Against the Wall is set in a world hanging between a massive wall and an endless sky. Your goal is to climb back up to your home, using a tool that makes bricks shoot out of or back into the wall, creating stairs and roads—all the while exploring cities and ruins, forests growing out the side of the world, and facing strange creatures who want to eat you.
The game is highly original, and is surprisingly detailed, given that its developer, Michael Consoli, built the original prototype through two sleepless nights for the Ludum Dare competition that gives developers 48 hours to build a game from scratch, solo. He has continued working on it for the last several months, and posted it on Kickstarter to raise funds to finish it.
Consoli said in an e-mail interview he came up with the concept during a college creative writing class, and is inspired by a few of his favorite games. “Like Minecraft, it’s an infinite world made out of blocks. Like Portal, you are given a device that helps you move around linear puzzle-levels,” he said.
The look and feel of the game was inspired by Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and the Myst series, which “have beautiful but relatively unpopulated worlds,” Consoli said.
Against the Wall is still in its Alpha state, which is free to download. Consoli is currently building on what’s there to create the world he envisions. There will be around 20 levels, each of which will add new challenges, structures, blocks, and wall-climbing beasts.
Climbing the wall will get more difficult as the player ascends. This will be done mainly with different types of bricks that react differently. Consoli said some will crumble to dust, others will react to other bricks, and some may cause harm to the player. He’s working on several types. “By mixing these bricks together the game becomes more challenging,” he said.
Falling in the game is pretty traumatic also. You may be able to catch yourself by hitting a brick on the wall and making it catch you, but if you miss the window, you start falling fast, and you just keep falling… forever. Or at least until you restart the level.
There are a few structures and different environments in the current, Alpha version. One of them is a level with huge trees growing out the side of the world. Green bricks in the level move back into the wall when the player uses them.
There are also some wooden platforms with elevators. Consoli said in the final game, some platforms will have puzzles of their own, noting “some of the transitional platforms such as elevators will require a little more work than simply pulling a lever.”
Exploration will have a part to play. Against the Wall has cities and different structures that players will get through, and according to Consoli, “the towns, cities, and structures of the wall will house special environmental obstacles, in addition to giving the different levels some variety.”
Early concept images give a general idea of how towns and cities will look. One shows an old, Western looking town built on an overhanging platform.
Combat will also have a big part to play—but more like the Amnesia-style, hide from the monster because you have no weapon and it thinks you look delicious type of battle system. “You will not be able to defend yourself, and hiding is not always an option,” Consoli said.
Still, what you do have on your side is a hook that can create and remove bricks, drop platforms out from under things, and be creative with. The possibilities for enemy encounters in Against the Wall are nearly endless. There is a wall-climbing monster in the free-version of the game for those who want a taste of how this will look.
The free Alpha version of Against the Wall is free to download and play. As mentioned above, Consoli is currently fundraising through Kickstarter, hoping to bring some new talent on board, including artists, composers, testers, and another programmer to help speed things up.