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Noita Illustrates the Profound Effect of Physics on Games




Roguelite 16-bit retro game Noita is preparing to enter Steam Early Access. Even those who, by default, brush off such games may have to reconsider the genre.

If there is anything the gaming market has been saturated with for the last five years, it’s games with the following tags:

  • Rogue
  • Roguelite
  • Retro
  • 16-bit

There are good reasons why this phenomenon occurred:

  • The nostalgia effect
  • They are exceedingly cheap to produce
  • They require very low system requirements
  • They allow for a streamlined development process through platforms like GameMaker or TileEngine

In short, the low cost of entry for both developers and consumers allowed these games to flood the market — which somewhat diluted the enthusiasm for them. Noita holds a high likelihood of changing that.

Developed by Nolla Games, Noita has an extremely compelling feature: every single pixel you see is physically simulated. This allows for fantastic emergent gameplay that is never the same, as you can see here.

Ever since Half-Life 2, many have reasoned that: the more a game employs physics, the more enjoyable will it be to play it. After all, such games mimic the real world — which is ruled by physics instead of continuously repeated canned animations.

Almost all games are based on canned animations which are triggered when you do something. This limits the gameplay to a very narrow band of possibilities and makes it predictable.

As you saw in this Noita trailer, every pixel is responsive to physical forces — and a playground opens for a whole new way of thinking and playing.

The fact that Noita is already so compelling based just on a one-minute trailer is a testament to the importance of physics in video games.

We can only dream of this becoming a reality in high-production games.


Image courtesy of Noita.

Noita enters Early Access on September 24.

What do you think of Noita? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images/videos courtesy of YouTube, Noita.

Freelance writer, VR and cryptocurrency enthusiast. Against totalitarian social control, be it in the form of governments or corporate oligarchs.

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