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PAX East 2011: Hands on with Warp

warp, trapdoor, ken schachter, ea partners

A simple, unassuming name for a game, no?  Warp.  That’s it?  Nothing fancy, no colons with crazy tag lines.  Just Warp. Created by a handful of guys at micro-studio Trapdoor and published by EA Partners, this little title is definitely one to watch.

So what is this humble little downloadable title?  It’s a happy-go-lucky isometric top-down stealth-action puzzle title.  One part Portal, one part Splosion Man, the game oozes cute…until the blood starts flying…and even then, it’s still laughably adorable.

warp, trapdoor, ken schachter, ea partners

You play the role of a captured alien with the power to…ahem…let’s call it “warp” around your environment.  You start off in a holding cell in what could very much be a sister company to Apeture Science from Portal, and within seconds, you warp yourself free, much to the consternation of the watching scientist.  He sprints through a series of heavy security doors, which you warp through all of them, a few feet at a time.  You can almost hear the “Ta-da!” when the alien pops up on the other side of the doors.

It is unclear what the game’s goal or story is, but one would imagine that the plan is for you to steer the little guy past security and the multitude of traps to his freedom.  Your little alien is ridiculously fragile, so death comes easily.  But fret not!  The alien has the ability to not only “blink” around the screen in small bursts, but you can also inhabit people and objects, like scientists, guards, explosive barrels and other random machinery.  With a quick waggle, you can warp out of your host in an explosion of blood and guts, leaving your little alien friend covered in gore and seeming to smile happily (apparently, he doesn’t quite grasp the concept of human mortality). I was told by the founder of the studio, Mr. Ken Schachter, that you can play through the entire game without actually killing anyone; it is possible to peacefully jump from object to object without making getting their insides on their outsides, just leaving them temporarily stunned.

warp, trapdoor, ken schachter, ea partners

The gameplay is fast paced, the controls are very pick-up-and-play, and the graphics are crisp, clean and clinical as one would imagine most highly scientific labs are.  For what sounds to be a project cooked up in someone’s garage on the weekends, the playable demo was an impressive feat.  This downloadable game seems like it’s going to warp its way into gamers’ hearts this year…and then explode out of their chests.

Take a look at the demo!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bGSvm56Sjw&[/youtube]