You've got to wonder, when a developer announces a game with matchstick men graphics, whether the decision comes from a genuine desire to put matchstick men in a game, or from the fact that it makes the design process that teeny weeny bit simpler.
Well, it's what we thought anyway. Although going by its screenshots, Matchman - publisher Lexicon's just-announced new game – actually does look quite good. As in, it doesn't just have loads of identical matchstick men jumping about as we'd feared.
So, what do matchstick men get up to in a game, you might be wondering? Well, this particular one is set to do a lot of side-scrolling platforming and shooting, but in an unconventionaly way. For instance, the game's scenery isn't as rigid as you might find in your average game, and it can even be manipulated and knocked through in some areas.
There are also numerous inventive ways to kill enemies, with one example given being the 'Baba Yaga' boss – an evil bird which you kill by feeding it apples until its stomach gets fat then explodes.
Looking at the screenshots, the DS touch-screen seems to be used to select different weapons for your character, which are then controlled interactively with the stylus. There's a very different control method used though in the game's unique Commuter mode.
We're not sure why no one's thought of this before for a portable game – maybe they have and I've just completely missed it – but Matchman will have a one-handed control mode specifically designed for people commuting on public transport who might need a hand free to hold a cup of coffee. Or for – I don't know – groping the person next to them if they're on the tube or something.
Matchman is coming out on Wii and PS3 as well as DS, but the DS version will be the first released later this year. It's sounding like a unique concept – and the screenshot of your character with his matchstick head on fire looks quite funny – so we're looking forward to it. Click 'Track It!' to be kept up to date with more sizzling hot news on this one.