This 17 year old South African kicks butt at making games

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Kobus van der Walt is a 17 year old South African, and in his short time on Earth he’s made more games than I have. That is to say, one.

It’s a particularly good one, though. His game is called Cluster, it has a rock-solid techno soundtrack and it’s out today for Windows, Mac, Linux and the web, entirely for free.

But more importantly, it will hurt you with ridiculously challenging levels. It will bruise your ego, carpal-tunnel your wrist and pain your fingers as you attempt to master its deceptively simple two-button control scheme and smash your way through brightly-coloured blocks to the high score while avoiding the spiky ones and various other obstacles.

While that’s all there really is to it, like all great games the simple mechanics belie a much deeper challenge, and if you master it on your first go you can rightly consider yourself a legend of gaming. But you won’t, of that I’m pretty sure.

Complementing the action is a slick techno soundtrack from Finnish musician Jukio Kallio, who had previously worked on high-profile games like Nuclear Throne, LUFTRAUSER and Maverick Bird.

Even if you don’t like the game (and shame on you if you don’t!), the download is worth it for the music alone.

Cluster came about after van der Walt posted a prototype of the game to the MakeGamesSA forums to much positive feedback, which prompted MakeGamesSA’s Julian Pritchard to get involved as a designer and marketing guy. It was Pritchard who suggested Jukio Kallio’s music as a perfect fit for Cluster’s themes.

Looking at the finished product, I’d say he nailed it. They all did.

Check it out and download it here, at van der Walt’s official Cluster page.

Good job, Kobus! Can’t wait to see what you do next.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.


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