Freeware Garden: Shattered

Awwwwwwwww! Just look at the little rascal.

Shattered comes with a plot. Something about a world consuming dark power that has already shattered a planet in two and about you being there to rob said planet of its artifacts, but, yes, you couldn’t possibly care about such things, could you? Not when you get to control an impossibly cute black blob, you can’t.

Said wonderful blob, complete with space helmet and everything, is starring in a very traditional and particularly well executed Metroidvania that spices things up with the addition of a menagerie of fashionably difficult platforming bits. As an added bonus it does look a bit like Cave Story, what with its simple, chunky pixel art.

Helping cuteness itself avoid death-by-spiking is as noble a cause as any.Unlike Cave Story, you don’t really get to be the good guy in this one. You are here just to rob the devastated planet of its four apparently fabled treasures and master four powers in the process, which, though most emphatically an enjoyable endeavor, is far from ethical. Besides, when you look as adorable as Shattered’s protagonist, you simply don’t care about ethics.

All you want to do is visit hubs that let you alternate between worlds, buy the upgrades you’ll need to bring your cuteness to initially inaccessible places, jump on things and solve simple yet well integrated puzzles.

Oh, and die a lot too. Maybe even a couple dozen times in the same scene, while relying on wisely placed spawn points to make sure things never get frustrating. Well, never is a strong word. The jetpack bits of the game can be rather nerve-shattering, mainly due to a combination of severely limited fuel and not incredibly precise controls, though admittedly conserving fuel does add an extra layer of strategy. Then again, these are pretty short sections and you’ll feel pretty chuffed when you eventually beat them.

You’ll soon be rewarded with a trophy room soon(-ish) afterwards too and I particularly appreciated those trophy rooms. They had the stylized grandeur anyone would demand of cavernous vaults holding a planet’s most prized treasures.

[Shattered is a Ludum Dare 30 entry; you can play both the jam and post-jam version in the debatable comfort of your browser.]

12 Comments

  1. Heliocentric says:

    Just finished it with 96 death, I’d rather there were more checkpoints, but it wasn’t flawed, just a little mean.

    One thing I adored was that it instantly recognised by controller(was an xboxone pad so likely a 360 pad would be fine too), I tried applying a joy to key profile to find it already saw my controller.

    I despised Cave Story but I’m very glad this exists, I don’t know how well it would stand up to extension.

  2. Premium User Badge

    SuddenSight says:

    I loved it as well. I have always been a sucker for 2d explore-em-ups.

    While the art-style is rather Cave-Story-like, I found the focus on exploration in narationless world more reminiscent of Knytt (my favoritist of platformers, so I must try to work it in to every comment ever).

    Lovely atmosphere, nice platforming. Also, the cat is clearly a good person because they knit two planets together. That has to count for something.

  3. cynexyl says:

    Very nice game, finished it with 102 deaths, most of them on the last room.

  4. Tori says:

    Finished in 112 deaths, wonderful game!

  5. caff says:

    I struggled with this one. Frustration got the better of me :)

  6. Toupee says:

    It’s really fun, and I like it. But the controls seem broken to me. Once I got the jetpack, it was so hard to make precise moves — it just seemed so unreliable. And a number of times my dude got stuck moving in the same direction… sometimes a direction I definitely was not moving!

    • grom.5 says:

      I guess it’s because I finished Cave Story before, but the jetpack was alright for me. When you start in one direction, you always have to stop the propulsion to change your movement (and it seems there is a priority for top if you forget to only press one direction.)

      Finished with 61 deaths. It was a pleasant journey even if some of the last room are pretty annoying in their die and retry approach. Thanks for sharing.

      • Toupee says:

        Oh I definitely understand how it works. It was just extremely buggy for me. Maybe just a combination of my hardware/browser, who knows.

  7. Unholymess says:

    Beautiful, precise, just the right level of challenging and wonderfully atmospheric. Without question the best thing I’ve played all week!

  8. tormos says:

    I thought this was quite good and packed a lot into a pretty tight container. that said I thought the last room was a bit obnoxious.