EMUUROM is a tiny, nonviolent creature-scanning metroidvania.

Gather information, find secrets, and map the world! Demo out!


Z and arrow keys to move, ESC to pause, F9 to record gifs. Controller supported!

Blue flowers save the game.


NOTE: The browser version can be laggy, so if you liked the game, I recommend downloading the desktop version for better experience!


EMUUROM is created in the TIC-80 fantasy console. 

Full version coming in 2020!


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

emuurom-0.1.i.lua 248 kB
Version 1
emuurom-0.1.i.file 9 MB
Version 4
emuurom-0-1-i.dmg 3 MB
Version 5
emuurom.0.1.i.exe 3 MB
Version 8

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(+1)

Thanks for the great game!

I must confess, that I lacked the patience to finish it, but enjoyed the original concept. 

I was confused at first, as the game gave me little to no instructions about its objects. But it unraveled itself nicely through the interactions with them. I liked how the very first room teaches you this basic lesson that sets the mood for the whole game. This world seemed so alien and strange at first, but as you learn how each creature behaves it reveals its hidden patterns and becomes 'readable'. Although some of the platformer challenges were too hard for my taste.

The scanning-collection mechanic on top of it adds a new dimension to the exploration. I liked how biological descriptions of creatures give hints to their mechanical behaviors.

Overall, the game left with a strange feeling of being in an alien, yet non-threatening world, that has its own strange, yet comprehensive laws. Great work!

Thanks for the, umm, thanks! And for feedback! Nice to hear that the 'alien-ness' of the world is coming through, and that the scan entries are working as intended! ^^

As for the platforming challenges - I aim to make some of them less frustrating in the full version. Which room(s) in particular made you quit, if I may ask? :D

Demo area map with room numbers:

(1 edit) (+1)

Hey, you're welcome!

I would say that rooms 35 and 45 were quite challenging, but I've managed to overcome them. Jumping the caterpillar was especially frustrating since it required very precise timing and I'm just not good at this. I wouldn't say that any particular room has made me quit, but when I reached room 34 I felt a bit overwhelmed. It's just that rooms are so mechanically dense and full of challenges, and there's little to no breathing space between them. 

With that said, I can easily see a platformer puzzle person relishing your game precisely for the things that I found somewhat frustrating about it. Namely, densely interconnected puzzles and hardcore platformer challenges. I'm just happened to be not that kind of person :)

P.S.: oh, and thanks for the map! It made me realized I've missed some of the secret passages.

Thanks for the insights!

The tricky caterpillar jump is something I could try adjusting by just making its collision box a bit wider. I do want the game to have hardcore platformer challenges as well, but in the demo area I would like every player to at least reach the scanner first...!

Designing this kind of a game is like walking a tightrope in a cramped room lol. I'd like to add as much breathing space to the rooms as possible but, like, w h e r e. The interconnectedness of adjacent rooms gives me, as a designer, very little breathing space, so unfortunately that is reflected on the player on many occasions. What a problem have I generated for myself!

Anyway, the design of room 34 is something that i'm not perfectly happy with yet. It should be the last exercise before the end of the tutorial area, but maybe there's just too much to take in at once.

I made a small change to the room recently (not sure if additions are really helping lol): Otukka the caterpillar is there! Hopefully its presence gives the player a subconscious idea where they should be heading.


Being a game designer myself, I feel what you going through. Designing puzzles is a tough challenge, but adjusting them to player's expectations and skills afterward is even harder. Especially when you have such an intricately interconnected system as your game world. But that's that major source of fun in our craft, isn't it? ;)

I think caterpillar actually works well at signposting the exit! And increasing its collision box might work well too.

(+1)

This is an sneakily amazing and charming metroidvania.

Makes you learn and earn movement and keep coming back and looking for new secrets. 

The creature and area names really give it depth and make you want to keep exploring and there are several areas seemingly just out of reach, but then you find a way.

I could only get to 97% or so and will likely keep playing to explore since it really has a feel of a different world.

Can't wait for more additions and a formal release.

Also great example of what is possible with tic-80 in the landscape of Fantasy Consoles.

Thanks for your kind words, and congrats for almost completing the demo!! (Though there are some off-bounds secrets as well to be found....)

Also, great to hear that the creature and area names are resonating, I know my silly eastern finnish words aren't that easy for the english-speaking world to remember, let alone pronounce... :D 

Is it possible to use it on android and if you can how?

