Brandon Boyer

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Though I played dumb the last time this was teased, now it can fully be told: following the success of their four-part debut, culture shop/gallery Giant Robot and Attract Mode have once again teamed up to debut their next artxgame — bringing fine artists and indie game devs together to create new original works — this Saturday, June 13th at LA’s GR2 gallery.


This time, the artist in question is J.otto Seibold, who — in addition to his recent run of gallery shows — is the longtime illustrator and author of children’s book classics like the Mr. Lunch series, Penguin Dreams, Olive the Other Reindeer (which would go on to become a holiday TV special produced by Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Drew Barrymore), and, most recently, vampire tale Vunce Upon a Time. You might also recognize him from his animations for They Might Be Giants’ Istanbul (Not Constantinople) video.

Seibold has been partnered with indie dev Kyle Pulver, best known for his 2007 indie game Bonesaw, and, with upstart studio Retro Affect, the previously featured IGF finalist Snapshot: a game that mixes the brilliant pastel aesthetics of Yoshi’s Island with a mechanic that lets you move elements in its landscape by taking and placing snapshots around the field.


Together, the two have created Jottobots: a classic 2D platforming shooter starring the titular laser-slinging, jetpack-equipped ‘bot pitted against a range of instantly recognizable Seibold-ian vector creatures — angry mushrooms, ambulatory daruma dolls — played out over the technicolor spray-painted landscapes that have been his most recent gallery-art focus.

Artxgame also note that the game — which, like their original four, is meant specifically to be played in the gallery space — is limited to a five minute experience with a combo-scoring system and high-score list so players can see their rank at the end of the night.

What’s surprising — or rather, maybe welcoming — about the early demo I’ve played is how well the elements are coming together. Pulver’s got a rock solid 2D shooter base running underneath that rumbles the entire world with each exploding enemy, and the jewels they leave behind sparkle with more luster than any jewel I’ve seen in a decade of reading Seibold’s books.


So, how do you play? The game will debut this Saturday, June 13th, at Giant Robot’s GR2 gallery, located on 2062 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, and will run through July 8th (though possibly, like GDC’s Game Over/Continue show, without the game: be sure to show up opening night to have a chance to play!).

Hit the jump for the postcard invite to the show, and let us know how you fare!


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