash game, Avalanche. Beast Games is pulling out a fully-fledged sequel for the endless jumping game.

As the name suggests, stuff keeps falling on Mallow’s head all the time (this is the name the developers went with since the hero resembled a marshmallow in the original). Huge blocks, platforms, and even treasure chests and stores make regular appearances, raining down and creating a stage. The blob can then walk left or right and jump, clinging slightly to the sides of objects. One must avoid getting crushed by the falling stuff while constantly ascending, because the merciless lava is steadily rising from the bottom of the stage.

Avalanche2_Screen_05So is it “just that simple?” The basic concept of jumping multiplies hundredfold in its complexity, due to the random powerups that Mallow can get. Able to equip just one item at first (this can be increased during play), Mallow can wear some climbing gloves, a ninja headband, bunny ears, and many, many more. These enable a double jump, better wall climbing, or change Mallow’s controls entirely: For instance with the bunny ears, instead of walking, it uncontrollably hops, but as a reward, the regular jump is much higher. Moreover, a Shadow Cape lets Mallow go through objects. The possibilities are limitless, and Beast Games is aiming to please the hardcore platformer fans.

But wait, there’s even more to Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche. Every couple of levels the environment changes, until Mallow reaches outer space. Periodically, you’ll encounter challenging bosses – unique enemies that stop the gameplay flow for a little bit until you deal with the monstrosity. During play, you collect coins that can be used at the game store between rounds, and a simple inventory screen lets you prepare for the next round. Passing clouds are optional chances for treasure, but only if they’re jumped on five times in row. In addition, there are tons of visual customization options for Mallow, so it can be dressed up in a myriad of ways.

Avalanche2_Screen_01Perhaps best of all, you don’t have to go alone. The game will feature co-op, as well as pad and full-screen support, making the game more accessible than ever before. Want to give it a shot now? You can try out a demo on their website, available now. Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche is still looking to get the Greenlight on Steam, so check it out and vote here.

Avalanche 2 is shaping up to be a demanding, entertaining, potentially addictive platformer. If you and your significant other/sibling/frenemy are ready to jump into the frenetic action, pre-order the game to play the latest beta build immediately.

Luke has wide interests in games, from compelling fighting, action, and RPG titles to deeper interactive, storytelling titles that push today's genres and boundaries - especially awesome if they're related to diversity. Feel free to reach out on Twitter or via email.