A shark monster (at least that’s what I THINK the sprite is) design inspired by a monster sprite in a early 90′s game called Ken’s Labyrinth. This is the first pass. Minor things need to be fixed or redefined with the anatomy. Feel free to critique. After I fix it, I will try some variations, and detail and color the one I think it best. I have no clue how much time I spent on this, I kept getting distracted. The original sprite is Copyright Ken Silverman. The original sprite is below on the left. It has a strange crotch animation in the game, oh the horror.
I finally finished Ken’s Lab. I must admit that nostalgia is deceptive. Ken’s lab is a 3d first person shooter similar to Wolfenstine 3d. It was made for DOS in 1993. Instead for shooting Nazi’s: you shoot bats, heads with ear wings, crudely drawn sprites representing space pirates, and of course naked pink people with shark heads. The first episode (The first ten levels) was primitive yet strangely compelling, The art isn’t half bad, the music is short yet catchy, the monsters are awkward but interesting, and the level design is interesting. In short, the first episode is a blast.
The game rears it’s ugly head at the beginning of the second episode. Cash to buy upgrades are everywhere and it easily breaks the game. By level 16, I was so overpowered that I didn’t even have to aim because the heat seeking rockets did it for me. It also introduces your dog companion that follows you everywhere. Most of the time the dog gets in the way of your shots while the enemy’s bullets go right though the dog and injure you.
In the third episode, it feels like the creator of the levels just gave up and put random junk in, and hoped no one would notice. It is so random. And don’t get me started on the invisibility capes that litter the final levels, it’s almost like god mode for the rest of the game. The bosses are super easy, just horde on the invisibility capes before you engage in battle, run into the boss and hold the shooting button down.
One the plus side it had some interesting concepts that where not in many shooters before like, healing yourself with water fountains, fan blades, pool balls that tried to crush you, invisible walls, bouncing projectiles, item shops, weapon upgrades, and pink nude people with shark heads. Ken’s Lab is still close to my nostalgia filled heart. Also I still think level 19′s music is addictive.
I would still recommend checking it out, as the full version is free. You can download it at the official site here : http://www.advsys.net/ken/klab.htm. Make sure you download the windows port. Avoid playing it in Dosbox.