I realize a lot of games get overlooked; not everyone has all the time in the world to find out what games are coming out. Some of my favorite games over the years are the ones that my friends had no intention of playing, or ones that they never knew knew existed. Many of them are downloadable, on services like Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, or more recently the 3DS eShop. These games tend to fly under the radar more than their retail counterparts due to the large number of them being released every week.
Today I’m going to highlight one of my favorites: VVVVVV
Indy developer Terry Cavanagh’s devious platformer is one of the best examples of what someone with immense amounts of talent can do without a lot of money. The basic idea is that you have the ability to press any button and flip the gravity so your character shoots to the top of the screen. You can also run. Those are the two things you are allowed to do, and the level design takes it to incredible levels of cleverness/insanity from there. The world is split up into separate sections you must visit, and each one has a new twist on how you operate within it. There is so much variety in how you solve the levels, if you have any curiosity of what can be done with a platformer, you HAVE to play this game.
I just completed this game for my second time (I just bought it again on the 3DS after finishing it on my PC earlier last year) and my final time was about an hour and 20 minutes. I still have collectibles to go through the world and get by completing even harder platforming challenges. I also have tons of user-created levels that all totaled will be longer than the original game itself.
The cleverness of the game extends well beyond the gameplay itself. Even if there wasn’t anything left to do, I would still replay old levels just to listen to Magnus (SoulEye) Pålsson’s wonderfully upbeat soundtrack. Really, it may be the best thing I’ve heard come out of my 3DS speakers yet. I also was fascinated that each screen within a level has a title. Be it a reference to a movie, another video game, or just an obscure joke, it really does help give the game even more of a unique style.
If you have any love of 2D platformers, I encourage you to try VVVVVV. Whether you’re buying it on the PC or the 3DS, you’ll be more than satisfied in what you get for your money. We need to support more people like this anyway, giving your measly $8 allows a small developer to make more things like this in a future. If Cavanagh makes anything but another pinnacle of excellence in the future, I’ll sure be surprised.
Image Source: store.steampowered.com