Tag Archives: Platformer

Yoku’s Island Express review

Yoku’s Island Express combines pinball mechanics, platforming and adventure in a remarkably compelling and enjoyable package. Think Sonic Spinball meets Dizzy. Pinball flippers help you guide the dung beetle protagonist and his attached ball of dung around a diverse island environment. Meanwhile, the tale of a new postman unravels as you roll and crawl around the island dropping off mail in post boxes and otherwise helping the denizens of this remote land, a land steeped in mystery and lore. It’s fantastically entertaining and intriguing.

Indeed, it’s a clever melding of mechanics that works so well because of excellent level design. Starting on the beach you make your way through a forest, up in to the tree canape, a snow-covered mountain, a dusty desert and the dark, damp depths, all the while aiding the creatures you encounter and fulfilling your new role as the postman for the island. Crawling gets you across the flat areas but pinball flippers, and later an ingeniously appropriate fast travel system, handle the rest.

The right and left bumpers activate the blue and orange flippers you find to launch you up to new levels of elevation or propel you through tunnels and caves. It’s broken down into short walking sections, quick flipper propelled transitions to new areas, and full-blown pinball setups. Moreover, by progressing with the main story, as well as the personal stories of the denizens, you unlock more areas of the well-sized island play-area. Through new items, relationships with NPCs, and the currency of fruit you collect, new paths open up, allowing you to explore further.

As such, there’s also some Metroidvania backtracking to this style of exploration and unlocking of new abilities. Early on there are plenty of teases of collectables blocked by barriers that you can return to and collect later, and thanks to opportunities to spend your fruit to buy maps that mark the location of these collectables, you’ll seldom lose them entirely, although the map does fail to show you accurately what has and hasn’t been collected until you pass a save point and sometimes not until you approach that area.

Navigating to them, however, can be tricky. Despite a fast travel system being introduced in the later stages of the adventure it’s limited to where it can take you. The depths of the island are particularly difficult to get to and can lead to some frustration as you search far and wide for the right path. However, the island is also full of secret areas, ones that tend to reveal themselves during this practise of searching for the right path. It’s level of frustrating on you will largely depend on your sense of reward from these little secrets.

The main story and your other interactions with the flora and fauna cast is charming and very reminiscent of Dizzy titles. Largely you’ll be sent on fetch quests, but this feels perfectly appropriate considering your postman duties. Some more unique requests also crop up that take some extra thought, but they’re intuitive enough to fuel your intrigue and need to explore rather than truly task your grey matter. And indeed, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. The island is truly packed with content. This does mean that it’s a busy environment, but for the most part you’re kept to the critical path as the main story unfold, only afterwards does the island truly become open to you.

Indeed, if you enjoyed the 2D adventure games of yore then Yoku’s Island Express is ideal to scratch that itch, the addition of pinball mechanics for the majority of the movement is a lovely bonus. Moreover, it works splendidly, with the physics doing a bang-up job of making the pinball sections feel just right. They require some pinball wizardry too, with marks to hit and a timer to be wary of, largely in the form of exploding snails attached to your ball of dung, it’s terrific fun, a fairly unique melding of mechanics, and full of charm and smart design.

Thanks to Xbox and Team 17 for supporting TiX

Fe review

Fe (pronounced Fee-uh) is the first game to be published by EA under the EA Originals title, a way for Indie developers to get their work out to a wide audience whilst reportedly allowing the developer to keep close to 100% of the profits. After all the abuse that EA get for “ripping off” gamers, let’s hope they get mountains of praise for this initiative. The second game in this program is A Way Out, coming at the end of March.

Fe was developed by the Swedish-based studio, Zoink. The studio’s chief executive officer, Klaus Lyngeled, described the title as “a personal narrative about our relationship with nature” and to emphasize that “everything in this world is connected”. Fe sees you controlling the fox-like titular character through a forest that is being attacked by a race of beings called the Silent Ones. In what is essentially a 3D platformer, Fe learns new skills along the way by singing and interacting with other creatures in the forest.

One thing that strikes you about Fe once you start playing is the simplicity of the screen. There is no HUD, health bar or mini-map to be found. The entirety of the screen is the environment around you. The controls are very simple as well, with only movement and jumping required, along with RT being your singing button, probably the first time I have said that about any game! The RB button will bring up a map, and the LB button allows you to change the type of singing voice that Fe uses. There is no fighting here, being seen by a Silent One will result in pretty instantaneous death, so Fe needs to hide or climb in order to evade the enemy.

