There really isn’t enough passive aggression in game titles. Come on, developers – dare us. Mock us. Lure us into sampling your fine wares by snootily claiming we won’t be able to handle them. I want to see “That End Boss Is Totally Going To Smoke You”, “Bet You Can’t Beat My Mum’s Lap Time” and “If You Don’t Play This You’re Like All Dumb And Stuff.”
So this oh-so-simple platformer‘s smug/pessimistic title was an expertly effective gauntlet thrown down before me. “You Probably Won’t Make It?” Graaah! Kill you!
Rather unfortunately, its creator Jesse Venbrux wasn’t wrong. I’m rubbish, me. Or, more accurately, incredibly impatient. Can has shooting man in face now plz? You, however, like to run around town talking about how awesome you are at everything and how everyone else is stupid, so clearly you’ll want to best this and then perform 112 self-celebratory pelvic thrusts outside the town hall. Chicks totally dig a guy who can complete incredibly difficult lo-fi indie platform games, after all.
It’s short, it’s straightforward and visually it looks like a sadistic Etch-a-Sketch, but it’s platforming at its most hardcore – exact jumps, double-jumps and spike-avoidance, with each foul-up throwing you back to the start of the increasingly brutal levels. Your only assistance is a ghostly line showing the path you took last time around. Meanwhile, a traumatically-swelling mass shows the blood sprayed by all your dismembered corpses to date. It might look a serial killer playing with Windows Paintbrush, but seeing the red stain grow is curiously demoralising.
In that respect, it has something in common with a Venbrux game we’ve posted about before, Deaths, but this is a dramatically more challenging affair, almost to the point of masochism. There’s nowt that’s novel about it, but c’mon, that title – can you really resist?
Oh, and Venbrux’s current project is 21 Prototypes – in which he makes a game in just an hour, for 21 days (though it’s been on hiatus for a few weeks). An hour! Haven’t had the chance to try any yet, but his crazy plan’s bound to result in a few wee gems.