Skeletons are bad guys. We know this because they are the reanimated dead, and they generally hang out with necromancers who have evil intentions. Skeletons also come in many shapes and sizes, from the normal sized to the larger than life to the special flying skulls that mostly pester rather than threaten. If you need practice tackling the skeleton menace, there may be no greater virtual training tool than Temporal Temple.
Temporal Temple is a one screen arcade shooter where the goal is to survive amid an ever growing horde of reanimated bones. You can’t just camp in one place with your skull themed grenade launcher though, as your foes drop coins that you’ll need to purchase new weapons, power-ups, and heal at the statue placed conveniently in the middle of the carnage. It’s a game that is tailor made for masochists looking for something to play besides endless bullet hell space shooters, featuring an extremely fast difficulty ramp that will leave new players and game critics in the dust quickly.
If you can outlast the horde, there are several characters to unlock, each with a different starting weapon. If you need some variety without all that pesky game progress, you can purchase random weapons from the chest, and this is where the game begins to get interesting. Since enemies are constantly pouring into your location, you don’t have that much time for your decision making. Whatever the chest gives you, you need to adapt pretty quickly to avoid getting mauled by skeletal hands. There aren’t too many crazy weapons that I saw during my time with the game, but this is something that can definitely be expanded upon, and it would be an easy way to give the game more depth.
As you can see in my included Scouting Party, I eventually do get the hang of jumping over the skeletons and shooting my way to victory. Temporal Temple responded back in kind with swarms of flying skulls that dove in and ruined my fun. Up until that point in the game, you can safely avoid taking most damage, but once the air is also dangerous, the game is a mad rush to the healing station between coin runs. Better players than I will have more to see, and I’m encouraged by even the slow progress I was able to achieve.
Graphically, the game looks wonderful, with a distinctive pixel art style that stands out from the crowd. The smoke and blood effects that fill the arena as the game gets more and more frantic are well implemented, allowing you to keep track of your character in a crowd and accentuating both large motions and huge explosions. The game’s singular music track, while a bit on the short side, is catchy enough to get the job done and keep your head bopping to the beat from one run to the next.
Temporal Temple is currently available on itch.io for $2 if you can’t wait for its Greenlight approval. This is the first project aiming to reach the Steam storefront for developer Dlastons, although he does have a few hidden gems in his back catalog elsewhere on the Internet. It’s a great start, and here’s hoping for continued success should this reach the front page. How else will we see the continuation of this saga and experience the lore of a horde of skeletons and their desperate bid to tackle a guy in some dungeon somewhere?
Are you interested in blowing away skeletons with a skull themed grenade launcher? Can video games ever get any more metal than that last sentence? Answer these questions and more in the comments below!
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