This is Dave O'Toole, developer of 2x0ng (say it "TWO-zong".) I'd like to explain here on IndieDB the theme, style, and mechanics of this game. As for style, it's brightly-colored and pixelfied like an 80s arcade game, but also with influences from ZZT and MegaZeux aesthetics. (You may wish to check out the game trailer if the description below piques your interest---links at the bottom.)
At its core, this game is a mashup. 2x0ng's design is a nonlinear combination of several different late 70s/early 80s home video games, combining related aspects of each into something new. In 2x0ng, you
move a guy around the screen and shoot at enemies in all directions, as in Berzerk. The ball you throw ricochets and comes back to you, like in Tron Deadly Discs. You break colored bricks with the ball, like in Breakout. You transfer colors from one place to another in order to complete the level, similar to Revenge Of The Beefsteak Tomatoes.
Like those games, 2x0ng's controls are limited to a single directional joystick and one fire button. This gives them a pick-up-and-play accessibility (2x0ng supports this with arrow keys and spacebar, as well as gamepad support.)
But, 2x0ng has a few modern twists.
The ball has some intelligence, and can ricochet between multiple enemies if they're near enough to each other. Lining up combo shots is crucial to survival when many enemies are closing in on you. The ball will also auto-seek back to you if it gets too far out of range or becomes stuck.
To reach the next level, you must successively unlock new areas by opening color-coded gates in the correct order. The levels are procedurally generated, so the game experience is different each time.
Later levels are much larger than the screen, and feature substantially more moving/colliding objects than would have been possible in a real home video game from that era.
In addition to the brick-bashing and color-changing mechanics, several other features are also borrowed from the original Xong. One touch from any enemy or bullet, and your game is over---you cannot retry the same puzzle again. I believe that Instadeath is a crucial feature for the intensity of gameplay---any single event could end your game. You must view every object with intense paranoia, and learn how objects behave in order to make progress.
Also making a return from the original design: funky music! I've produced a bunch of new tracks exclusively for this game, as well as several bonus remixes of tracks from the original Xong. Music can also be deactivated, for using media players in the background while you play.
So, what's next for 2x0ng as the game approaches beta testing and a possible submission to Desura (I hope?)
You will have to stay tuned for the next version to find out! I have plenty in store, but I prefer it when there are still surprises to be found. At the moment I'm releasing a new playable build every few days, each with loads of new stuff and fixes/changes incorporated from feedback given by users.
Watch this space for more updates about 2x0ng, or try playing the game
yourself! And I invite you to offer feedback and criticism.
And here are the links!