Remember Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty that I checked out last July? It’s an interesting spin on the Breakout formula with an emphasis on the unique and minimal art style of the De Stijl movement. You can pick it up for the next few days from IndieGameStand for a pay-what-you-want price. If you chip in a little extra you also get the game’s soundtrack which I’ve been jamming to at work today.
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I got to play a preview version of Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty over the weekend and recorded a few rounds while I tried to talk about it. There isn’t a lot in this build beyond the core gameplay but it’s still a nice little riff on Breakout with a lot of promise. I go over those promises in the video but you can also check out this post for a more thoughtfully worded version when I wasn’t distracted with 360-degree Breakout.
Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty is being developed by Lantana Games and will be out on Steam, itch.io, and IndieGameStand this August. I’ll most likely be back with more after it’s released.
Lantana Games, the indie studio behind Children of Liberty – one of my long-running favorites from the IGF — have just announced another new game in a completely different genre. Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty is a block-breaking, Arkanoid-esque game which takes its name from the famous artist but doesn’t strictly adhere to his style. Think of the name as the inspiration rather than the definition of the game’s art style which traces the history of video game art itself.
Starting out in the 1970’s, the game mimics the technological limitations of video game hardware at the time, rendering the playfield in simpler, starker colors. As video games evolve, so does Mondrian’s style, stopping at the blacks and greens of ancient terminal displays, the pulsing reds of the Virtual Boy and so on through the 1990’s. Aside from the visual treatment there’s also a museum interface with 15 initial galleries featuring “works from acknowledged masters of the medium” making Mondrian a potential all-in-one video game art history lesson.
It’s the art aspect that grabbed me but I’m happy to see they aren’t simply redressing Breakout. Mondrian may play like a classic block-breaker but it lets you revolve your paddle 360-degrees around the space, bouncing the ball all over the screen. Forty different power-ups, paddles, balls, and borders are also unlockable to keep things interesting and the brick layouts are dynamically generated from a pool of 40,000,000 possible combinations.
With the base game in place, Lantana will support Mondrian after release with free and paid content including stages only accessible if you own specific games. How they’ll verify previous purchases is unknown but it’s a clever ideal that cross-promotes indie games and lets those devs customize Mondrian to match their individual games. Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty will be released on Steam, itch.io, and IndieGameStand in August 2015 and I’m hoping to get access to a preview build soon.