Ever wondered what would happen to an out-of-control truck speeding down the pass from the Eisenhower Tunnel in a snowstorm? Rather than finding out in real life, local game developer Ryan Seabury has just released Rush 'Hower on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. It's a free "endless runner" style game with a distinct Colorado flavor.
The idea of a high-score game on the slippery slopes of I-70 came to Seabury on a skiing trip with his kids. "My kids were asking what the runaway truck ramps were for, and so I was telling them about it, and we were talking about how how a truck could get out of control on the highway. And then the idea popped into my head from that."
Each level of Rush 'Hower begins with your brakes out and your big-ass truck picking up more and more speed. You can swing the trailer around to smash into cars and objects to slow down -- or just for the heck of it. But run the cab into an object and it's game over. "It's very arcade-y," Seabury says. "I designed it to be quick, re-playable, super simple, but really challenging."
There's also a nifty multiplayer mode, where drivers can match up to battle over high scores. And a portion of proceeds from the game benefit DonorsChoose, a charity that helps get supplies for classrooms in need. Even though you can buy virtual currency, "You can raise money for charity just by playing the game, you don't even have to pay a dime," Seabury promises.
Beyond the setting, there are a few little Colorado touches here and there, like the flag decal on top of the default truck. "I've lived in Colorado for like twenty-something years, and I love the state and I love everything about it, and there's little bits of ski culture and locations in there... people in Colorado will appreciate that," Seabury says.
And watch out for the green clouds of... something coming out of the hippie vans -- they'll have you sliding out of control for a few seconds.
The endlessly addictive nature of Rush 'Hower is a bit different from Seabury's previous games under his good luck, have fun label, like the meditative Don:t Let It End. Seabury was a part of the now-defunct game company NetDevil, where he shepherded the ambitious MMO Lego Universe. After the company was shut down, he and some NetDevil veterans formed END Games , from which Seabury struck out to found good luck, have fun -- almost entirely a one-man venture.
For his next project, Seabury is working on Denver Doom Horse, a mobile game where you take control of DIA's infamous blue mustang. "The horse comes to life and goes on a rampage through Denver and destroys everything," he laughs.
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Inspired by the success of Flappy Bird and its ilk, Rush 'Hower is instantly repeatable but also devilishly difficult to master. "One thing we learned on a design level was about the user experience flow... It's just about crystallizing the game idea to the simplest thing and eliminating all the other stuff around it, so that it's really smooth," Seabury says. Smooth as a slippery off ramp on I-70, that is.