Slaughter sentient fruit to save humanity in 'Juicy Realm'

Won't someone please think about the children... of the corn?

We saw a number of genuinely unique and innovative games at the Indie Megabooth during 2018, but few can compete with the sheer adorableness of Juicy Realm from Spacecan -- even when you're gunning down Uzi-wielding anthropomorphic pears.

Juicy Realm is based on a simple premise: Plants have become self-aware, grown arms and legs, and have armed themselves in an attempt to overthrow humans at the top of the food chain. It's your job to lead an expeditionary force into the newly discovered plant kingdom and wipe out the opposing fruit force. Players have five characters to choose from during their roguelike mission, each with their own special abilities such as being able to lob grenades or invoke healing circles.

During the demo that Edgar Alvarez and I played on Thursday, we both came away impressed by not only the bright, clean animation style and variety of enemy types -- each of which displays its own unique strengths and attack behaviors -- but also how responsive the controls were. Juicy Realm is a dual-stick shooter in that you move your character with the left thumbstick, aim with the right and fire your weapon with the triggers. We were able to quickly orient ourselves to the control scheme and within minutes were barreling through levels in the pursuit of produce to fight.

I do have reservations, however, about the game's replayability, given that you have to restart all the way back at the beginning of the first level every time you die. I mean, I dig roguelike games if they're relatively short like Black Future '88 or if the rogue element is an optional mode like in One Finger Death Punch 2, but having to completely restart in a game that has distinct waypoints between levels feels somewhat unfair.

Juicy Realm is slated for release on Steam in May. The company hopes to port it to PS4, Switch and potentially even mobile platforms shortly thereafter.

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