Exception – Bringing a New Dimension to Action and Platforming at PAX EAST 2018
Destiny has a way of working in the universe. Sometimes, you are chasing your dreams. Sometimes, your dreams are chasing you. But, how does that apply in a computer system, a digital frontier where programs and directives are necessary for an orderly but diverse operating system? In the world of Exception, we get that answer. When a rogue programs turns fascist and sends an entire army to corrupt and conquer the system, a lone security program will be chosen and become the hero he was meant to become. This is the world of Exception from Traxmaster Software.
Exception Game is a neon-soaked action and shooting platformer game that runs at a constant silky-smooth 60 frames-per-second. When a deadly computer virus threatens to destroy an old woman’s computer, a security program will be chosen to become the powerful warrior that can take the fascists overlords down. Transformed, your character is capable of wielding a variety of weapons and exercising great agility. To fully conquer this army of virulent foes, players will traverse across 128 levels, each one distinct from the next. I took a few moments to check the game for myself.
The first thing that hit me was the fact that I literally started the game without a tutorial. There was no guide or holding my hand. The game literally started. Right from the beginning I was running and jumping my way across stages. As mentioned before, the game was extremely smooth, moving without any hesitation. After the first few levels, that’s when Exception began to open up.
I gained access to my blaster, destroying light enemies and obstacles. The platforming was simple, and I made it to the end of the level until suddenly, the entire level literally transformed. In terms of transformation, we aren’t talking about a simple reversal or a few moving platforms, but the entire level literally twisting and contorting into a different configuration. This made the game a bit more challenging, causing me to die a few times. This was an absolutely wonderful setup, as it kept the game fluid and in motion.
Each new level posed something new, whether it was laser traps, different platforms, or new enemies. Running around these levels and conquering them felt like a thrill. And all of this was happening against the backdrop of a thumping synthwave soundtrack and neon-lit environments. It’s the kind of game that the director of Tron, Steven Lisenberger, would be proud of. Nailing platforms was an extremely punctual and accurate, but even I missed a few easy platforms. Exception is a game all about precise timing and after a few tries, I got it. There was an extremely strong sense of momentum and kinetic energy, which kept me wanting to play further. I could easily imagine this gamer being great for casual players and more expert players as well.
After about a few minutes, and with the expo hall closing, I wrapped up my demo. I talked to the developer, Will Traxler, who was at the booth. Will fondly remembers the quick and vibrantly detailed platformers of the late 80’s and early 90’s. He wanted to make a game that was quick, fun, and to-the-point. No tutorials to slog through or hand-holding through a challenging scene. Exception represents a throwback to the thrill and challenge of platforming while providing thrilling action sequences and a twist on level design. He is really proud of the game and its appearance in the Indie MEGABOOTH mini-booth.
From its incredible visuals and silky-smooth framerate to its pulse-pounding action, Exception certainly feels like a game that that is an exception to the fundamental rules of platforming. The transforming levels will keep players on their toes, constantly anticipating a sudden an unknown change in their plan. With well over 100 levels planned, Exception looks like game players will dive deep into and won’t come out of until ever level is fully conquered. Exception is slated for release sometime in 2018 on Steam.