You are a futuristic hovercar developed by the trillionaire owner of a stagnant maze-racing circuit. He has loaded you up with special powers so you can embarrass all the league's other cars.

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How to Play

  • You must spin out rival cars by ramming them, catching them in your boost trail, or spinning another car into them.
  • Spin out the required number of cars on each level to unlock the checkered flag. Grab the flag to advance.
  • You are invincible while using your powers but vulnerable while you are not. Walls never hurt you, thanks to advanced bouncing science.
  • All your special powers always trigger at the same time. This consumes gel because nothing is truly free.
  • If you run out of lives or gel, the game is over... until you are brave enough to restart.
  • After you clear a level, your leftover gel will convert to flex, which is like a kind of score that measures how hard you have flexed in Hover Gulch.

Keyboard controls

  • Arrow keys to turn
  • X to boost speed, engage your ram, and become invincible, all at the same time
  • Z to skip scenes you've seen before
  • Enter to pause (and to quick-restart)

Hints

  • As a hovercar, you have to complete your turn rotation before you start moving in the new direction. It's just how hovercars work, especially in the future. (Try turning a little on the early side)
  • There's a way to get one extra life per level, but it's risky. 
  • There's an even bigger secret, but it's very risky.

Credits

Audio, code, design, graphics, and writing by me, Rob Dubbin.

Thanks to RALLY-X, Rocket League, Alfonzo's Bowling Challenge, and One Must Fall: 2097 for inspiring Hover Gulch in various ways. Thanks to Bennett Foddy for inspiring the project in the first place with a well-timed homework assignment even though I was not his student. Thanks to zep for pico-8 and especially for "The Search for Cosy Design Spaces," a perfect conference talk that should be on the next Golden Record.

Thanks to Kittenm4ster, Cabledragon, Michael Cook, seleb, and 8 Bit Caaz for sharing their secrets of the Fisher-Yates shuffle, ZSPR zoomed-sprite rendering, cellular-automata cave generation, token-saving, and camera-easing, respectively.

Thanks to the pico-8 community for all the brilliant work: games, tweetcarts, and the 100,000 small tricks I looked up on here while making this.

Thanks to everyone who I can remember playtesting this over various points in its history: 0xcafed00d, Adam Miller, Alexander King, Andy Dubbin, Asher Vollmer, Augustus Heagerty, Bennett Foddy, Bijan Stephen, Chris Xu, Colleen Macklin, Dylan Saunders, Frank Lantz, Fred Benenson, Garrett Miller, Greg Wohlwend, Kevin Cancienne, M@ Boch, Nick Sylvester, Patrick McHale, Pen Ward, Sarah Pavis, Sean Vanaman, Stacy-Marie Ishmael, TC Sottek, Xalavier Nelson Jr., and Zach Gage.

Thanks to Sandy Allen for pretty much everything else.

Thanks for checking it out

My finest flex is 398 -- see ya on the road!

StatusReleased
PlatformsHTML5
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(1 total ratings)
Authordubbin
GenreAction, Adventure, Racing
Made withPICO-8
TagsComedy, maze, Procedural Generation

Download

Download
hovergulch_osx.zip 3 MB
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hovergulch_windows.zip 1 MB
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hovergulch_linux.zip 708 kB
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hovergulch_raspi.zip 1 MB

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