This is one of the things about Steampunk which never stops to delight me: New things to discover all the time. Case in point, I was once again contacted via æthermail, this time by the gentleman and coder Sebastian Conley (check his homepage), who inquiered whether I would be interested in reviewing his haunted steampunk pinball game (yes, exactly) CONTRAPTION.
This is the trailer:
The thing that prevents a review is the fact, CONTRAPTION is only available for iOS and I am an Android user, so, I do a feature instead.
Sebastian was kind enough to provide me with some additional info about the game and himself:
I’m a solo developer and Contraption has been a labor of love. I’m a motion graphics animator professionally, and I create apps in my spare time (nights and weekends) mostly for fun. I love the steampunk aesthetic because it’s so visually rich. What’s not to like about clanking cogs and gears not to mention the ornate copper and brass craftmanship so beloved by the genre? Even though Contraption is a purely digital creation, I tried my best to make a game that felt purely mechanical — like it was actually welded together in a forgotten and potentially mad watchmaker’s lab. The challenge of turning a digital interface of traditional buttons and hotspots into a living and breathing steampunk mechanism was a joyful part of the process for me. Score displays became analog wheels of decaying metal numbers. Arrow keys became metallic, swiveling metal tubes (with a pearl facing inset because that sounded awesome). A lot of attention was given to sound design as well. I like to think that when it all comes together it does feel like you’re holding in your hands a creation from another world and another time.
I took a lot of license with the story which is revealed as you play the game. The Contraption’s inventor, Dr. Steambock, has his invention (the Contraption) selected for the World Carnival. Both the Queen and the President will be attending (I imagine they arrived by blimp, but I’ll leave that to the player’s imagination). But Dr. Steambock’s daughter Mary has suspicions that he did something terrible to her Mother. In revenge, she engineers the Contraption to malfunction at the big event leading to Dr. Steambock’s ruin. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Dr. Steambock is not pleased to say the least. A murder occurs and the wrathful spirit of Mary is released upon both the doctor and the player. Give Mary what she wants or she’ll put a curse on your Contraption!Contraption at its heart is a fast paced casual game with a unique center spinning pinball mechanic. But what I’m most proud of is the eerie steampunk world of Dr. Steambock and Mary. It’s filled with fire and clanking machinery, and goes without saying, a lot of steam.
So, CONTRAPTION is free to play, saunter over to the iTunes store and try it out! A word of warning, though: Sebastian said, the app is haunted, so proceed with caution!