The singing element to Fe is probably one of the game’s most unique features. There are six different songs (or animal calls) to learn, and these are earned by completing the objective in a level. When faced with a new creature, a press of the RT button will start the singing and you will need to find a sweet spot on the analogue trigger to have a successful interaction. Learning the different songs will allow you to unlock new ways to traverse the forest. The owl call allows you to travel on the backs of owls, plus it also unlocks a green plant that you can throw at obstacles to destroy them. Learning the deer call will unlock a flower that gives you a boost of altitude when you fly over it. Simply ‘singing’ when near one of these plants or flowers will activate it. Stringing these movements together will obviously allow for a quicker traversal around each level, except the need to do so never really happens.

Visually Fe is a beautiful game to play. Although most objects in the world are quite obviously polygons they are all shaded in a colourful but monotone fashion. Even though this creates a warm, almost ethereal quality, it makes it very difficult to distinguish between levels. Although the game feels like one large map, in effect it is actually different levels with their own unique creatures and environments. Apart from the minor graphical nuances and different colour schemes between levels there’s not much more of a difference between them. After a while these do become very repetitive. With games of this ilk I often find myself delighted when you return to a previous area after learning new skills, which allow you to solve previously impossible puzzles. But there is none of that here. Fe feels like you are following a straight path from point A to point B with no chance to revisit previous areas in order to collect the items that you have missed. Unless it did, and because of the repetitive level design I just didn’t realise?

Obviously being a platformer there are collectibles to er, collect. Pink Gems are used to learn new skills and are obviously hidden around the levels in hard to reach places. In my playthrough I only unlocked two skills, but these allowed me to complete the game, so I am not sure if there is any incentive to collect them all? There are also hieroglyphics on rocks to uncover by, yes, singing to them, and there are also Silent Cubes which will release a memory of a Silent One for you to experience. Apparently there is an option to replay levels once the game has been completed, but after completing it I didn’t have the urge or patience to do so. And that is probably Fe’s biggest failing.

There are just too many times where I felt lost and disorientated with not a clue on what I needed to do to progress. Too many times I fell from a high-up position due to a clunky control system, and then had the long job of repeating that climb. The scene with the giant deer was a great example, as it took many attempts and there were many rage quits, as slightly misdirecting a jump was disastrous. This ruined a quite spectacular graphical scene, as all I could think about afterwards was missing those jumps. Another level saw many attempts to cross a lake by jumping into giant pink floating jellyfish (yes, really) and this was just an awful experience that I never want to replicate. To counteract that, some levels were just joyous as you jumped and glided along a pre-set path, and it felt completely natural. But these joyous moments were far too sparse.

And the story. I finished Fe, watched all the cutscenes and I am still completely clueless as to what happened. I don’t know why the Silent Ones were in the forest, or what their motivations were, and I am disappointed by that. After investing around eight hours I wanted a revelation or a pay-off.

One area that Fe does excel in is its audio. Obviously a game like this will live or die based on audio, and the sounds of the forest and the differing animal calls are wonderful, even when Fe is singing out of tune as you try to hit those sweet spots. However, although Fe is at times a beautiful experience, its too rough around the edges to warrant putting it into the same bracket as the likes of Limbo or Inside, both games that tell a story without the use of narration, just like Fe attempts to do.

Thanks to Xbox and EA for supporting TiX

FoxyLand review

Microsoft have created a new category within the Xbox store, the Creators Collection. Here, developers can release a game that doesn’t fully integrate with Xbox Live services, in particular achievements, goes through a quicker review process, and supports the Universal Windows Platform. It’s a great way for developers to digitally ship their game across Windows, Windows phone and Xbox One without the struggles of certification.

One such game in this limited library is FoxyLand, a devious puzzle platformer from BUG Studio that harks back to the 8 and 16 bit era of games. And while the challenge of conquering these levels won’t unlock achievements to boast about, the journey is certainly worth it. FoxyLand is a splendidly designed title that certainly deserves a look.

You play as a fox on a quest to save their beloved, which can only be done by collecting gems and cherries. Depending on how many gems you collect in a level determines your star rating out of three, the challenge is to achieve three stars on each of them. The cherries are used as currency to buy cosmetic items to adorn your fox or to even skip levels you’re finding them too difficult. It’s a neat option, especially in the later stages where death is a frequent bedfellow.

After some relatively simple levels to start you off, you’re thrust into some wildly difficult ones. Traps block your path and challenge you to pixel perfect jumping and timing to defeat them. And while the levels may be short, with no checkpoints comes plenty of restarts and frustration. However, there’s some excellent design going on here, with branching paths and risk/reward moments for the gems and cherries really tapping in to the completionist pull. There are some issues where waiting too long appears to disrupt the timing of moving traps a little but it’s otherwise a masterfully designed set of platforming levels.

