Dundee’s LowTek Launches A Perfect Storm of Parasites With Dual Game Launch
LowTek Games, the Dundee studio responsible for the defiantly retro favourite, Flea! (released for the NES) and the screaming-based bowling game Bowl ‘Em Down, has launched two new games, both featuring cuddly parasites.
They’re also both utterly charming. Playful, retro, cute and wonderfully fun to play.
Flea Jump! is an endless jumper game in which player’s control Henry the hyperactive flea. The goal is to jump higher and higher, collect blood and power-ups and find your place on the global leaderboard. Flea Jump! is also the first game in the world to feature LowTek’s new Dislectek technology, which provides increased accessibility for players with dyslexia.
Flea Jump! plays a little like Doodle Jump, but with a more intestinal feel. The controls are swipe, touch and scroll-enabled making it simple and accessible for players to access. The game offers procedurally generated content however, so each run will offer a different range of challenges. Flea Jump! is free-to-play with opt-in adverts to save progress after a particularly good run.
Flea Jump! is out now for mobile devices, with versions available for the Apple, Google and Amazon App Stores.
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle is a grid-based puzzle game where players take the role of a night club owner, who also happens to be a tapeworm. It’s your job to make sure your customers – who are adorable bloody-thirsty fleas – enjoy themselves. You’ll be helping them “collect blood, playing bangin’ tunes and getting them to gigs on time.” As you do…
You have to find musical notes located throughout a perilous tract of intestine (owner unknown), as well as helping your flea mates, reach delicious vials of blood (owner also unknown). You only have a certain number of moves in order to complete these goals, though you can pick up cassette tapes which will grant you extra moves through the power of music.
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle is set in the same universe as Flea! and Flea Jump! and features many of the same characters. When LowTek announced the game back in January 2021, it quickly smashed through its original Kickstarter goal to reach over 250% of the funds required. While the game was originally created for the NES, it’s also now available of Dreamcast and PC. Players can also use the ROM file on any supported emulator for that extra edge.
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle is out now on Itch.io and Steam. You can also play the demo of the game in your browser via Itch (and you should, it’s joyous).
Ally Low, the gamesmaster general at LowTek, took some time out from his adventures into the world of worms to answer one question for us. Why parasites?
Fleas just fit the theme of jumping and the opportunity to include puns did the rest. They are also quite underrepresented in gaming.Ally Low – LowTec Games
Ally also offered some insight into the decision to release Flea Jump! as a mobile game.
Flea Jump! offers a new control system and a more ‘casual’ games style. I hope people can see past the initial shock of a new control scheme and embrace it. While it’s a ‘free-to-play’ mobile game, we have adopted a less naggy approach to advertising. We’ve partnered with AdInMo to introduce in-game ads and opt-in rewarded ads to enable players to save progress.
While Tapeworm Disco Puzzle was originally conceived as a NES exclusive title, Ally is happy that the game is also now available for PC and Dreamcast.
It’s great to be able to let people play it in whatever way they want through emulation. We’ve seen the Kickstarter backers really enjoying the game. So I’m delighted we had the opportunity to take it to a larger audience. We hope the general public will love it too.
The release of Flea Jump! also marks the first live game to feature Dislectek, the dyslexia accessibility technology that LowTek created in conjunction with InGAME. Ally is hoping that the game will showcase the technology to other developers and encourage pickup in other games
It feels amazing to finally see Dislectek in a live game. We can’t wait to see what people think and hope it’ll inspire more people to give it a try.
Ally also revealed that the Dislectek plugin for Android will be live on the Unity asset store in the very near future.
Play Flea Jump!
Flea Jump! (Apple App Store)
Flea Jump! (Amazon App Store)
Flea Jump! (Google Play)
Play Tapeworm Disco Puzzle
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle (Steam)
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle (Itch.io)
Tapeworm Disco Puzzle demo (in-browser)
You can also hear our recent interview with Ally on the Scottish Games Network podcast.