In addition to hardcore competition, Evo 2019 has also provided a decent chunk of floor space for independent developers to show off their games. Flaming Flamingo took advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate its upcoming game, Hot Shot Burn, in a simulated living room environment, complete with an extra-large couch for attendees to lounge on as they play. And after spending a little while with this cute top-down shooter, one thing is for sure: I can’t wait to demolish my friends and family when it’s finally available in real living rooms.
Hot Shot Burn is a competitive multiplayer game that combines the basics of old-school 2D games like Combat with the varied hero selection of Overwatch. Up to four players can get in on the action, choosing from a cast of space gladiators that includes an adorably disgusting fish monster, a Mr. T knock-off, and a teleporting rogue, just to name a few. Each character is distinguished by their basic attack and a unique ability: The fish monster, for instance, can puff itself up to become invulnerable for a few seconds, while the game’s version of Mr. T surrounds himself with flames and surges forward, killing anyone in his way
Games of Hot Shot Burn progress through a series of levels that each come with their own special challenges. One may have a series of conveyor belts that changes your momentum or patches of tall grass that hide characters from sight. Players earn points in each level for things like surviving the longest or getting kills, and continue in this way until reaching 50 points. The player who reaches this threshold then has to win one match to win the entire game, bringing to mind the “win by two” system utilized by sports like tennis and volleyball.
Hot Shot Burn began its life as a very different game. While the basic combat was the same, every player was given the same ability to teleport. After noticing the popularity of hero games like Overwatch, Flaming Flamingo began work on creating a diversified cast. Now, players can choose which character works best for them and form a similar sort of attachment to their favorite that’s seen in fighting games. Are you sneaky? Or do you prefer more brute-force maneuvers? There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and the Hot Shot Burn developers said they look forward to collecting feedback on character balance from the highly competitive Evo crowd.
Hot Shot Burn is also helped by its aesthetics, which focus on a more cartoon style—the Flaming Flamingo developers specifically name-dropped adult-oriented animated series Final Space as an inspiration—instead of the pixel art that’s currently in vogue in the indie gaming space. This makes every character a vivid ball of emotion, and players can cycle through a variety of facial expressions to mock their opponents between kills.
Flaming Flamingo will launch Hot Shot Burn via Steam early access on August 15, with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch versions planned for the future. The brief picture I was provided of this game’s potential in the developer’s smartly-designed Evo booth makes me excited for the day when I can get my friends and family together and blow them up with a puffed up fish monster, talking smack the entire time.