There are some interesting ideas here. I’m not 100% sold on the execution, but it’s got a great old-school look and feel to it. If you love Nintendo-era platformers and would like to try something a bit different, this one might be worth your time.
Page 11, Game 18: Blitz Breaker by Boncho Games
You are a robot — according to the game’s page, you’re the titular Blitz. You wanna GTF outta that lab for some reason. (Look, mad science is clearly going on. Whatever it is, it can’t be healthy for you.)
There’s a problem: you can’t run. But you can jump. But more importantly, you can fuckin’ FLY!
Move in a direction. You will go screaming across the screen in that direction until you hit something. At that point, you’ll be free to move in a completely new direction — assuming whatever you hit didn’t kill you.
When I found a groove in this game, it was a fun kinetic puzzle solver … once I got the basic rules figured out. One of the big problems with Blitz Breaker is that it’s very sloppy about teaching you its core conceits. For instance, it took me a hot minute to realize that once I chose a direction, I was locked in until I hit something. Basically, if you’re a ball (like the above screenshot), your gonna go until you hit something, and all the wild flailing on your controller attempting to execute a mid-air direction switch won’t do a damn thing.
Now, once you hit a non-fatal thing and turn back into a robot? THEN you may choose a new direction to go.
There are also coins and other extras you can collect. What are they? Why do you collect them? I eventually figured out that the coins will add to your countdown timer, which is occasionally quite merciless. But there’s other stuff that I only figured out I could grab because the game hid them somewhere hard to reach. WHY do I need to collect some of those other items? No idea.
Naturally, as the game progresses, the environment gets deadlier and deadlier, until there are spikes and sawblades and other such bullshit waiting for you to impale yourself on them.
This game is all about figuring out how to get where you need to be, and then executing the split-second timing necessary to make it happen. Despite placing some very strange limitations on the player’s mobility, this game is absolutely a member of the Brutal Precision Platformer brotherhood.
That’s not my genre. A game has to truly excel to get me to enjoy all those fiddly jumps and death after death after death. Blitz Breaker, sadly, didn’t make the cut for me.
I definitely had stretches where I enjoyed playing this game; it’s hardly a complete waste. But there were too many frustrating stretches where I didn’t QUIIIIIITE time that jump properly and exploded on contact against some spikes. Bah.
What’s more, the game’s go-until-you-hit-something mechanic meant there were often moments where I did the wrong thing, KNEW I’d done the wrong thing, was utterly helpless to correct it, and just had to watch my avatar die yet again. Granted, I wasn’t waiting long; I can’t accuse the game of being slow to get me back into the action. And to a degree, that’s true of other platformers; botch a jump, and you’re falling into that pit and there’s nothing you can do about it.
But for some reason, that split second of “And now I need to go down FALL down FALL GOD DAMMIT WHY DID I THROW MYSELF AT THOSE SPIKES” felt unusually irksome. Make the wrong split second move and you’re just fucked, beyond the reach of any quick double-jump to get you back to safety.
Looks great, though. I wish the game did more to tell me its own background story, but it looks and sounds like a very solid 80’s platformer. Kudos for the artistry on display here.
This is another game that’s not for me, but if somebody told me they thought it was the bundle’s biggest hidden gem, I’d be pretty sure I know why they love it so much. If it sounds like your jam, absolutely give it a play.
Is this next game gonna leverage my Pavlovian response to coins in a video game by assuming I’m gonna go grab those fuckers even if I have no idea why I’m doing it?
Page 10, Game 21: Octodad: Dadliest Catch by Young Horses
“Loving Father. Caring Husband. Secret Octopus.”
With a description that weird, coins are a definite possibility. As is … everything, basically.
please don’t be hentai please don’t be hentai please don’t be hentai please don’t be hentai….