Download “Spheres of Evil” (Beta) from the following link – https://tinyurl.com/y7mjstjr or from Game Jolt – https://gamejolt.com/games/SpheresofEvil/315599 – (Extract ZIP file contents into a folder in your Desktop).
The indie games community has grown exponentially in recent years. For many consoles, having a good selection of independent games has become a selling point. The other side of the coin is also true; for every Super Meat Boy or Inside there are more games like The Slaughtering Grounds or Stealth Inc. where quick development times for easy profits are the goal, not creating games that (you know) work. The developers of Spheres of Evil have been taking their time to deliver a game that is fun and engaging instead of a cynical cash grab.
The team developing Spheres of Evil consists of programmer and designer Diego Sendra from Uruguay, and graphic designer Ehab M. Samuel from Egypt. Sendra and Samuel have a fully licenced and custom soundtrack to add to the thematic elements of the game. These two men hope to deliver a game that will entertain audiences for years to come.
We had the chance to sit down with Mr. Sendra and get his thoughts on developing his game, as well as play a beta version. One thing is clear: Spheres of Evil has potential to become an entertaining and challenging game.
Spheres of Evil Breaking Free
Spheres of Evil is a top-down maze game with action-RPG elements in a demonology wrapper, a strange but imaginative mixture of genres. The objective of the game is releasing demons that have been imprisoned by angels across a large dungeon filled with labyrinthine rooms. The players accomplish by directing a rolling ball through these mazes while dodging traps. The beta only had two dangers: blades in the wall and crushing balls rolling around the halls.
The player isn’t entirely without defense, as the game allows players to level up and develop new powers to assist with the quest. This may seem like an easy game, but the difficulty ramps up quickly, partially owing to the extremely pulled in camera which obscures many of the upcoming traps. This camera allows for higher tension and quickly punishes players who are not careful. There are a lot of games that tout their difficulty with the slogan “You will die. A lot.” but with Spheres of Evil it is true. Trial and error and on the fly decision making will be needed to make your way through the game.
The Present and Future
The beta only contains 5 levels, but Sendra has promised 70 levels. One hundred or more levels are an option for the developers. A few bugs were present in an introductory Twitch.tv stream, but these bugs have been fixed already. The game is well designed and competently coded. The design team had coated each level with both passion and competence not seen in many independent games released on Steam.
Spheres of Evil runs on a proprietary engine designed by the developers. The levels are designed with Tiled software and imported into the custom engine. A focus has been placed on creating interesting and challenging level design. Each level has placed an emphasis on exploration and problem solving. The developers have promised secret rooms, as well as multiple paths through each level which if properly implemented will expand replayability for gamers who like to 100% every game they play. The future looks bright indeed if these promises are kept.
The Man Behind the Spheres
Diego Sendra has been coding software for many of his 41 years, starting with the ZX Spectrum when he was 14. Until 2015 he worked as a freelance designer of corporate and database software. He has been a lifelong gamer and has a deep understanding of what makes games fun.
This is his first game to see a retail release, although not his first game designed. He told us that he coded several games throughout the 1990’s and even later. His inspiration came by watching Indie Games: The Movie one day, and he thought to himself, “Hell, I could make something like Super Meat Boy if I wanted, with all due respect since its excellent and very well crafted.” He describes the process of making games as “hard, really hard,” but sees the result as being worth it. He started coding Spheres of Evil in June 2017, and he describes the work he’s done since as a “labor of love.” He started the development studio Back to the Abyss with his partner Ehab Samuel to work on Spheres of Evil.
Spheres of Evil is scheduled to release officially in March for PC and Steam and soon after for Android and iOS. If everything comes together the way it’s looking, this will be a game to watch out for. Download the beta here and here. Check out the trailer below.
- THE GOOD
- Innovative Idea
- Addicting Gameplay
- Has a lot of promise
- THE BAD
- Hopefully there are more trap types in the final game
Even though it is just a beta, the bones of a good game shine through. Each level (there are a planned 70, but could spike to 100+) has placed an emphasis on exploration and problem solving. The developers have promised secret rooms, as well as multiple paths through each level which if properly implemented will expand replayability for gamers who like to 100% every game they play. The future looks bright indeed if these promises are kept.
Jonathan Thornburg has been playing games for almost 25 years, and in that time has developed a love for the Gaming Industry. He plays on the PS4 mostly, but can be found indulging in games from the past 25 years as well. He streams on twitch.tv/leftstick and uploads to youtube.com/c/leftstickgaming.