Flying Carrot CAP in Hare Fare
Updated: Sep 22, 2022
My latest adventure into the indie flight game scene has led me to a cutesy planetoid in need of irrigation, bug swatting, and a long-eared pilot hero.
Hare Fare is a simple arcade flight shooter created by Gumboot studio, with audio support from Ockpii. It was created as a part of the 46th Ludum Dare, a long-running series of game jam competitions that typically last two to three days. Each game jam has a theme or set of requirements that creators are recommended to follow to score higher in the competition. The theme for Ludum Dare 46 was "keep it alive," implying the act of protecting or enabling the function or existence of something being a core part of the submitted games.
Gumboot's entry was a cartoonish flight game featuring a rabbit piloting a propeller-driven aircraft. From a small airfield on the ocean, the player patrols a planetoid in support of the populations living on Leek, Lemon, and Petal islands. Players deploy a net-shaped device that captures moisture from inside dark rain clouds while the aircraft flies through them. This water can then be air dropped onto each island to sustain the islanders' carrot-laden fields.
This same water source is also needed to power the aircraft's onboard water guns to defend the islands. Swarms of dastardly Fly Guys cross the sky from island to island. Their goal is to steal carrots and decimate each island's water supply. Once the water supply is completely drained, the island name is crossed out and it cannot be revitalized.
As the Fly Guys approach and attack the islands, their residences call for their flying long-eared savior to shoot down the pesky invaders with water guns (this is where the "carrot combat air patrol" joke comes in). The most effective strategy for handling them is intercepting them over the ocean, well away from the islands when able. Thinning out their numbers or taking out entire swarms before reaching the islands is ideal. As time goes on, the swarms increase in size, making it harder to defend the islands while resupplying them with water and occasionally flying to the home airport to refuel the aircraft quickly.
Gameplay-wise it's as simple as can be. Basic controls for throttle, pitch, and roll with buttons for firing the water gun and dropping water containers from the aircraft. There is also no need to deploy landing gear to land and refuel. Simply flying beneath the flags at the home airfield will refuel the plane. While the lack of yaw makes using the water guns very awkward at times, an automatically adjusting aiming reticle somewhat makes up for it. Due to the low speed of the Fly Guys and their tendency to circle the terrain of the islands at low altitudes, slashing attacks through their groups are highly effective.
Darting around this admittedly cute small game is another good example of the types of things you can find from indie flight game developers. Whether they're game jam entries turned into full-fledged projects or one-off limited-scale games made to test an idea, I recommend the occasional dive into the world wide web to find unique flying experiences. You never know what you'll find.
About the Writer
Aaron "Ribbon-Blue" Mendoza
Co-founder of Skyward Flight Media. After founding Electrosphere.info, the first English Ace Combat database, he has been involved in creating flight game-related websites, communities, and events since 2005. He explores past and present flight games and simulators with his extensive collection of game consoles and computers. Read Staff Profile.