Because TIC-80 can't export Android builds atm, it's a bit tricky, but possible! Note however that because the game is not optimized for Android, FPS drops are common (especially when scanning).

If you want to try it out anyway, here's the instructions!

1. Buy the PRO version of TIC-80 (it's $5). Download and install the apk for your Android device (you have to allow installing from unknown sources in settings).

2. Download the .lua version of EMUUROM demo and move the file to TIC-80's data folder. For me it was located in /sdcard/Android/data/com.nesbox.tic/files/TIC-80/

3. Open TIC-80, and type in the following commands:

load emuurom-0.1.i.lua

run

And you're good to go! Bluetooth controllers can be used to play the game, but onscreen controls are also available.

(+1)

Ok thanks

(+1)

This is really really good, excited for the full game

(+2)

thank you! these comments fill me with determination. :)

(+2)

This is awesome, I need to play the full version. Hope it's released soon!

(+1)

thanks! i'm aiming for 2020 release - there's still quite a lot work left, but i believe i can make it!

(+1)

Great news, I'll be surviving the pandemic for it.

(+2)

Incredible work! I'm always so appreciative of non-violent games in genres that normally have some sort of death. This was really cool too, learning about animals. It was a little difficult to understand at first, but experimentation was necessary to grasp what I had to do. The progression was just so good. The only disappointment is that it's not finished. :OP


I've had this game on my to-play list for awhile, but I'm glad it was included in The Bundle so I could prioritize it. Thank you.

Thanks, and congrats for 100%-ing the demo! If you want to take a look behind the curtains, there's some out-of-bounds content left to be found...!

(+1)

This game is so weird... but so fun. We played this on our new youtube channel and it was so refreshing to try out. Most of the video is us saying "oooh" and "ahhh" ha! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryMLG4aWcRw

damn! thanks for letsplaying (it's the first!)

gonna watch this right away->

(+1)

I'm so glad you liked it! We would be thrilled to make more at some point. :) The game is really relaxing and felt good to play amidst all of the high-energy stuff we were doing.

OKAy i love this?!?!? The enthusiasm! The dynamics! And my god, the pronunciations! My finnish ass was NOT prepared for them lol (and I'm def going to say kehreejä that way from now on!)

(+1)

Hahaha I'm so glad you liked it!! This game was really fun, we're talking about playing some more of it. 

ooh i'd love to see more!

how do you scan creatures???

(+1)

You need to obtain the scanner first!

(+5)

Emuurom brought me back to the golden age of indie Flash games – it's a beautifully crafted, creative, exploration-focused experience full of secrets and cozy feelings.

It also reminded me of Rain World, my favorite game of all time: you're in a world full of creatures, but they're not out to get you specifically. Rather, you're just living in it, and learning about them and their behaviors is a large part of what the game is about. They're also similar in their approaches to mystery: Emuurom tells you little to nothing about how to play or how things work up front, so that's all for you to discover on your own. If you, like me, can't get enough of the feeling of discovery, you gotta play this game.

(+2)

I got the demo for this in the recent bundle - I really like it. The puzzle elements are interesting, the visuals (especially the scanner) are cool, and the music's nice and relaxing. I can't wait until you release the full version.

haha thanks! working on it as we speak!

(2 edits) (+3)

If you go into this game expecting a nice little "gotta go fast" kind of platformer, you'll probably be stumped like I was at first. Why aren't there more rooms? What am I supposed to do next? Who am I anyway?

I'd say EMUUROM is more akin to a puzzle game than a conventional platformer. The whole point of the game is to figure out how to use the environment to your advantage so you can fully explore the world. When I finally realized what I was supposed to do, I felt like a complete dum-dum because the answer had been staring at me all along. D'oh!

Some of the 'bugs' I found were actually features that I could use to advance. There's also the built-in potential to screw things up, but never badly enough to make the demo unfinishable. (Unless you manage to clip into a wall or something)

I enjoyed the sense of mystery, funky bleep-bloop music and chill atmosphere, and felt like I wanted to know more about these creatures and the world they inhabit. I did feel like the game could use a bit more hand-holding in the beginning, but on the other hand, that might take away from the joy of discovering things on your own. You are, after all, exploring an unknown world!

Pok-- I mean Emex completion rate currently at 91%. Some day I'll figure it out.

