GameCity: De Mambo

De Mambo is a new game from developer The Dangerous Kitchen, an up-to-four-player Smash Bros series-like experience. Each player controls a small circular character focused on knocking the others off the stage. In this game, The Dangerous Kitchen have taken a familiar format into a different direction, as I saw at Gamecity.

The first twist: the stages are fully walled. Before blasting your foe into the oblivion off screen, you must break holes in the stage’s blocks to blast them through. At its simplest, this is satisfying and fun destruction; on the other end of the spectrum the mechanic has scope to introduce more strategy and tactical play. There are already plenty of different stages too, with different block patterns and gimmicks such as warp pipes.

A second difference to games you may have encountered in the genre is the simple attack system. Attacking uses a single button, which can be held to charge up to three levels. Each stage is dramatically different, with different utility and charge up time. Overcharging for just too long will blow up in your characters face, stunning you. This incredibly basic control system is instantly accessible but makes for surprisingly compelling matches. This and the second chance granting loser rail makes De Mambo a game that’s for everyone, but still favours the players with greater skill.

The one button action is complimented by basic d-pad movement, jumping and dashing. The platforming was exceptionally tight, my murderous orange circle moving exactly to my will despite using just the d-pad to guide it. The characters are also able to grab the edges of platforms, an extra aspect to mobility that completes the feel of the game’s movement.

Interested gamers can support De Mambo through its kickstarter campaign or by voting for it on Steam Greenlight. And with more stages, challenge mode and a ‘Zelda 2 meets Warioware’ single player mode on the way, I’d recommend at least taking a look at it.

Tom Evans

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