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VAX 2018: Night Stream Is A Mobile Runner Game With Freeform Controls, Made By Malaysian Developers
At Visual Art Expo 2018, we saw the various booths for games made by developers based here in Malaysia. One of them is from the Streamline Studios, the outfit that is making their name doing outsource works on AAA games, with plans to still make their own games on the side.
Since we last spoke to them, the company has now separated its development team working on their own IPs into a new entity, Streamline Games.
On the first day of the show, we saw Streamline Games debuting a new mobile game called Night Stream. The game evokes one of the developers’ earlier game, Axon Runner which was a Coca-Cola tie-in game about riding hoverboards in an endless runner fashion. Night Stream takes place in the same universe, but greatly expands the controls.
Night Stream has you riding a hoverboard while avoiding obstacles, like a runner game in most mobile games. But instead of just switching lanes, you have full free-form control of your hoverboard.
Moving your thumb from side to side lets you strafe while flicking the thumb lets you jump, with the trajectory and the airtime all in your control. One of the Night Stream producers that we talked to, Izaal Amaani, was very adamant about nailing the gameplay aspect, and from our limited hands-on time, it does show.
The controls are tight and the course you will go through has some variety. You’re not just strafing on a flat plane- some wall surfaces you can ride on indefinitely and jumping from wall to wall and to the floor can be difficult at first, but it will make sense as you grasp the controls. There are also powerup pickups that can assist your run, from slow-mos to missiles that clears a trail from obstacles, projectiles and also collect coins on its way.
In the levels we played, the big gimmick was that you have to go through the same courses in three different phases, called Machs. The idea is that Mach 1 is where you learn the course and by Mach 2 and Mach 3 you still go through the same course but there are more oncoming projectiles and obstacles that are in your way.
It’s not your ordinary runner game on mobile like Subway Surfers. Rather it reminds us a lot of Wipeout’s Zone modes where precision controls is key.
Night Stream will be free-to-play, with cosmetic customisations such as a variety of hoverboards and riders, including riders representing Malaysia culture such as the character Zara, a Malay lady with a hijab. It will be out in just a few months from now and will also feature a comic tie-in to flesh out the in-game universe.