Justice Playthrough #4: Micro Mages

And we’re back to the video games:

Page 2, Game 16: Micro Mages, by Morphcat Games

Man, do I need to get a game controller for my laptop. Between this and a game I was playing last night, if I’m going to keep doing arcade-style stuff on this machine, I need an arcade-style controller.

Micro Mages is literally made for the Nintendo Entertainment System, though the download thoughtfully comes with its own emulator, which is a couple of orders of magnitude larger than the code simulating the actual game. (But then again, that’s true of the PDF representing the game manual, too.)

It’s cute and fun, though I think having a proper controller and not just banging arrow keys would enhance the experience quite a bit. Like the games it draws inspiration from, quite unforgiving; you’re perpetually one oopsie away from death. (Though I don’t recall Mario ever ending in a blood splotch.)

It’s a side-scroller where you’re a tiny little mage dude, bouncing around and blasting skeletons and bats and stuff with your little pew-pew spell. I think you’re there to rescue a princess? There’s always a princess. I’m willing to bet she’s not in this tower.

Also, there are crates! Blast them! Some of them have treasures, which give you points! You like points, right? Or a fairy, who will allow you to take TWO hits before you die! Or a seagull you can mount on your back for in-air shenanigans!

Unlike most side-scrollers, this one progresses vertically; you need to jump your way up the tower. Through a bit of trial and error, I eventually figured out that the key mechanic is to fling yourself against a wall and press yourself against it, slowing your fall and allowing you to jump again.

Of course, before long, the game starts slowly scrolling upwards, regardless of whether or not your making progress. If you fall off the bottom, you die in an adorable spurt of 8-bit blood.

I feel like it’s a tad too unforgiving for its own good. Yeah, the games from the era didn’t fuck around with any kind of hand-holding, but even so, this one’s rough. Having the map start scrolling of its own accord is a step too far; the game is challenging enough without adding what feels like an artificial ticking clock element. At the very least, maybe don’t unleash that until the second castle?

But honestly? This is a cute, fun little game. If I could load it into the NES emulator on my Nintendo Switch, I probably would, just to see how it plays. If I do get a controller I like, I could see coming back to this.

The game is also set up to allow up to four players — SIMULTANEOUSLY. Which feels like it would be such a howling clusterfuck of boinging and pew-pewing that I actually want to try it sometime.

Not bad at all.

All right, random.org. Roll me a good one:

Page 55, Game 12: Costume Fairy Adventures by Penguin King Games

“A tabletop RPG about fairies. In costumes. Having adventures.”

I’mma guess this one is exactly what it says on the tin.