New Blood member and Dusk creator David Szymanski has announced his next project, Chop Goblins, a “bite-sized” FPS where you squash goblins throughout time and space. The shooter’s set to release on January 2, with a projected runtime of about 30 minutes.

I’m really taken with the game’s time travel schtick. After accidentally unleashing the little buggers in a botched museum heist, you do battle with them in levels pulled from throughout history, including ancient Greece and 19th century Transylvania. It reminds me of the time travel main campaign from Daikatana, or else the bracingly disjointed level variety of Serious Sam or Painkiller.

There’s no trailer at the moment, only screenshots, but your arsenal seems to include a flintlock pistol, old timey machine gun, and some manner of man-portable ballista. Chop Goblins also promises a certain amount of replayability through leaderboards, secrets, and achievements.

Szymanski says he’d initially planned for a surprise launch on January 2 as a bit of a New Years’ treat, but became leery of potential “discoverability changes” on Twitter. Szymanski and many other independent developers use the platform to show off their work and reach players, and the social media site is facing uncertain shifts in monetization and staff following its purchase by a guy you may or may not have heard of.

Szymanski’s main claim to fame, Dusk, is one of the first hits of the recent indie boomer shooter, uh, boom. Dusk pairs Quake-esque visuals with gothic style and humor straight out of Blood, and packs surprises and seriously killer levels throughout its three episodes. A lot of great FPSes that followed, like Hrot, Cultic, and Coven, take a lot of inspiration from Dusk, and its soundtrack was a breakout work by Andrew Hulshult, who went on to score Doom Eternal’s expansion pack.

Chop Goblins is the latest in a series of smaller projects from Szymanski since Dusk. My favorite so far has been Iron Lung, “a short horror game where you pilot a tiny submarine through an ocean of blood on an alien moon.” It’s as unnerving and metal as it sounds, and well worth the $6 price of admission.

Szymanski is also supporting fellow New Blood dev Dillon Rogers in the development of Gloomwood, a Thief-y, survival horror experience that we already love, even in early access.

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Player standing on battlements of a Transylvania castle

(Image credit: David Szymanski)
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player facing a group of goblins in a darkened, purple interior

(Image credit: David Szymanski)
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Greek interior looking toward doorway outside

(Image credit: David Szymanski)
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Player looking up at a bloomy sky in the modern day

(Image credit: David Szymanski)
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player looking up at doric columns with mountains in background

(Image credit: David Szymanski)

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