DescriptionDynamite Jack is an almost top-down shooter about the space marine Jack. He was captured and forced to work in the Anathema Mines, but now he has a chance to escape, armed only with a flashlight and bombs. To reach the surface he has to move up 26 levels, sneaking past enemies or blowing them up, to open up the entrances that bring him to a new environment.
Each level is set in a maze-like environment where the exit needs to be located. Jack starts unarmed but the first item he usually gets to pick up is a flashlight. It is used to navigate dark passages but makes him more visible to opponents. The only means of offence is the bomb. Once a detonator has been picked up Jack can put down an unlimited amount of bombs, but only one at a time. They are dropped Bomberman-style and are detonated with a second key press. Enemies are oblivious to bombs that have not been detonated yet so generally their movement patterns need to be studied to drop a bomb in their path. Bombs are also used to blow up rocks in the environment to create a custom route. Certain parts of the levels are metal structures and those cannot be blown up.
The default enemies have a visible line of sight that needs to be used by the player in the vein of the Commandos series. Not all enemies need to be defeated, it is also often possible to sneak past them. The sound of bombs attracts the attention of enemies and this can also be used to Jack's advantage to lure them away. Most enemies carry guns and a single bullet kills Jack. Blue cubes scattered around the levels are used as quick save spots. More advanced levels have energy sources that need to be blown up and different key cards. To progress hidden data sets needs to be collect to open up additional maps.
The in-game map can be consulted at any time and it shows all locations Jack has visited with visual cues for enemies and other important elements. The game includes an editor to build custom levels and share them with other players. There is a map browser to play maps made available by other players directly from the game.
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DevelopmentThe game is a continuation of Stealth Target that started as a Ludum Dare experiment in October 2011. It was eventually cancelled because of the underwhelming amount of pre-orders. For the lighting aesthetic the ideas were used previously explored in Escape from Anathema Mines, also a Ludum Dare project, but from April 2005.
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