Minecraft Creators Dig Up Cobalt

Will luck strike twice for Mojang with the alpha build of the upcoming 2D action game Cobalt?

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After the success of Minecraft, anything connected with the people at Mojang is going to get a lot of attention. And that is the case for Cobalt--a collaboration between Oxeye Game Studio and Mojang. In its simplest form, Cobalt is a throwback to classic 2D action games of the '80s and '90s when gaming was all about action and crazy weapons. You take control of a robot that destroys its opposition with an arsenal of items.

Much like with Minecraft's early release model, you can purchase Cobalt in its current alpha state and help shape the game through feedback and interaction with its developers. Back at Minecon in November, Oxeye and Mojang were adamant that their game be released to the public before the end of 2011. While they met that goal with a few weeks to spare, the initial release content offers only a fraction of what is planned for the final game. Currently, Cobalt includes only one of the three key modes: multiplayer. The rest of the features (including a level editor and campaign) have no official release date, but even with only one-third of the game accessible, it's still more than enough to get an idea of what Cobalt offers before everything else is ready for full public consumption.

The alpha build has three multiplayer modes available. Capture the Plug and Deathmatch are your standard multiplayer modes, and they're easy to grasp and enjoy. The last available mode, Survival, is theoretically a solo affair, but one of its two maps lets you partner up with another player to see how long you can last and how much loot you can collect before you both die.

Currently, Capture the Plug offers three arenas, and Deathmatch has six. While the number of maps is nice, they are fairly small and can comfortably fit four players. You can have more than the suggested number, but as more characters are added, keeping track of what's going on becomes increasingly difficult.

Although Cobalt features a multiplayer mode, it's restricted to local play. If you don't have spare USB controllers handy, then playing with others is fairly limited because only one person can use the keyboard. Both Capture the Plug and Deathmatch allow for bot play, but currently, the bot AI is pretty buggy.

It should be interesting what levels people come up with once that feature becomes available.

Of course, as its alpha state suggests, Cobalt is still very much a game under development. Oxeye is looking at ways to improve the final product, and the issues we've highlighted have been unquestionably called out by others playing the game. The Minecraft method of making a game available before it is ready worked wonders for Minecraft's development and popularity. And tracking Cobalt's progress should be interesting for similar reasons, even if it manages only a fraction of the same kind of community support.

Discussion

31 comments
Seremoth67
Seremoth67

Instead of focusing in Minecraft, they left it incomplete and started another game to profit from alpha and beta sales??? Sure... i'll support it... not.

scratchisme
scratchisme

He can make any game he wants to make. He made minecraft for goodness sake. This game might not be awesome, but he is still a brilliant indie dev. Minecraft was one of the best games I played this fall, and that is up against skyrim which I love.

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

Another side-scrolling platformer just makes Minecraft look like a one-hit-wonder for Mojang. Personally I think they should have continued with Minecraft and done expansions (perhaps even 2.0) instead of throwing time and effort away on something any other Indie could come up with. Minecraft still needed a LOT of work in the multiplayer area to get modding right, and to ensure fair online play.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

Hey we all know that there is a pretty extensive modding community and why not harness that sort of creativity in creating a game. However, I still have not played minecraft and dont see myself starting this one either.

phil-_-meh
phil-_-meh

looks interesting, I'll wait for for a bit before joining the beta to see what the community thinks of it

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Strikes me as something that Minecraft lovers will go mad for and the rest will just let it fall by the wayside. Nothing special really, its a great concept and all, but its nothing special.

Richy0170
Richy0170

Can I just point out that there are a lot more maps available, made by the community. Check out the cobalt forums

Rovelius
Rovelius

@arkhamjanitor71 Opinions are not facts.

arkhamjanitor71
arkhamjanitor71

this looks abysmal. Games from the 80's and 90's belong there, that's why there from the 80's and 90s. And if anybody wants to reply "oh retro is better than games today" shut up cause you're wrong

kulka-o
kulka-o

mmm.... t e c h n o l o g i c :)

DarkRupert
DarkRupert

@flammable_zeus they did... plank

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@finalcross Still almost a month ago. But yeah I was wrong. I guess I saw people playing it on Youtube a few months ago and assumed it was alpha (instead of what I am now guessing was early footage.) Possibly also mixed it up from footage of when the alpha did release.

ziproy
ziproy

How do you follow up Minecraft with something so stupid...

finalcross
finalcross

Also, where are you guys getting this 50 dollars from...the Alpha is 13 dollars and cost less than 30 when the game is ready.

finalcross
finalcross

@flammable_zeus a few months late? The Alpha build was only released days before the Holidays.

onioneater
onioneater

This is an awesome game and I have it, this isn't being made by the people that make Minecraft guys, they just collaborate. I think it's well worth the money it's selling at right now. Also you can actually access the level editor through the dev editor.

cldntthnkofasn
cldntthnkofasn

guys remember mojang, the makers of minecraft, did NOT make this game, they helped code a little but they are just mainly publishing it. and plus i dont know where you guys are getting 50 bucks from, it only costs like 10 bucks right now to get it in alpha and you get free updates!

megakick
megakick

50 dollars for this? no thanx.... F2P

zoeyleft
zoeyleft

and of course notch gonna charge 50 bucks for it.

Rikomi
Rikomi

They should stick to making minecraft better... like adding official servers that everyone can connect too that shows up in the browser list.

nik0la2
nik0la2

Looks like Tee Worlds and Gang Garrison 2

Kane04
Kane04

sounds kinda boring or is it just me?

kate_jones
kate_jones

@Seremoth67  Hi I'm from the future and I'm here to tell you in 2 years time your comment will look pretty silly.