Fenix Rage got a "hey, this might be alright" out of me back in July, reeling me in with its rock soundtrack and bastard-hard platforming. I thought it looked like my sort of thing, but wasn't positive it'd be able to compete with the meaty works that have come before. It's now out with a demo, which I jumped into last night. I was delighted to discover that it's expertly made, slick to control and easy to learn but nigh on impossible to perfect. You can give it a shot now or read on for some more thoughts.
"Platformer" still seems an odd definition, as touching the ground is generally the first mistake you'll make on the road to a slow time. Fenix has access to an infinite number of jumps and dashes, making it rare that you'll want to be land locked. It adds an interesting dynamic, taking away the required precision of wall jumps but adding far more open areas through which you need to plan routes. Along with walking, falling is very slow compared to the lightning speed of horizontal dashing, so minimising this is another challenge.
There's little room for error, too. Even the early levels of the demo require split second timing to pass certain areas, and all the par times are clearly set by experts and designed as goals to work towards. One of the initial five took me around fifty tries to beat and I'm far from mastering just these ten levels. It isn't quite as immediately satisfying as the likes of Meat Boy, but it's far closer than you might expect. The total freedom of vertical movement is both a fun change to the platforming norm and gives Fenix Rage something unique compared to its well-known peers.
The release trailer shows off some of the minigames that are unlocked as you play, further messing around with the standard platforming formula.
You can buy Fenix Rage now for £9.99 over on Steam.