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It has come to this at the end of the great war. Humanity can only send down one ship, with one man and that is you. Prepare to face a horde of aliens in this rogue-like monochrome sidescrolling shooter, where you invade an alien planet alone.

Rogue Invader is the creation of new indie studio Squishy Games, which wants to focus on monochrome or ‘1-bit’ style games utilizing a clear, crisp art style to go along with the simple color palette. It is their first game but shows a lot of promise from the demo, ideas, and work put out there.

The basic concept in Rogue Invader, as alluded to above, is that there’s been a prolonged war between humanity and an alien race. Humanity was slowly winning and launched a daring strike at the alien’s home planet with their space ships carrying a million soldiers for the invasion—only the aliens out thought them. Instead of focusing on humanity’s well-defended capital ships, they picked off the supply ships that would give the weapons and drop ship capability leaving a million soldiers with one pistol, a few clips of ammo, and one drop ship.

Undaunted by this, the titular Rogue Invader goes down and does his run, attempting to get as much materials as he can to beam up to the ship as he goes. Eventually, it is likely he will die, and with the drop ship having returned, another of those marines will take his place with the weapons and supplies the last invader sent up, providing the tools to research and painstakingly create the supplies you will need for the next run. Okay, the interface is actually pretty simple, but you can imagine those million marines trying hard to figure out how to build a gun from a bunch of scrap, rocks and alien tech!

The customization is a key part of what will help Rogue Invader stand out, as there are going to be 8 base gun chassis’, each with up to 6 spots for modifications for things like scope, core and clip. Right now in the demo, only a relatively few are implemented, but the tradeoffs are already clear in how they plan on designing the game. Limited ammunition supply based on what you take and modifiers you use, weight limiting how much you can carry and speed are a couple of examples that can expand to things like fire rate, aiming speed, aiming accuracy, and distance.


Like most rogue-styled games, Rogue Invader will make use of persistently generated worlds, though it plans some interesting innovations there. They plan on using 12 different areas, mixing the procedural generation inside them along with scripted hardcoded parts to mix and match. Additionally, there will be persistent damage, meaning that if you destroy something in one run, it won’t be fully back the next run, but may eventually be repaired by the alien menace.

Of course, maps won’t be the only things getting variety, as there will be a lot of different homeworlds for your soldiers, and each of them will give a different perk to that soldier. Additionally, there will be 6 enemy types (in addition to minibosses and bosses, one presumes), each with three different AI portfolios to load up to vary up the game play and create an effective grouping of 18 enemy types; given the different AIs, they could mix and match to create all sorts of interesting encounters.

Rogue Invader has a pre-alpha demo available right now if you want to get a sample of it. It is very rough and only one stage, but it gives some idea of the simple controls and how the game will work—even if there are a lot of bugs in it right now. It also isn’t feature complete, thus pre-alpha, and so doesn’t have the research lab, instead allowing you to directly create from the forge and seems to be missing a usage for scrap (my guess is that’s for either weapon chassis’ or other equipment like armor … or both).

If Rogue Invader interests you, check out its Greelight page for more information and check out the pretty cool trailer below.

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.