Sine Mora was one of my favourite games of 2012, a sublime steampunk hori bullet hell shooter that got my thumbs up here at GodisaGeek. Now, with Grasshopper Manafacture taken over, the Hungarian half of the Sine Mora equation are striking out on their own.
Prior Games is a new developer composed of former Digital Reality creative director Theodore Reiker, along with “key talent” from the Hungarian studio and other new staff.
In an interview with Joystiq, Reiker revealed that the new team will return to the shmup genre in 2014, with another “Japanese-Hungarian co-development” codenamed Project Verona. “It will be more conservative in its gameplay and less ambiguous in its storytelling,” Reiker notes, though he adds that it will also branch out from the conventions of the genre.
But before that larger-scale project, Prior is working on a series of “microgames” for phones and tablets, with presentation inspired by Nintendo’s minimal bit.Generations and Art Style series. The first game is Rotolla (above), coming to iOS in early February. As Reiker describes it, it’s “a hybrid of Tetris’ gameplay and our mad love of hexagons since Super Hexagon.” The title is a dual-language portmanteau of “rotation” and motolla, the Hungarian word for a spinner’s weasel. It also features an original soundtrack from “company friend” Akira Yamaoka.
Our plan is to release four microgames this year and a second wave of three titles next year,” Reiker told us ? all with simple visuals, to keep the scope of the project manageable.
We are a small company and we do not want to grow beyond 15 persons,” Reiker explained. “We would like to keep the ‘manufacture’ feeling even if the company size is limiting the scope of our output.