Kemsyn Games’ Gargantuan recently made its debut on Itch.io as a prototype. The game combines several different genres into one, including first-person turn-based combat, horror elements, and mystery sci-fi.
Gargantuan was part of the Itch.io second annual Nightmare Jam and Halloween Game-Jam!. Kemsyn Games built the title in the RPGMaker and designed it with inspiration from John Carpenter in mind, particularly The Thing.
The story centers around a prospector known as Decker, who ventures to a dangerous asteroid looking for element zero on behalf of a mega-corporation. Decker wants to make one big score to set up his family for life before retiring for good. The design and concept of the game reminds me a little bit of SNK’s Search & Rescue.
You can check out a playthrough of the prototype below, courtesy of Driftwood Gaming.
The early goings of the game see Decker attempting to discover what happened to previous prospectors who attempted to explore the asteroid but were dissolved or ripped in half.
The design of the game mirrors a lot of older sprite-based games from the late 1980s. You can see where Kemsyn takes what worked from his previous game Demon Cyber and evolved it with more style for Gargantuan.
The sprite-work is fairly simple, but the technical use of the sprite-work is impressive. For instance, during combat when you use Decker’s weapons the attack animation consists of a few short frames of a first-person rifle firing at the enemies during the turn-based combat. It’s like combining DOOM with Final Fantasy.
A lot of John Carpenter’s influence also shines through with the game’s audio, which has a methodical, minimalist-synth soundtrack that plays while you explore and battle against the asteroid aliens.
The game isn’t groundbreaking and it’s not some revolutionary piece of tech, but you can definitely see where Kemsyn went with utilizing the less-is-more technique to bring Gargantuan to life in an entertaining and engaging way. Instead of having a simple flashlight function like most games, there’s the thermal vision with the brief use of a scanline static filter to create the illusion of an old space visor helmet.
There’s definitely potential there in Gargantuan’s simple design. It would be cool if there were more weapon and enemy types, and maybe a little more sugar and spice to spruce up the UI, and maybe it could turn into something worthwhile. You can play Gargantuan for yourself by heading over to the Itch.io page to get your hands on the game.