Archive for the ‘Platformer’ Category

PixelJunk Eden Review

October 13, 2008

PixelJunk Eden continues the tradition started by Monsters of great games in small packages. The gameplay of this game is so simple. In Eden, you jump from plant to plant and can swing on a silk line. Your objective is to collect Spectra but they only way you can reach these is by collecting pollen and growing your garden. You do this by hitting pollen pods to blast pollen everywhere, collect the pollen, and jump in a seed. The Graphics and Sound are fantastic in this game. They work really well together and really create an innovative and original experience on top of core gameplay that has been around since the NES (I’m talking bionic commando & Mario Here). Eden really seems like it might be repetitive after playing the first 3 gardens, but as you advance further, the gardens all start introducing new obstacles and challenges (portals, launch flowers, gravity changing levels). Basically, Eden really sucks you in right as you are getting bored and tired of it. The only really negative thing I can say about Eden is that it is a bit excessive to force the player to play each garden 5 times to collect the 5 spectra. I would’ve liked a lot more relaxed system that ended the level when you collected all 5 or when time ran out. This way, in the first few easy levels you could beat them in 1-3 playthroughs rather than the required 5. This fact was most evident in the first few gardens, since this mechanic works better in the later more complex levels. All in all, Eden is one of the most refreshing Downloadable Games I have ever played. It’s not for everyone, but if the surreal atmosphere and unique look doesn’t bother you, you definitely should give the demo a try.

Gameplay: 9/10 – The gameplay is simple, challenging, and enjoyable.

Graphics: 9/10 – I love the simple vector graphics and look of this game. I do wish the early levels weren’t as monochromatic though.

Music/Sound: 10/10 – The music and sound design is definitely the highlight of the package and brings the tone and atmosphere of the game together so it all works.

Lasting Appeal: 8/10 – Multiplayer is welcome and really changes the feel and challenge of the game. The later gardens really challenge you and are very unique. This drives you to keep collecting spectra to unlock even more unique and fun gardens.

Average: 90.00%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%

Verdict: 90%

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Professor Fizzwizzle Review

October 13, 2008


Let me start off by saying that Grubby Games has some of the absolute best kid’s games on the market. That’s not to say the appeal of Professor Fizzwizzle is only for kids, just that it has an excellent pace, graphics, sounds for kids, not to mention the problem-solving puzzles that make up the levels of the game. I must admit to using the “Solve Puzzle” feature on quite a few occasions myself. This feature is brilliant because at the moment a level gets frustrating and you feel it is impossible, you can simply pause and click for the solution. This definitely decreases the frustration factor and keeps you playing into the later levels. Prof. Fizzwizzle also keeps things interesting by adding new puzzle elements at a good pace from level to level. This keeps things from getting repetitive. In fact, my only major complaint with Prof. Fizzwizzle is that the gameplay is not for gamers. To the game’s defense, it was not designed to appeal to the hardcore 2D gamers of yesteryear, the graphics whores of today’s consoles, or the FPS/RTS pc crowd. This is a casual game, and if you take it as such, it is hard to find fault.

Gameplay: 8/10
Pros: Puzzles can be very challenging and continually add new elements or twists on old elements to keep things fresh. A plethora of modes and types of puzzles.
Cons: Actual Gameplay is simplistic. You use the arrow keys to move the professor around and that’s really it, besides the occasional power-up. Perfect for casual gamers, but not for me.


Graphics: 8/10
Pros: Graphics are clean, simple, and perfectly themed for the game. Animations are REALLY good.
Cons: Lack of WOW factor. More game objects animated as well as the Professor!

Sound/Music: 9.5/10
Pros: Music is perfect, catchy and subdued. The last thing you want is some crazy rock music while you are trying to solve a puzzle. Sound is unintrusive as well.
Cons: Sound/Music are not show stealers, but they are not meant to be, especially in a game like this.

Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Pros: Tons of different levels, modes, and sets of puzzles. If you get tired with the included puzzles there is a level editor and a ton of downloadable levels on Grubby Games’ website.
Cons: What more could you ask for?

Average: 88.75
Tilt: +0.25

Grubby Games knows the casual market. Professor Fizzwizzle has won tons of critical acclaim, awards, etc. and I’m sure has sold tons of copies as well. It understands exactly the type of people that enjoy and buy these types of games and offers a huge repetoire of levels and features for them. Console gamers, PC gamers, and old school gamers alike could enjoy this game…will they shell out the cash to buy it…I doubt it….but the casual gamer will and will love that they did. Rarely have I seen a casual game that is 1: an Original Idea 2: not some sort of match 3 or bejeweled clone 4: more than a simple click here/there game…ahem…cake mania and diner dash and 5: actually worth $20. What does Professor Fizzwizzle really do best? It offers you a tremendous value at $20, because of the number of levels, downloadable levels, and ability to make your own levels. If you enjoy this game, you will not stop playing it due to a lack of features…that’s for sure.

Verdict: 89%
If you are interested in Professor Fizzwizzle and would like to support us and Grubby Games you can:

Download the Free Demo
Buy It Now!

