This is not my game. But this is dope as hell.
Page 5, Game 29: Master Spy by TURBOGUN
The stub description promised a “brutal precision platformer,” and by God that’s what it delivered. You’re a spy doing spy shit. You can jump around, activate your invisibility cloak, or even both! Unfortunately, you can’t quite jump as high or move as fast when your cloak is on. And that’s a problem, because you only have FRACTIONS of a second to make your jumps and grab the woozle that will allow you to move on to the next level.
The basic rhythm of this game is “Okay, I’mma jump there, decloak, run THERE, grab the woozle, jump up before that dog can get me and kick the cloak back on. Gonna want to wait for that guard to turn his back, that should maximize my time. And go N– no, wait, give it a second, and … NOW JUMP DECLOAK RUN JUMP SHIT MOTHERFUCKER DAMMIT DIDN’T GET MY CLOAK BACK ON GOT CAUGHT SHIT SHIT SHIT okay, let’s try this again….”
It’s brutal. It’s fiddly. It’s absolutely unforgiving. And if that’s your idea of a good time, you’re gonna have an absolute BLAST with this one.
My one complaint with this game is a complaint I’ve been making a lot lately: no fucking training level. That was forgivable for, say, Micro Mages; there wasn’t enough room on the cartridge it was simulating, and besides, the publisher went ahead and created an era-appropriate instruction manual available with the download.
But modern gamers expect modern games to teach them how to play; at this point, unless you’re going for a very specific kind of simulated experience, there’s just no excuse for anything else. Star Escape had no excuse, PALACE OF WOE had no excuse, and Spy Master has no excuse. I THINK I eventually managed to figure out what all the controls were and what tools were at my disposal, but because the game doesn’t bother with either a manual or a tutorial, I’m not at all confident. Is there a “sprint” function I could be using? I don’t think so, but it’d make dodging that one fucking dog a hell of a lot easier….
Even so. If tight-as-fuck platformer timing is your jam, this game was made for you. Go get some.
All right, what’s next?
Page 8, Game 17: MIDNIGHT ULTRA by Forward Instinct
“Blast your way through a neon-dripped, pixelated nightmare in this high-speed, high-thrills FPS set in the Southwest.”
Oh, yeah. That sounds like a hoot.