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This iPhone game looks 3D even without glasses

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No glasses needed for this nifty, forced-perspective rendering

an image of an isometric of a cartoon train track looping around a lighthouse Image: James Vanas

Some of the greatest games take the novel experiences of real life and translate them into a cunning virtual experience. For example, this train building game by James Vanas is reminiscent of the feeling of holding one of those plastic 3D bookmarks sold in tchotchke tourist shops. As you tilt it, the game moves like a holographic card.

We have this and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.

This week we have a tool that makes a game look like it’s displayed on a CRT screen, a sparkly platformer, a skateboarding game with robots, and a spooky walk through the woods. Read on to learn more about each project.

You don’t need the 3DS for cool effects

Holographic effects aren’t all that new, but it’s cool to see developers really embrace the effect with video games. Loco Looper is a top-down (or isometric if you want) train-building game for mobile devices that recreates a 3D look by tilting the phone. In a clip posted by James Vanas, you can see a person holding a phone running their game and tilting the phone back and forth. As the phone moves, the buildings tilt as well, which gives the game a 3D effect. Loco Looper doesn’t have a release date but you can follow the game’s progress on Vana’s Twitter account.

A game that looks like it’s on an old-school monitor

Sometimes, games get remastered or ported to newer consoles, but on an LED screen, the remake can’t quite recapture the feeling of the original low-res monitor. Mrmo Tarius, a 2D and 3D artist, illustrator, and graphics designer, is making a game that looks like it’s displayed on an old-school CRT screen as you play it. Mrmo Tarius also created a tool that allows any developer to add the effect to their game. If you want to see what they’re working on and all the cool clips they’re cooking up with the tool, you can check out their Twitter page.

A neon wonderland

Honestly, I didn’t realize it until I saw this platformer, but we need more glitter in games. This clip of Lazr, by Garrick Campsey, features the main character jumping and navigating through a neon world and a barrage of glittery attacks. Lazr’s developer bills the game as a “cyberpunk platformer” and it’s scheduled to release in spring 2021.

Skateboard through a twisting factory

I’ve already written about KevKev’s work before, when the developer posted progress on a smaller skating game, but this takes the idea in a new direction. In this short GIF, we see a robot gliding through an industrial world on a hoverboard. The factory-like setting makes for the perfect setting, giving the character plenty of rails to grind and platforms to launch tricks. This clip is not for any announced game yet, but you can check out more on the developer’s Twitter page.

The Lost Woods get a little creepier

This short clip of The Milk Lake from Boltzmann Games shows a mysterious character running through a dark and foggy woods. As the character dashes by, it stops to place its hands on a tree and interact with it. This action RPG is early in development and doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can follow updates on the developer’s Twitter page.