Archive for the ‘Platformer’ Category

The Impossible Game

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

The Impossible Game

Much respect to this developer for delivering on their promise, because so many games don’t. The promise, in this case, is that The Impossible Game is indeed impossible. Decidedly low-rent graphics don’t keep me from returning time and time again to see if I can best my previous efforts and prove them wrong. I mean, all you have to do is jump over scrolling obstacles, right? Trust me, it’s a daunting task, especially since you have to begin again from the start point every time you fail. The repetition does allow you to feel good about the sections that you have learned, though. And learn them, you must; the timing, spacing, and rhythm of your jumps needs to be dead-on, otherwise, it’s back to square one. They did include a Practice Mode, which allows you to drag your spawn point along with you, but clearly if you use it…you’re a cheater. Monotonous? Yes. Ghetto graphics? Yes. Worth it for the challenge? For me, the answer is definitely yes, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Above

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Above

This is a simple one-thumb sky-jump game with stellar anime-influenced artwork. Press and hold anywhere to charge your businessman’s jump and release to jump upward accordingly and hopefully land on a platform. Wash, rinse, repeat. The timing and strength of these jumps is the core gameplay, which benefits from a small number of platform types; stationary, moving, trampoline, and disintegrating. There are three different environments, each with beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds. For me, this doesn’t have the addictive quality of other pick-up-and-play titles like Doodle Jump, but it still has a nice level of polish.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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Tomena Sanner (US)

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Tomena Sanner (US)

Okay, this game is pure genius. The gameplay consists entirely of timing moves for your little man in a business suit to execute, WHILE BREAKDANCING, in order to keep his pace and reach the goal before the timer runs out. It is loaded with wacky Japanese goodness, including a rhythm section at the end of every level. The crazy factor most closely resembles that of a old playstation game I have called Incredible Crisis (which is a must-play); while the gameplay is completely different, the humor and style is similar. Over the course of the 9 game levels, you will accomplish all of the following important tasks:

  1. Moonwalk with Santa…on the moon
  2. Ski down a dinosaur’s back
  3. Disco-dance with a panda
  4. Play Baseball with a man in a Godzilla suit
  5. Get a kiss from a Swedish maid
  6. Line-dance with Japanese schoolgirls
  7. Slam dunk on a 20’ rim
  8. Do the robot…with a robot

    By the way, if you play through the whole game, you will be able to visit both heaven and hell. Buy this game and make Konami filthy rich.

    Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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    Wheeler’s Treasure

    Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

    An innovative title; not quite a platformer, not quite a racer, not quite anything really, but it is fun. The player character propels themselves through the side-scrolling level in a giant hamster wheel, collecting coins, bouncing on enemies and treasure chests, and avoids obstacles like tar pits and lava. This is accomplished by grappling to a solid section of the wheel and riding it up to collect goodies. Your grapple has a cooldown, so timing is important. If you take too much damage, you can stop off at water holes to heal. It’s all very strange, but still compelling.

    Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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    Earthworm Jim

    Monday, November 2nd, 2009

    My first job related to “the industry” was working on Nintendo Power Magazine. One of my duties was to play through games, in their entirety, taking screenshots of every area in the game. Not just the main gameplay route, but every single freakin’ possible useless patch of sky that could be reached by the player character. Afterwards, I would painstakingly assemble hundreds of screens in Photoshop to create the maps you see in the magazine and player’s guides. I have very distinct memories of going through this tedious process with Earthworm Jim. I absolutely loved the game; the artwork was amazing, the story and characters were hilarious (Professor-Monkey-For-A-Head!), and the gameplay was diverse. The game was difficult, though, particularly if you had to find every possible secret area and time your screenshots perfectly. LOL. It was my first realization that working on games was different from playing games. For the iPhone port, they added three new difficulty levels, all of which are below the difficulty of the original. I’m happy to report that all of the core gameplay that made this title excellent has made the transition to the iPhone intact. J The game is great. Get it.

    Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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    Flickitty

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

    Stellar graphics, good controls, and an adorable little kitty that must complete a series of platform quests. You steer the little bugger by stretching his neck out and snapping him in the corresponding direction. There are obstacles like fire that burn him to a crisp, as the screenshot shows, or seal him in a block of ice. Most of the quests are fetch quests and others are really quirky, like dragging a mine cart around, for no obvious reason. It’s worth it for the art and humor, but it is fun to pilot the little guy around too.

    Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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    Cliffed

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

    A Falldown clone with tons of cute characters to unlock, simple, but descriptive animations, a nice background, and very simple gameplay. You just try to fall as far as possible. Rocks get in your way, so you either need to land on top of them and slide off or use the side exit present on each platform. A dash move helps, to get you there faster. There are no powerups. You can post your scores online and you will have plenty of them, because it is one of those games that is easy to play a quick game of anywhere.

    Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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    Soosiz

    Friday, October 23rd, 2009

    This game rocks. It’s being touted as Super Mario Galaxy meets Rolando, which is spot-on. It pairs the old-skool jump-on-the-baddies mechanic, with typical star collection and platforming elements, while adding the Rolando-like planet hopping. The background artwork is outstanding and the gameplay has yet to get old, for me.

    Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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    Canabalt

    Friday, October 9th, 2009

    If you’re worried that those ominous silhouettes in the background might be giant, death-dealing robots bent on destroying humanity, don’t worry because that would be…wait…OMG, they ARE…RUN!!! Canabalt is brilliantly conceived, beautifully crafted, and a perfect fit for the iPhone platform. Your character runs, you tap-to-jump, the speed increases to make it all an unrecognizable blur. That’s pretty much it and that’s one of the reasons I like it even better that the free PC version, because you can play a quick game of it anywhere. The soundtrack is absolutely top-notch; one part Chris Cunningham, one part spy thriller, one part techno, then add water. The choice of rendering the whole game in grayscale really drives home the ominous feeling of a city in ruin, crumbling beneath your feet. The style, music, art direction, tension, theme, and story all mesh together perfectly to make a game that feels so complete and well-designed that you can’t help but appreciate it. Online leaderboards are also being added to ensure that you keep playing.

    Rating: ★★★★½ icon
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    iBlast Moki

    Saturday, September 19th, 2009

    This physics-based puzzler definitely has a Rolando feel, with regard to the artwork, but the similarity stops there. In this game, you need to use your bombs to blast Moki to the level exit, hence the title. You do this by placing a bomb next to him; the closer you place it, the further he’ll bounce. What really sets this title apart, though, is the way the designers scale the difficulty over the course of 70 levels to keep it interesting. At first, you just have the bomb, then several, then you have to set timers on multiple bombs, etc. You get the picture. I won’t spoil the other goodies, but there are plenty. It also comes with a full-featured level editor and the ability to upload your levels. This is one of the titles that utilizes ngmoco’s Plus+ system, which is one of several competing community systems in place to track high scores, friends, and such (the others being Open Feint, AGON, Scoreloop, Geocade, and Chillingo’s Crystal).

    Rating: ★★★★☆ icon

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