Wasteland Kings crawled out of Vlambeer's adorably twisted hivemind during Mojam earlier this year, and since then developers Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman have been polishing the three-day action roguelike for wider release. It's mutated over the months – and its characters have, too.
"It's a post-apocalyptic world inspired by 60s to 80s science fiction books," Ismail tells Joystiq. "It's a bunch of mutants and there's this trophy Wasteland throne that they all want to capture, and they fight about that. That's what they do on Tuesdays or something."
Currently Wasteland Kings has eight power-hungry characters running around Vlambeer's prototype, but there will be more. They mutate throughout the game by gathering radioactive waste, with powers partially based on the character type and partially up to the player, Ismail says. The game itself is chaotic, with numerous approaches to the same problems. It's a mix of every major Vlambeer game to date – unique play styles as in Luftrausers, random level generation as in Super Crate Box and a clever narrative as in Ridiculous Fishing. It's a happy game.
"It feels like Vlambeer," Ismail says. Luftrausers, as an opposing example, is rough around the edges and it feels like it comes from a darker place, he adds. "Wasteland Kings feels like the way I think about Vlambeer. A happy place where weird shit happens all the time."
Wasteland Kings can also be described as a mix of other people's games: FTL, Spelunky and The Binding of Isaac, Ismail says. It will be playable at PAX Prime as part of the Indie Megabooth, and it's headed to Fantastic Arcade in Austin, Texas in September.
Vlambeer will livestream development of Wasteland Kings after Gamescom, and the game should show up on Steam Early Access around the same time. Every major Vlambeer game to date has been cloned, making a pre-release livestream seem counterintuitive – but the sooner people know that this is Vlambeer's game, the quicker the clone problems die down, Ismail told us in June. He hopes to stream twice a week and receive feedback from followers – and also have some fun.