Furthermore, the charming 16 bit aesthetic, complete with chip tune music, is wonderfully nostalgic, with some attractive pixel art helping to bring each level to life. Although, there is a lack of level variety, which is a shame. However, despite the odd nit-pick, FoxyLand still manages to impress. The fiendish level design is challenging enough to keep you on edge and compelling enough to keep you trying, and that’s a formula not every developer is able to synthesise.

Super Lucky’s Tale review

A lot is asked of modern 3D platformers, largely because the giants of the genre have perfected so many of the mechanics of these terrific adventure games. Bright and welcoming visuals and audio, intuitive and clever level design, likeable characters, tight and responsive controls, and a 3D camera that’s quick and easy to manoeuvre yourself but dynamic enough to follow you and twist and turn at the right moments. Super Lucky’s Tale only really gets some of these elements right, but despite the odd blunder with those it struggles with, it’s still an excellent 3D platformer.

You take control of an adorable fox, on a quest to defeat a family of fiendish felines as they mean to take control of an all-powerful book and take over the world. It provides enough of a narrative drive to push the experience forwards but it certainly lacks the chops to enthral you. Fortunately, it can take a back seat, offering the occasional opportunity for a gag from one of the cats or a tip from your sister in regards to mechanics. It’s the joy of platforming and collecting that truly keeps you coming back.

However, the joy of the platforming is frequently threatened by the aforementioned blunders with the mechanics. It can occasionally feel a little sluggish moving Lucky around, particularly when jumping. Additionally, the camera isn’t free moving and turns in fixed degrees. This can make some areas a little tricky to see and manoeuvre within. Fortunately, the areas you’re exploring are on the small side. Indeed, Super Lucky’s Tale provides themed hub worlds, with doors leading to small self-contained levels. It’s a smart design that helps mark your progress and makes the camera control less frustrating. Moreover, levels take on one of two forms: a 3D environment to explore or a 2D level to scroll through. There’s also variety beyond that, with levels offering different mini-quests, some triggered by denizens of each level and some automatic, such as fetching objects for characters or auto scrolling levels forcing you to react accordingly. It’s pleasantly varied.

We also encountered some performance issues when running on an Xbox One S. Switching to the Xbox One X, however, cleared that issue up completely and granted jaw droopingly crisp visuals to boot. This, however, did introduce a more novel problem: a sense of overwhelming. Super Lucky’s Tale is utterly crammed full of objects, flora and fauna, all beautifully animated and sporting vibrant colours. It makes each frame remarkably busy, offering such a huge array of things you can interact with it can be a bit too much to comprehend. Largely, these are in fact just decoration or destroyable objects hiding trinkets, the rest is superfluous but gorgeous, and a plausible reason for the frame rate issues on the older Xbox hardware. You do eventually get used to it, and despite it being initially overwhelming it’s a marvellous reaction to have to a game’s visual design.

At the core of the experience is collecting four-leafed clovers from each level, unlocking boss fights and defeating the gang of cats. Each level challenges you to find four clovers, each requiring different criteria to be completed. It’s a little on the obtuse side, initially, offering little clue as to how precisely to unlock each clover, but some trial and error soon fixes that. Even the controls are a bit of a mystery at first, with some of Lucky’s moves not explained at all. Indeed, Super Lucky’s Tale fails to fully explain its mechanics and world to you and it can be a little frustrating as you figure it all out on your own, but once it does all click, there’s no denying how much fun the experience is.

The collectathon compulsion is strong here, and completionists will find each missed clover tormenting. Moreover, the boss fights are locked behind collecting a certain number of clovers, pretty high amounts in fact, providing plenty of encouragement to replay levels and conquer their challenges. It makes what is essentially quite a short adventure a much longer one, but it doesn’t fall into the trap of padding so much as it feels like an experience designed around thorough, systematic level completion. It’s a design that forces a more linear progression than what’s typically found in the genre, which helps greatly with your quest to indeed complete the adventure one hundred percent. It’s a design quirk that won’t work for everyone, but for those looking for a 3D platformer with a stricter structure, it’s ideal.

Thanks to Xbox and Playful for supporting TiX

Planet of the Eyes review

Planet of the Eyes is described as ‘Limbo in a colourful world’ and that covers this narrative led platformer very well. It delivers an intriguing tale punctuated by trial and error moments, with a simple but effective aesthetic accompanying its short run time. And while, at times, it unabashedly clones elements from Limbo, by the end it does just enough to differentiate itself and make the experience interesting and enjoyable on its own merits.