Braid Review

October 13, 2008


Braid is a very commendable and entralling independent game by Jonathan Blow. First let me start off by saying that screenshots do not do this game justice. While the game is not pushing the graphical power of the Xbox, David Hellman’s art for the game is simply fantastic. The game has a unique water color look to it and the swirling colors and especially the parralax backgrounds can astonish and fit perfectly into this surreal sort of fairy tale. The story of braid is interesting and has a pretty good twist of an ending. It’s certainly one of the best XBLA stories out there. Since it’s all presented in text form, it does lose something that other full priced games have. Let’s get to it though, the best thing about Braid is the gameplay. It is a puzzle platform game revolving around time manipulation. This time manipulation reduces frustration (since if you die, you just rewind) and changes in each world keeping things very fresh.


Braid is doing everything right so far, but it does stumble. Braid is incredibly short and has little in the way of replay value (a speed achievement). While the shortness is refreshing (I really like that I’ve beaten the game, enjoyed it, experienced it and can now move on), 1 more world of puzzles with 1 more mechanic would have gone a long way to flesh out the package. The game is about $5 more expensive than a lot of the other XBLA games out there, but let’s be honest, this game deserves to have you $15 and was made by an indie studio rather than Capcom or some other uber developer. Still, I can see people’s complaints about price (as spoiled as they are) especially with the brevity of the game. My only other complaint about the game is the lack of different enemies/hazards (c’mon 2 enemies?) and a lack of graphical diversity (the opening stage looks to cool! why are all the levels sprawling green hills?).

Bottom line is that this game is not for everybody, but is a very delightful and engaging little title. It is a very unique game that is definitely worth your time and money. I downloaded the trial game and unlocked the full version before I was even finished with the trial. Give it a try, support an indie game developer, and discover the clever story twist.

Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Music: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 6/10

Average: 82.5%
Tilt: + 4.50%

Verdict: 87%

Dirk Dashing Review

October 8, 2008

Dirk Dashing is a very solid platformer that lacks innovation and focuses on classic “safe” platform gameplay. Dirk Dashing definitely charms with its presentation and hand-drawn graphics, but suffers in the gameplay department. It’s a solid game, and definitely seems to be targeted towards kids…except that it is fairly difficult. If you are a fan of the classic platformer, like the genre, have an affinity for Bond, or are particularly taken by the Demo, then this game is for you and warrants a purchase. I’m just not sure if the game offers enough to more avid gamers to really keep them interested. It’s not that Dirk Dashing is bad… it’s gameplay is just more in the category of enjoy the demo as an afternoon distraction and forget about it after that. I’m not sure if it really pulls you in and entices a gamer enough to warrant a purchase.

Gameplay: 7/10
Pros: Classic Platforming of yore which is instantly accessible and challenging: move, jump, throw… that’s it. Controls are very responsive and the gameplay is solid with some neat spy gadgets. Great nonviolent gameplay for children.
Cons: Game is targeted towards kids, but may be too hard for them (though back in the NES days there was Ninja Gaiden and I loved that game and was like 7). YOU CANNOT hurt enemies by jumping on their heads! That definitely takes awhile to get used to, especially since I reckon that jumping on someone’s head would hurt them a lot more than me. The spy gadgets are really more like power-ups, x-ray specs, spring shoes, etc. that are time-limited rather than gadgets that increase and upgrade your abilities.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: By far the best feature of the game, the graphics are beautifully drawn and the multi-layers and parallax scrolling really give the game a lot of depth and a real 3-D feel. The hand drawn graphics just go a long way and really make this game unique and distinctive.
Cons: I could’ve used more frames of animation. I love the idea of cartoon slapstick in the game, but it’s not rewarding seeing a guy bop his head on a wall when the end result is a comical, but choppy result. This carries over to even the regular animations as well and is really the only sour point of the graphics….basically they look great in still frame, and while the backgrounds are pretty rad in motion, the game objects suffer.

Sound/Music: 7/10

Pros: The music is very good, chill, and fits the spy motif. Many of the sounds work and sound straight out of a Hanna Barbera cartoon.
Cons: Other sounds just are not my cup of tea. The Boing of Dirk’s jump is just way too much. I get that Dirk Dashing is a living cartoon, but cut me some slack on the sounds I’m going to hear every other second.

Lasting Appeal: 5/10
Pros: Plenty of levels that are very diverse in look and feel. A decent story and solid gameplay that will keep you playing if platforming is your thing.
Cons: Generic gameplay. I love platformers, and this game is very solid, but just offers nothing new in gameplay: you collect coins/money for points, you collect apples/food, and there is the occasional power-up or door switch, but there is no mechanic that is really distinctive and fun. I mean Mario had the fire-flower, mushroom, and later the raccoon suit, etc., Bionic Commando had a grappling hook, and Castlevania had a whip and a sort of open world to explore. The game has an instantly classic feel, but doesn’t offer enough to keep you playing unless you are a diehard platforming fan.

Average: 67.50%
Tilt: +2.50%

This game is really a testament to games as a source of art. I really can’t complement the graphics enough. It actually looks a lot like Paper Mario. That’s really impressive especially considering the size of the development team and that this is an Indie game and not some Nintendo first party title. Yes, the gameplay is nothing new, but it’s not bad either. Try the demo over at My Game Company, you may just find that the classic platforming gameplay is something that you have missed and been pining for along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Dreamland, and Offroad.

Verdict: 70%