New Seattle-based indie outfit The Good Mood Creators has announced its commercial debut with Mekazoo, a vibrant 2.5D platformer that looks like it channels all the best parts of Donkey Kong Country and oldschool Sonic games.
On the surface it just looks like a lush, colourful platformer - and it is - but it has one pretty neat trick up its sleeve: you can transform into different cybernetic animals (cringingly named mekanimals) on the fly with the touch of a button. There's the swift armadillo, hoppy frog, bouncy wallaby, heavy panda and flying pelican.
It sounds as if you'll only be able to swap between two characters at a time, but that's still twice as many folks than you usually play as in these sorts of games (unless you're playing Trine, in which case you should probably bring a buddy).
The game's story bears more than a passing resemblance to Sonic's quest to save his fluffy friends who have been turned into deadly robots. Only instead of fighting some moustachioed scientist all the time you'll be facing off against your wildlife pals while they're transformed into mechanical bosses. Defeat them and they'll return to their former selves, granting you the ability to play as them.
"Mekazoo is inspired by the platformer classics we spent every second with after school, like Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country," said creative director Jarrett Slavin. "We are combining all the lessons learned from those masterpieces and the innovative ideas we've spent decades brainstorming to deliver the game we wish existed since we were kids."
Mekazoo is due in Q4 on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U and PC.