This is a platformer. The arrow keys move you left and right, and the spacebar lets you double jump (no controller support, and JoyToKey stopped working for me–not just with this game, either, and the “run as administrator + XP compatibility” fix doesn’t work).
Something I should point out is that the game is kinda buggy. It starts off by asking if you want to play in windowed or full-screen, but whenever I selected full-screen, it would jump back to windowed mode. The closest I could get to full-screen was clicking the square in between the X and the line in the upper-right of the window (the buttons that all Windows applications have). Oh, and when I beat level one, I clicked it again to bring it back to windowed mode, and level 2 was re-locked, so I had to beat the last part of level 1 again to continue. There’s also a part where it wants you to enter a password, but the number keys at the top of the keyboard won’t work, and if you try to use the ones on the right side, it’ll auto-check after pushing only one key, and since it’s a four-digit code, it’ll always be wrong. What you need to do is use the mouse to click on the numbers on-screen in order to progress. Yup, it’s a slap-dash mobile port, and to add insult to injury, the mobile version is FREE!!!
If you look past that rocky start, the game is okay. Level 1 introduces the controls and major obstacles; some of the obstacles are physics-based, which can be a little annoying sometimes, but your own controls are responsive (push forward=move forward, let go=stop immediately). The cut-scene afterward made me think I needed a computer mic, but luckily, you don’t (you can bypass that part if you just keep advancing the dialogue). The second level ends with a couple mini games, but if you’re not a fan of Arkanoid/Breakout clones, you can just lose intentionally and progress with the game as normal.
Level 3 starts off just fine, but eventually, you’ll reach a gap that’s too wide to double-jump across, and your only hint is that you’ll “be surprised.” Will a platform come up from off-screen if you take a leap of faith? Nope. Is the text itself a platform? Nope. Turns out, you have to pause the game, and the pause menu becomes a platform. I know the description said the game has “puzzles,” but I was hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with adventure-game-style riddles like that.
Level 4 is where the difficulty picks up. There have always been platforms that rotate when you jump, but now there are spikes on each side, so you need to plan your jumps in advance. There were physics-based platforms before, but now there are thin platforms that border and rotate with the wheel in the center…and the game promptly abandons this gimmick after the third one. There’s one physics wheel that fires a projectile when you jump, but this also only shows up twice (with the second time being in the proceeding level). All that is okay (even if I wish it built on its mechanics a bit more), but the game also introduces a fake checkpoint that’ll kill you. While you get a warning for the first one, the second doesn’t have any such warning, and there’s no visual distinction between the two, either. That isn’t challenging; that’s just frustrating. Luckily, this also gets abandoned after the second one.
Level 5 drops the difficulty in regards to level design, but this is counterbalanced by one of the worst, most drunken cameras I’ve seen in a while. This is the only level where the level goes up (meaning the camera needs to move up with your jumps), and turning left/right also adjusts the camera to be ahead of where you’re looking, but the vertical scrolling is extremely awkward and a little unpredictable; I really don’t know how to describe it. You also have a boss fight in this level, with that awful camera.
Level 6 alters the mechanics to an ice-sliding puzzle; move in one direction, and you can’t stop ‘til you hit a wall. Thing is, this is controlled not by the push of a key, but by holding the left mouse button and dragging in the direction you want to go. This might just be the slap-dashiest thing I’ve ever borne witness to. The rotating blocks make a return, but now they rotate for each move you make instead of each jump. Fine in theory, but you’ll eventually reach a part that seems impossible. Turns out, you can move into the wall to stay in the same location while also triggering the rotation of the blocks. That just doesn’t seem like a fair solution to me, but it’s the only way past that part. Another way you can tell that’s the intended solution is the fact that the game abandons those rotating blocks for the rest of the level: it switches to moving hazards, and near the end, one that moves opposite to you horizontally, but with you vertically. There’s also a boss fight at the end of this level (it’s the final boss); it’s okay, but it can be a little annoying since its projectiles are drawn behind the blocks, making them harder to see coming (and the boss’s own movement pattern clips one of the empty corners where you think you’d be safe).
Overall, the game is pretty mediocre. It’s only $1, but I think I’d recommend checking out the free mobile version instead if you’re interested.
Almost missed that the game has free DLC:
Also a platformer, technically the prequel to the above game. The first couple levels task you with collecting a set number of diamonds (sometimes referred to as “coins” because shut up). Level 3 is a more standard “make it to the end” stage, but it prevents you from walking to the left for some reason. Level 4 goes full auto-runner and makes you collect 40 diamonds (an absurd amount considering how short and repetitive the level is). If you miss some, don’t worry; the level loops and refreshes the diamonds, so you can win with some patience by collecting the same ones until you meet the quota.
Level 5 is much closer to the levels in the sequel, and you can even see some of the stuff that got reused, like the checkpoints, the slow-mo “breaking through glass” scene, and a thin hallway with repetitive spear placements that really shouldn’t have been reused in the sequel (let alone twice). There’s even another “too wide” jump, but this time the text is a platform, and you have to touch it to knock it down. Unfortunately, the game decides to make the controls less responsive in this level: letting go of forward no longer stops you in place, so you have to hit back and forth constantly in order to land your jumps. Also, one part near the beginning reverses your controls right before you reach a checkpoint, meaning you’ll likely overshoot the jump, die, and have to redo the entire previous segment. There are also a couple points where hazards will suddenly bolt at you from behind the ground, the very definition of a cheap shot.
Overall, this one is definitely lower quality than the sequel. I think free is an appropriate price for it (you don’t even need it as DLC; it’s free on mobile and itch.io).
Yet another platformer, but you’ll need an emulator that supports iNES mapper 30, like FCEUX 2.2.3 (FCEUX 2.2.2 isn’t compatible). Also, instead of baking the text into the levels like the previous games, you have to walk in front of a sign and push the B button to see the text. Text also appears if you push the B button in front of the anime face, which I didn’t realize at first.
This one manages to be even more dull and repetitive than the prequel. I lost count of how many times certain rooms were recycled entirely (and it isn’t a Lost Woods thing where you keep looping until you find the right way through; it literally just copy/pastes earlier rooms). There are a couple tricky jumps in the game, like when the fire is moving back and forth in midair and there’s only a 1x1 platform near the end that you need to land on, but you’ll breeze through most of the game no problem. There also isn’t a proper ending; you’re trapped in a black room and can push the B button to bring up the last text box, but there’s no staff roll or anything.
Again, I think free is an appropriate price for it.