Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Suggested Gaming: VVVVVV (Now on Steam!)

During the first half of this year Terry Cavanagh released his game “VVVVVV” a PC exploration-based, fast action platformer and this week it has finally come to Steam for a ridiculously low, low price of five dollars. Personal opinion: It was well worth the original asking price. Stating the obvious: You would be an idiot not to buy it now.

VVVVVV is one of the most charming games I have ever played. You act as the adorable captain of a spaceship trapped in a time-space vortex and searching for the lost crew so you can make a daring escape with no man left behind. This simple plot is aided by the game’s aesthetic. The characters all look the same but with different colored bodies, all perpetually smiling (unless sad, then they have a very cute gawking frown). Helping them would seem natural even without the fairly thin story guiding you.

The world you navigator through is bright neon and covered in lethal traps and vague, abstract enemies. It helps to show just how broken the universe is at the point you have somehow reached, especially when comparing this torn-apart corner of space with your harmlessly kawaii characters. Since you are not a threatening figure the only skill you have at your disposal is shifting gravity – No jumping, no weapons, just shifting gravity. You never fight and never hurt. In fact, the only thing your kindly captain seems to care about is helping others.

This provides a good few hours of clever puzzles to get through with very little penalty and lots of smart level design. Check-points are generously planted throughout each region and there is no pause between death and resurrection making it easy to try and try a particularly problematic puzzle repeatedly. Frustration is possible, but every aspect from the bizarre to the quirky to the forgiving make the difficulty acceptable (more-so than insanely challenging classics like Battletoads or Mega Man).

You will have fun playing VVVVVV. You should buy VVVVVV and support its creator because this is a great game. Now that it is on Steam FOR FIVE DOLLARS (and 10% off the first week, so less than five dollars) there is no excuse to be ridiculously prudent with your small change. Get it and enjoy it because you should and you will!

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