“It’s been a surreal couple of weeks,” wrote developer Tom Happ, “Axiom Verge has exceeded my wildest dreams…I don’t feel like this is real, or that I’m really here experiencing it.” The April 11th blog post details how despite the unexpected runaway success of his indie game, Happ could think of nothing at the time of its launch but the death of his dog after a prolonged sickness.
Despite this personal tragedy, Happ’s game continues its impressive showing as the breakout indie hit of 2015. The PS4 exclusive has been racking up big sales and critical acclaim, currently sitting at an 85% score on Metacritic. Now the game is coming to PC’s, both on steam and through the humble bundle.
The game itself is the latest hit to come out of the ‘Metroidvania’ approach to game design. Drawing its visual inspiration from the classic SNES Super Metroid, Axiom verge has received critical acclaim for looking like a classic game while incorporating a host of thoroughly modern design features. Boasting over 900 hundred interlocking rooms to explore, and a dozen unique weapons, the game clocks in at about a ten hour adventure
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the game, and something that has certainly garnered a good deal of attention, is the fact that it is the work one lone designer. Happ handled every single aspect of Axiom verge’s creation, from creating the art assets to writing the code to composing the soundtrack. A veteran developer who has worked in the industry since 2002, working for a number of triple A studios, Happ had previously released the GBA emulator cowbite.
While being a clearly talented programmer, Happ’s personal website also hosts a series of philosophical essays about the nature of reality. One wonders to what degree Axiom Verge’s own sci-fi story could be better understood through a cross referencing of these two works. In an industry that has made room for the Jonathan Blows of the world, Happ seems poised to be its latest breakout auteur. PC gamers curious about his work are only weeks away from being able to find out.
Axiom Verge will also be released on the Vita.