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Uurnog Uurnlimited pairs its Super Mario Bros. 2 style with dynamically generated tunes

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Uurnog Uurnlimited is a colorful platformer starring a main character with googly eyes and a shock of neon hair. It will unleash on Steam and the Nintendo Switch later this year thanks to Raw Fury, the publisher of the adorable hellscape of Gonner.

Nicklas Nygren, who made Uurnog Uurnlimited under his studio name Nifflas Games, says that he wanted to make something that was lighthearted, nonsensical fun. It’s a follow-up to Uurnog, and just like the first one, you won’t find a heavy focus on story. These are about mechanics: exploring, fighting, and stealing animals, sometimes in subterranean caves and other times in what looks like the surface of alien worlds.

“It’s definitely a throwback to old platform games, especially inspired by [Super Mario Bros. 2], the way you can pick up and throw items,” said Nygren in a phone call with GamesBeat. “I remember in Mario 2 you could pick up every enemy and treat them as an item.”

Nygren also drew inspiration from Bogosoft’s Lyle in Cube Sector, a 2006 platformer that mashed up Super Mario Bros. 2 with Super Metroid-esque gameplay. Most of the mechanics in Uurnog Uurnlimited stems from the core concept of picking up enemies or blocks and using them in combat or to solve puzzles.

The dynamically generated soundtrack, though, isn’t so old school. Nygren trained neural networks to play a few different patterns, creating a soundtrack that responds to what’s happening in the game. This doesn’t mean that players will get drastically different music, though.

“It’s more subtle stuff. When a bomb explodes, that noise feeds into the neural network, which means it gets unsure as to where it is in the music. When it tries to correct itself and get back to the correct state, what happens in between will be some kind of weird fill. Usually it sounds pretty good.”

Uurnog Uurnlimited has a co-op mode. The second player controls a dog whose bark is worse than its bite. The dog can use three different types of barks to attack, but the catch is that it’s still on the end of a leash.

“I wanted the co-op to be asymmetrical, so you don’t have two players with the same abilities. I wanted one player to be a dog that’s the other player’s pet,” said Nygren. “He’s on a leash, and that constraint creates a weird imbalance between the power of the different players.”

With or without the dog, players will traverse seven or eight main areas, exploring and collecting items. Nygren says that Uurnog Uurnlimited has multiple endings, some of which will affect the environment.

“When you have finished one ending, you can continue on the same save file and find the next ending,” said Nygren. “It’s even encouraged to do so, because triggering and ending changes some things in the world that can help you beat the game for the next ending.”

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.



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