Before I got around to playing The Last of Us, I found a fun little sink published by one of new best friends of indie developers everywhere. Adult Swim Games’ move from the flash game market to publishing games on Steam was unexpected but their propensity for getting simple but fun games straight onto Steam without going through the hit-and-miss Greenlight system benefits both the developers and gamers.
Their second release on Steam is another upgrade of an Adult Swim flash game. Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe might be a bit of a misnomer but that doesn’t make Andrew Morrish’s creation any less delightful to play.
I call Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe a bit of a misnomer because of the big shooter element that marries up with the puzzle element. It does at time feel a bit more like an action platformer than a puzzle platformer but there are definitely some puzzle elements in the game.
The objective of SPPD isn’t so much solving the puzzle as surviving as long as possible and rack up as many points as possible. Blocks of varying colours drop into the puzzle which you have to avoid through some quick platform. To score points, you shoot the blocks. If blocks of the same colour are adjacent to each other, you can shoot them to eliminate the whole group of blocks.
If it was as simple as that, it wouldn’t be a terribly fun game. At the bottom of the level is a row of spikes that will kill you instantly. Sometimes, the game will drop seven blocks at a time which makes your ability to not get trapped important in an eight column wide level. Just for fun, the game will sometime drop hazards instead of blocks like chainsaws, cannons, Easter Island heads that shoot lasers and fire wands, among other death traps.
There are three game modes to SPPD. There’s your standard single-player described above. There’s no story to the big single-player mode. You have six different levels to play which feature different hazards that make each level feel unique from the rest. There’s a local multiplayer mode which is your standard competitive mode. Finally, there is a challenge mode which is made up of short (60 seconds or less) levels where you have to survive a bombardment of a single hazard until time is up.
In addition to the various hazards and levels, you can play as different characters with different stats. The default is a cape wearing character that has a slow fall ability but you can also play as the very fast double-jumping ninja character who shoots shurikens or another character who dual-wields his guns. There are eight different characters in total with their own special ability. I would consider this the ability to find a character you’re comfortable with rather than a replayability factor but some people might go back to try new characters.
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is super in terms of graphics. The graphics and sound look like what you’d expect on a 16-bit console like the Super Nintendo. Calling it “Super” is only appropriate. The graphics aren’t going to set the world on fire but they look pretty good for a 16-bit puzzle game. The soundtrack is a real highlight of the game with a quick rhythm that never gets grating regardless of how long your play sessions get.
I went into Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe expecting a little time waster that I could jump into as a warm-up or cool-down game while getting into The Swapper or Gunpoint (reviews coming eventually). Instead, I found a game that I kept coming back to and putting off playing The Swapper or Gunpoint for SPPD. It’s fun and dangerously addicting. If you want a fun and cheap way to sink more hours than you expect, this is the puzzle platformer for you.
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is available for Windows PC. Your impression of the game may differ based on PC specs.
Cross-posted from et geekera.