All that said, I think my favorite part is the main menu.


EDIT: Emex 101.75% complete! I give this game a 101.75/100 ;)

(+1)

Wish I could pin comments lol. I mean, it's an actual cohesive review, I really appreciate it!

So yeah! Many of the bugs that can be used to your advantage are indeed totally unplanned, and in many cases discovered by other people than me. Naturally, I've chosen to leave them in, as they double as hidden cool mechanics and speedrun strats! 

Mystery, exploration and getting lost are indeed important themes for me, so I'm quite cautious about adding any hand-holdy tutorials in the beginning, as it might change the tone - as you speculated. THEN AGAIN, I'd like to make this game accessible to as large audience as possible, so I should address it somehow.

Answer for the accessibility problem could be something I've long yearned to make: a game manual! That's the next thing I'm gonna do for EMUUROM: A Retrobiologist's Field Guide, a short journal that explains the UIs, basic mechanics, behaviour of some EMUUROM and tells the backstory of the protagonist. And if you want to go in blind, it would still be possible; you could just read the guide afterwards! 

Btw, I finally embraced the puzzle aspect of the game and added it as a tag. 

Thanks for the feedback, this is valuable data that makes EMUUROM better still (and maybe more importantly, fills me with determination)!

(+1)

What a refreshing game! I enjoyed the atmosphere with the music the most.

The scanner visuals were also awesome and I like that it also affects gameplay with the way it can stop moving platforms.

That being said, I felt a lot of the jumps were kinda tight, especially considering it was the start of the game. My main frustration came early on with the first bird section, not realizing the bird momentum carried throughout your jump. Maybe that was my bad on that one.

Otherwise, I like it! I was constantly motivated to find the next screen to go to and finding secrets like getting out of bounds.

How were the scanner visuals made? My guess is linecasts animated with a sine wave and colored based on the sign of the wave. Would love to know more.

(+1)

thanks for playing! ^^ 

The first bird room has been a source of frustration for some players, but I'm at odds with it atm - it seems to partly work because it in fact should teach that momentum is preserved when jumping from a moving platform. That being said,  it shouldn't do that through frustration, though! :D

And then, the scanner lines!

They are 8 lines (4 red, 4 yellow) that increase in length by 2 pixels every frame until they collide with something. The rotation angle phi_i of an individual ray i is calculated with

phi_i = phi_0 - phi_max * sin(0.02*t + pi/8*2*i)

where phi_0 is the center direction (that the player can manipulate), phi_max is the half of the ray cone "width" angle and the sine term changes per time t and ray i.

So your guess wasn't that far from the truth!

(2 edits) (+1)

follow up:

*spoilers*


I found the three hatty mushrooms, lured the worm into the lake to head back towards the start (though I couldn't scan the starting "tombstone"), scanned the dandelion/maskros and Mt. Sus, scanned the cat and snow clouds.

1. Can the player make it into the hole next to Mt. Sus?

2. I managed to get into the secret tunnel where the bird flies into on the screen below the dandilion (Pujjio?). I ended up falling and couldn't get into the tunnel again, but is there anything to discover right now in there? 

3. Can the player make the jump to reach the cat?

4. Anything else that I missed?

(1 edit)

1. Only from the above.

2. It's possible to get into the other side.

3. Not unfortunately :(

4. ^ See 2. ^ 

I'd suggest you to try it again, 
no one has made it yet.

(4 edits)

*spoilers*

Got in the tunnel! I tried calling the bird over to ride over the waterfall-pit but no luck crossing yet. I did potentially discover a bug. Upon returning to PUIJJO from the HUOM screen, the top bird was permanently gone (see imgur link).  I'll see if it's reproducible.

   There is a little "air shaft" in the secret tunnel that leads up....maybe I'll jump up, land on the bird, and jump again to the screen above PUIJJO. To be determined...

 https://imgur.com/a/M8iEJWx

I take back my comment about the controls. After playing more and getting the hang of things, I think it's at a good level of difficulty. Since there's no enemies, there should be a challenge somewhere, and completing some of the harder jumps is definitely rewarding! 

Ah, the missing bird bug resurfaces. I've no idea atm why and how it happens. :D What I've gathered is that the bird should return after the player goes a few screens away and then comes back, but it's still a guessing game...

