Back at last year’s Penny Arcade Expo held in Boston, Massachusetts, I visited Sabotage who was at the time showcasing their then upcoming title The Messenger with the anticipated platformer coming to Switch and PC later that Fall. Since the game’s debut, it received several awards as possibly on of the best indie titles for 2018 and even received the same nomination for The Game Awards which was held back in December.
Then following into January, publisher Devolver Digital revealed that Sabotage is working on bringing new content to the game dubbed as ‘Picnic Panic’ which will bring players to a new and tropical-set location which changes up the more grim & dull locales from the base title. For this year’s PAX East, I made time to visit the developer once again to see what’s new for the game in the coming months.
For the sake of the demo, I played one of the three missions that were available at the booth on the show floor. The upcoming DLC is said to be on an alternate timeline from the initial title where a group of natives from the neighboring island of the game have been kidnapped by a antagonizing demon and intervening with their picnic, and this is where The Messenger along with Ruxxtin travel to the island and rescue the natives.
The level featured gives context for the rest of the expansion and kicks the demo right off with a surfing level as you make your way to the island. Where you are given the objective to dodge, jump, and boost through the different obstacles that lay on the surface of the ocean. Watching others playing the demo and experiencing it myself, the level does hold some difficulty towards completing primarily with juggling between when to jump and dodge rocks & other objects in your path.
It eventually lead up to the Octopus boss battle which is where the real conflict at hand was met with most who’ve played. As it not only brings in obstacles you’re familiar with, but also uses its tentacles and spits mines at you. After three deaths later, I managed to finish the demo and was greeted by one of the developers with “was it difficult for you?” For me at least, I managed to die only four times which seemed to have been less of a problem for me compared to those who I saw play prior to me.
Just like the original game, ‘Picnic Panic’ also presents a catchy soundtrack and a palette of complementing colors that paint the screen. The remaining two levels will include new enemies, gameplay mechanics, and of course bosses.
Speaking with one of the by standing developers at the booth, they shared that ‘Picnic Panic’ is expect to drop sometime later this June for both PC and Nintendo Switch. Along with another client update that will bring more features and bug fixes after that.
The Messenger is out now for Nintendo Switch and PC.