1... 2... 3... Kick It!: Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby, also known as simply Kick It! was first conceived during development of Aaaaa!, when Dejobaan Games created an algorithm to randomly generate objects and designs for the game's levels. Although not implemented into Aaaaa, Dejobaan decided to develop the tool further for use in its own game. First shown off in June 2010, as "ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!", the prototype was expanded upon and re-titled to its final name by December of the same year.
Prototype builds of the game were also distributed through Dejobaan's newsletter, under the titles "TAPtapTAPtapTAPtapTAP" and "Dejobaan’s Easiest Video Game Ever".
Kick It! was made available for pre-order in late-2010 at a reduced price, with early adopters also receiving a pre-release alpha version of the game to try out. No release date was given, with Ichiro Lambe, president of Dejobaan Games, stating that development could take a month or much longer. Players were encouraged to share their experience with the game and give suggestions for additional game features. The alpha build was updated a few times to suit changes and requests, and was also improved in making levels that fit the songs being played.
On April 1, 2011, Kick It! was added to Steam despite Dejobaan considering the game to still be incomplete, planning to continue development while the game was available on Steam. Due to this approach, Kick It! has the distinction of being one of the first games on Steam to use the "Early Access" release model, roughly two years prior to Steam's official support for the system. As well, the game appeared, alongside other Dejobaan titles, in Valve's promotional "Potato Sack" bundle leading up to Portal 2.
Due to the game's then-unusual release style, Kick It!'s store page bore a disclaimer reading:
Dejobaan will continue to polish the game -- with your feedback -- 'till it’s as smooth and silky as an ugly baby's bottom for launch in 2012.
The game was updated intermittently based on user feedback, though updates became further and further apart over time. In December 2012, it was announced that the game was been moved to the Unity Engine from Dejobaan's proprietary engine, leading to a considerable overhaul of the game's systems. In 2013, Steam launched an official early access system, with Kick It! among the system's first entries, however updates continued to be sparse. In 2014, Dejobaan posted on the game's Steam forums to announce that development was still ongoing, stating that the game's code was not quite where they wanted it to be and that they wanted to solve these issues before release.
Following the 2014 announcement, updates dried up almost entirely, leading many to consider the game vaporware. In 2017, gameplay footage from an in-development build dated to June 2016 was posted to YouTube, and then mirrored to the game's Steam forums. On May 7, 2021, Dejobaan removed the game from sale on Steam.
Although early builds of the game didn't include plans for any story at all, a story was added as development continued.
The game takes place in an area 5 kilometers above the city of Boston, known as Boston Sky. This is a very similar concept to that of Dejobaan's previous game Aaaaa!, and may in fact take place in the same universe, although no official mention of this has been made.
The player plays as a BASE jumper named Azumi Pentak. She was born blind, but was given sight through technology, and has used this technology to broadcast what she sees as she jumps to millions. At first the game has no music, but becomes available after a suggestion from one of Azumi's fans. The following level has more exposition about the world the game takes place in, as Azumi sings a song about the dystopian future she lives in. Following this, the player is able to play using their own music.
Levels in Kick It! are generated procedurally, using song files provided by the user. Once in a level, gameplay is similar to Aaaaa!, consisting of the player falling from the sky while moving close to objects for points. In earlier versions, depending on the music played, the player would also fight off monsters and enemies by shooting them. There are also adjustable settings for the player to create desired effect, tweaking the level to their liking.
The original alpha version of the game also included level progression in the form of cities. The first city introduces the basic mechanics of the game, the second city will add a new element, and so on. As players progress through these cities, the game's difficulty will increase, going from relaxed gameplay to a more challenging and competitive pace, where the player will have to make snap decisions to avoid obstacles and choose the right path to maximize their high score.
The latest iterations of the game vary wildly in scope. The first version of the game released to the public on the Unity Engine was a very stripped down version of the game, with the city concept and enemies removed entirely. As more development followed, the game regained the city concept and the ability to use modifiers to create custom levels based on some of the city templates the game comes with.
As the game was left in an alpha state, it is unknown if mechanics from previous builds of the game, such as shooting enemies, would have been brought back, or if entirely new mechanics would have been introduced as development continued.
Within days of the alpha release, someone had already modded the game, creating their own custom level. While the developers were slightly surprised by this, they embraced it and praised it. They decided to encourage modding, stating that it's a feature they hope players would take advantage of.
As of an update in July 2013, the game has included a level called City 5, which runs off a script file that is easily manipulated by players. Dejobaan encourages the manipulation of this script and wants to see what players come up with, for possible use as a regular game mode.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows Vista, 7, 8
- Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core
- RAM: 2 GB
- Graphics Card: 3D card with 512 MB memory, DirectX 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 500 MB