A trio of clever 2D Indie Games Platformers

Feeling a little better this afternoon after a crippling Saturday of sickness, I was on my way to finally starting Alpha Protocol but stopped by the Indie Games channel to see what was new. Extreme Baby Maker got a sequel (still with Avatars) but I didn’t bother with the free trial. Instead I found a trio of neo-retro 2D platformers, each with a twist of their own.

Nyan-Tech (80 Microsoft Points)
A single-screen puzzle platformer, I dig the minimalist look and the super tiny, super cute art. It also has an interesting hook in that you have to hold different buttons on the controller to solidify the platforms you need to jump across. Navigating the stages looks simple at first but timing button presses (and button releases) in mid-jump proved more hysterical and challenging than I expected. A score timer also starts counting down once you begin moving, making it not only a dexterous challenge but a quick-thinking one as well. In searching for wallpaper and more info I happened upon a couple reviews of the game that point out how short it is.

Maid_san’s Caving Adventure (80 Microsoft Points)
Yeah, so I checked it out because it has an anime maid in it. It also has some pretty 2D environs and I’m a sucker for both caving and adventures. It also reminded me a bit of Yumi’s Odd Odyssey only without the bipedal land-fish or the grappling hook. What you get is a platformer that’s as much about grabbing shiny stars at it is about stealth. Stealth in the form of Maid_san’s special “trembling” technique that makes her invisible to the wandering troll guys, the Benars. It looks good but this is classic Japanese fare that’s all about doing everything perfectly and being critically graded on your performance. I couldn’t muster anything above a failing ‘D Rank’ and decided to move on.

Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES (80 Microsoft Points)
Oh look, someone made their own ‘I Wanna Be the Guy’ on the Indie Games Channel! Oi! Along with the 1,000 tricky spikes that shoot out of nearly every platform you land on you also get 1,000 lives, and I needed them; it took about a dozen just to get past one of the first obstacles. When I thought I was finally up to speed with the game an unexpected patch of spikes killed me and sent me all the way back to the start. I love the look and sound of it but I got all my punishing platforming from Super Meat Boy, thanks.

And then I was done with those trials and ready to start Alpha Protocal which I am, shockingly, enjoying given how much gum-flappin’, conspiracy-talkin’, dialog is packed on that disc. More on that at [REDACTED] and on the [CLASSIFIED] Show.

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