Let's just say I'm not very fond of the patent system. My way of dealing: making Patent Blaster, a sidescrolling explodey kind of game based on awful patent art come to life. Your mission: invalidate those patents using any means necessary.

Elephants charge at you with a stick of color acting like a lightsaber, before falling to your superior flamethrower, but not before they’re resurrected and your cackling evil twin erupts on the scene, literally flying in all directions, just above the hovering hollow bear with a freeze ray. I love games in which each second of gameplay can be described as thus; it’s delightfully ridiculous.
Chris Priestman, Indie Statik

...strange, juicy, and fun... The visual style of this game is unique.
Indie Game Hunt

Image RSS Feed Screens
House Update Screenshots House Update Screenshots House Update Screenshots

Around this time two years ago, I was working on a simple Java 2D game engine with swappable rendering implementations. It occurred to me that I needed to make a simple game to try it out and find its flaws in real-world use. Then I stumbled on Context-Free Patent Art, a wonderful collection of bad and creepy patent drawing. I decided to base my test game on bad patent art, and Patent Blaster was born.

It was the first game I would try to sell online, and it was an utter commercial failure, but it occupies a spot in my heart, and I still play it regularly. It’s a weird and satisfying game that’s I find perfect for when I just want to spend five minutes making things go boom.

The game's art style is intentionally awful. I initially wanted to use real patent drawings, but could never figure out if they were copyrightable, so I settled for re-drawing a dozen of my favorite weird ones in a similarly naive style. The game would give those drawings garish colours while the background consisted of a creepy run-down house with ugly wallpaper.

While it’s ostensibly about patents, in terms of gameplay the game is really about randomization. Enemies can hop, hover, fly, explode, be on fire, splort out small versions of themselves, come back as zombies, absorb each other to gain powers, steal your stuff, turn into new enemies upon death and every combination of these things. You can have a giant orange hovering duck shouting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" while occasionally emitting smaller ducks that turn into acid-spitting zombies upon death.

Weapons are equally varied. They can be more or less accurate, fast, and ranged. They can be bullets, homing missiles, swords, flamethrowers, sticky blobs. There’s an elemental damage system with six types: steel that can penetrate through multiple enemies in a row, fire that can set them aflame, ice that freezes them, acid that leaves drips and pools behind, curses that slow and weaken, and blessings that strengthen anything they don’t outright kill. Equipment names get sourced from Wikipedia to generate the occasional bit of weirdness, like "The Marshal of Finland: Eating flesh gives you 10% of the victim’s HP".

As stated above, the game was quite a failure commercially. It took maybe three months of full-time work to develop and sold a total of, uh, maybe ten copies? Weirdly, I was relatively successful with PR: at one point it had more reviews than sales. At another point, I had genuinely made more money from finding cash on the ground while looking for playtesters than I had from selling the game. In the end, the game’s weirdness and intentionally awful looks really did not click with people, and there were lots of more polished side-scrolling shooters for them to play instead.

Still, it was a genuinely useful experience to go through the whole cycle of releasing, selling, and marketing a game. If you’re an aspiring indie developer, I highly recommend you get this kind of experience as soon as possible. It helped me avoid a lot of pitfalls with Airships: Conquer the Skies, which is doing rather better than ten copies sold!

I am fond of this weird little game. If you want to try it out, it’s free on itch.io these days, the result of a sequence of events that made it easier for me to give it away than to continue charging for it.

Open Sourced.

Open Sourced.

2 years ago News 0 comments Report

A quick announcement: Patent Blaster is now open source.

Patent Blaster is 80% off this week

Patent Blaster is 80% off this week

2 years ago News 0 comments Report

To celebrate the IndieDB announcement of my next game, Space Exploration: Serpens Sector, Patent Blaster is 80% off this week - $1 instead of $5.

House Update!

House Update!

2 years ago News 0 comments Report

Acid leaks. Exploding barrels. Jars of mysterious substances. Books that whisper obscenities. Torn wallpaper patched up with patent applications. The...

House Update: Progress Report

House Update: Progress Report

2 years ago News 0 comments Report

I've been hard at work at the House Update, introducing shelves of musty old books, torches, tasteless china dogs, and many more weapons.

Explode patents. Freeze patents. Set patents on fire. Dissolve them in acid. But they'll fight back. A sidescrolling shooter inspired by the awfulness of patent illustrations.
Patent Blaster Demo

Patent Blaster Demo

2 years ago Demo 0 comments

Acid leaks. Exploding barrels. Jars of mysterious substances. Books that whisper obscenities. Torn wallpaper patched up with patent applications. The...

Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Patent Blaster
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developed By
Send Message
Official Page
Release Date
Released Mar 12, 2013
Game Watch
Track this game
Community Rating



2 votes submitted.

You Say


Ratings closed.

Single Player

Latest tweets from @zarkonnen_com

Returned from Florence. More Airships stuff Soon. :D

5hours 55mins ago

@MusickillerRus @DRMacIver Plus unexplained giant beasty hiding underfoot.

14hours 11mins ago

@MusickillerRus @DRMacIver It's a fancy religious painting mixing saints with portraits of the wealthy family that commissioned it.

14hours 12mins ago

@DRMacIver Weird detail of the Portinari Triptych by Hugo van der Goes, which we saw in Florence.

14hours 14mins ago

Beasty! T.co

15hours 24mins ago

@britishgaming "Avalanche of photosynthetic tits" is the name of my new punk band.

15hours 38mins ago

RT @bglaettli: Unterstütze das Referendum der @gruenech gegen den #Schnüffelstaat (#NDG). Unterschreibe & RT T.co http://

15hours 39mins ago

@DanGoldstein91 T.co

Oct 5 2015

RT @jane__bradley: Excl: Top Tory donor secretly filmed dropping "suspicious" bags of cash totalling £1m a week at London post offices. htt…

Oct 5 2015

RT @alexstapleton: "Buggy software is not a moral failing" T.co

Oct 5 2015

Embed Buttons

Promote Patent Blaster on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the embed code provided (more).

Patent Blaster Patent Blaster
Patent Blaster
Last Update
6 months ago
6 members