Oh, the vertical air shaft? I thought THAT was the hole next to Mt. Sus you were asking about earlier :D it's not important (yet). 

hint: there is a hidden path nearby to get past the waterfall pit.

Also, nice to hear that the controls "clicked". I'm still pondering if I should tweak them a bit, but this reassures that platforming physics are at least 95% complete.

(+1)

The visuals of scanning things is so cool! It was a joy to play. 


I like how the theme is "peaceful" where you don't fight any enemies, but instead explore the map and document the wildlife. 

The snail shortcuts are a great idea and I hope you continue with that. Sometimes with games, the map is so expansive that it's hard to remember which places I have visited. Seeing the snails helps me remember that I unlocked that part. A very simple minimap showing which screen the player is in could be nice, but wasn't necessary.


If possible, I would make the secret tunnels more apparent when scanning, as sometimes it's hard to see clearly when all the blocks are flashing.


The movement is a bit "slippery" too, which makes some jumps difficult. Having the character stop as soon as the move button is released would help this. Right now, the character seems to slide, or carry their momentum. 


Interesting mechanic where scanning an animal for enough time will freeze it in place. Could see this integrated into the platforming but it would be hard to time in it's current state. 


When scanning and pressing the jump button, I see my character "phasing" upwards, like it's showing my future path if I again press the jump button. I wasn't sure if this was a special mechanic or not, which was a little confusing, but it seems like it's just for visual sake. 


Too bad I couldn't leave the end screen since I wanted to explore more. It seems like this was intended so I'm looking forward to more!


Very excited to see where you take this game. 

(2 edits)

Thanks for your comments hygge! my paragraph-by-paragraph answer follows:

I've for a few years wanted to make a "biologist game". Then the idea collided with an already-existing post-jam platformer, and they fused into EMUUROM.

Snail shortcuts are tHE BEST. Also, there is a map screen, but its button is currently only told in one of the 'tombstones', or virstanpylyväät. 

[it's the S key]

I'll consider adding more holes to the ground (through which the scanline is seen in the secret tunnels)! That might change the aesthetics of the tilesets considerably, tho, which means design work (note also: i am lazy)

Slipperiness of movement is mentioned enough times already for me to do something about it.

There will be a few emuuroms that are designed around pausing :) 

The "future path" phasing is indeed just a visual thing

                                             for now

maybe I should add an easter egg to the endscreen as well...

:D Luckily, there is indeed more to be found in the demo, see my answer to your second message :>

(+1)

GOOD GAME; AT THE START i WAS VERY CONFUSED ABOUT IT ALL; ESPECIALLY THAT i COULDNT READ THE SIGNS: BUIT ONCE i GOT THE FIRST THING IT BECAME MORE CLEAR. and then it was already over :-(

GREAT TO HEAR, THIS IS THE INTENDED EXPERIENCE (save for the abrupt ending,) MORE COMING SOON!!

(+2)

Neat idea and execution. Hope that there will be more.

I think that "ground" tiles should be more clearly separate from "background" tiles. At least once I thought that I can make a jump and was blocked by something I thought that would belong into background. Also I think that some challenges are too precise. A little bit of leeway would make it flow smoother.

In all other ways I think that level design is just right. I always had some kind of clue where to move next, even without any instructions. Challenges were fun and it is nice that new mechanics emerge through different creatures that have their own purpose (love how snails work as shortcuts for cleared challenges). Music is awesome.

I had some performance issues on browser, which I guess is to be expected.

(+1)

Thanks for extensive feedback! ^^ Great to hear that level design does its job, as I'm not that experienced on the matter, hehe.

I'll try to smoothen out some of the trickier jump sections, especially those in the first bird room for the next release 0.1.e. And I guess I should also work on the tilemaps, too! Which tile was the one you thought was part of the background?

And yup, it's is tricky to deliver a steady 60fps on browser, and for optimization I can only do so much (but I'll try to work on that, too.)

(5 edits) (+1)

Here is that part. Now that I think of it, it might have more to do with that plant that is on front of the wall, giving impression that it belongs to background.




Ps. I've found myself booting up this game just to listen to that catchy music that plays most of the time.

(+2)

haha, didn't even consider that interpretation! I moved the plant one tile right so it should be less ambiguous in the next update.

Ps. Nice to hear that you like the music! You can also listen to (an older version of) it on my soundcloud: :D https://soundcloud.com/oggborbis/sets/tic-80-chiptunes