Sunrise Land is a procedurally generated, third-person, arcade style game made in unity that has around less then 15 minutes of gameplay.
The game was built during the NM Gamejam in 2016 hosted on itch.io where developers in New Mexico had 48 hours to create a video game. For those of you not aware, itch.io is a go to place for independent and small teams to upload their projects and participate in game jams as well as other challenges to make games in a timed scenario and sometimes using a specific topic. The NM 2016 game jam had no set theme but was a collaborative effort among the developers and students. The team that made Sunrise Land was referred to as Team Guff which included the following members: Martin Jencka, Jack Folkner, Tea Jensen, and Jay Jewell-Roth. The game was posted under Martin’s account with his online name, Futilrevenge, on itch.io.
The game starts with you as a floating Macintosh computer (the 128K one from the 1980s, even the title screen has the look and color palette of the user interface) with a can of spray paint in one of your cybernetic arms. A being called “The Mind” tells you via an old skill chat box that you’re in a gallery of sorts and some of the art is pretty bad so you have to basically vandalize it with spray paint. You have to check each image and “the mind” will tell you which ones to spray. As a side note, the messages from the mind are charming and cheeky. You’re even called “Dingus OS” so there is a level of silly humor in this game which is a nice touch. While your defacing artwork, majority of it is typical vaporwave art you would see around online as well as memes, floating virtual skulls will try and attack you so have to keep moving around to avoid them. If you are able to avoid the skulls and spray the correct images, you win the game after leaving the gallery. You lose if you run out of HP if the skulls attack you enough according to the STOCKS window next to the message screen. You also make money which is basically a score board that serves no real purpose for the game as you can’t use the money/points for anything.
I do have some criticisms though. The game tells you that you can spray the skulls to stun them. I tried that several times and either I’m not getting close enough to them to hit them or the mechanic doesn’t really work (I don’t necessary blame them as this was a 48 hour project so maybe this feature wasn’t completely finished in time so it could be bugged). Second, the money/score doesn’t really do anything. I wish they had a purpose in some way like an online scoreboard or any ability to do timed matches with people either local or online to see who completes the objectives fast enough. I am aware that I’m asking a lot for a project from a game jam. Yet, that they have here is something well put together overall and really does play true to the theme. I would love to see something like this given more features and maybe some more levels. Sadly that is not the case.
Where are they now and the future of Sunrise Land
I was able to contact Martin Jencka (aka Futilrevenge) regarding aspects of the game including the music. He did confirm the music was created by Jack Folkner from the team (aka Diplodocus). Unfortunately there is no way to download the actual song in the game and based on my research it has no title and was made only for the game jam project. So if you were hoping to find it on Bandcamp or Spotify, you’re out of luck. I wouldn’t mind if Jack decides to make more vaporwave themed tracks in the future.
As for the game itself, Martin said there is no future plans for the game and any updates have been put on hold indefinitely. So this means that the Mac version will never come out most likely so you can disregard that message in the game description about a pending ma version of the download.
The reason for this is that Martin is currently working on a game called War is Shell which will be a fully developed game using a low-poly style of graphics. It currently has no set date of release from what I gathered and this game was inspired from another game-jam that was they were apart of. Jack is also working as the composer for the game as well and the game seems to making adequate progress based on the screenshots and videos shown on both of their twitter accounts. Hopefully the game turns out well and is successful.
As for the other two members of team guff, Tea Jensen and Jay Jewell-Roth, Jay goes by the name BasiltehBatlord on twitter but I was unable to determine exactly what he did for the project, my honest guess is he was another developer/programmer for the game like Martin. As for Tea, I found virtually no information online of her involvement or any online presence whatsoever.
Is the Game Worth Playing?
The game is completely free so I think its hard to say not to try is as there is no financial barrier. For a few moments of fun I would say give it a try. As a suggestion maybe play local with a buddy to see who can complete the game the fastest. Overall for a 48 hour project, its reasonable and well put together. The art is great and the music is actually pretty awesome (shame its not available anywhere else). See below for the link to the game if you wish to try it.
Link Here for the Game