You are a robot, having survived a crash landing on a peculiar alien planet and having discovered an audio message from your creator that compels you to explore. Further audio messages are obtained throughout your adventure and fill in more of the backstory, hint at dangers to come and help build your relationship to the mute machine you control. It’s a well-told story that really comes into its own by the end.

Platforming is the order of the day, with some very light puzzles moments, and much like Limbo, death is a frequent visitor as you wander into danger unknowingly, then take that lesson with you the next time you try that and similar sections. It can feel a bit cheap to have the ground suddenly become unstable, or a boulder come careening towards you from off screen, or an alien organism grab hold and eat you, but checkpoints are abundant and the game doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to reviving you. It’s smooth and fast throughout and the deaths are less frustrating due to it.

While Planet of the Eyes is described as ‘colourful’ it’s more subtle than that suggests. The immediate area around you is subdued with different gradients of blue to indicate darkness, meanwhile the background takes on all manner of brighter colours but to an almost voxel aesthetic of alien geography. It’s different and alien enough to sell you on this being a strange planet yet elegantly simplistic. Interiors get a little more complicated, fitting the growingly complex narrative that’s unravelling around you, but the 2D assets never really convince you of any depth.

Unfortunately, Planet of the Eyes only keeps you entertained for a mere hour or two, depending on general ham-handedness. Meanwhile, many of the environment and enemy encounters feel directly pulled from Limbo rather than unique to this title. There are a few instances of originality in the latter half of the game, and the final section is superb, throwing some more engaging puzzles at you and asking you to perform more complex and rewarding platforming feats.

Indeed, Planet of the Eyes is an enjoyable little adventure that ultimately feels too familiar in the first instance, and by the time it shows you something new and interesting it’s over. If you’re in the mood for some trial and error platforming with an intriguing story then Planet of the Eyes delivers a bite-size taste that might satiate you for now.

Thanks to Xbox and Cococucumber Games for supporting TiX

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap review

Sega aficionados will certainly remember the Wonder Boy titles. Platforming gems from yesteryear that consisted of clever level, enemy and mechanics design. Indeed, these titles are fondly remembered and for good reason. The third title in the series, The Dragon’s Trap, was a particularly celebrated entry, and this splendid remastering allows veterans and newcomers to enjoy it with precisely the kind of modern refinements you’d expect. And despite some inherited issues stemming from the original game still being present, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is another terrific remaster of a classic that absolutely deserves to be played.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a short game but one with enough complexity to put up a stiff challenge and consume many hours of your time. It’s a combat platformer that eschews tricky jumping for strategically placed platforms, falls, enemies and obstacles. Indeed it’s more akin to a Metroidvania title than a traditional 2D platformers, with the world open to explore if you possess the abilities and knowledge of how to get to each area. The difficulty comes in the form of understanding how to progress and overcoming the fiendish enemies.

A wonderfully simple story sets your adventure up, however, it’s told essentially in reverse. The hero has reached the end of their journey and you immediately faceoff against a fearsome dragon boss, only to be cursed at the moment of your victory, transforming you into a dragon yourself. You must now seek a cure to this ailment, wandering through different parts of the world, all the while transforming into new beasts each time you defeat a boss. It’s inventive and refreshing, both now and back when it was originally released.

Quirky NPCs help guide your way in their own silly and charming manner, whether it’s the bored anthropomorphised pig who can sell you weapons and armour, or the comically irritated nurse who encourages you to get hurt more frequently so to charge you more for her care. It’s smile inducing, light humour within a vibrant world, which sees you visit a wide variety of different biomes, is charmingly immersive, made even more so by the spectacularly hand-drawn visuals.

However, don’t let the cute visuals deceive you, behind it all is a challenging adventure. Your lack of patience is used against you time and time again, with enemies following a variety of different movement and attack patterns to challenge your attentiveness. Learning their quirks and defeating or avoiding them takes practice, and a lapse in concentration can easily kill you, forcing you back to the town area and often leaving you with a lengthy trek back to where you fell. This can make the journey arduous and frustrating. The abilities of the creature you currently have the form of can elevate this somewhat, and collectable special items can give you a boost in combat, but it’s so very easy to lose your heats that make up your health, with new bosses, areas and enemies constituting a considerable threat the first time you encounter them.

Furthermore, there’s a lack of direction and purpose to the adventure, beyond that of the overall quest to cure the curse. Vague tips from the fortune-teller in the hub town can point you in the right direction if you can decipher them but otherwise It’s difficulty to decide where to explore and how to access particular areas, forcing trial and error approaches that can hurt the fun. This can be especially frustrating as the deaths begin to pile up due to the stiff challenge. This is an unfortunate side-effect from remastering older games that could have used some attention. However, otherwise the respect for the original game is exceptionally nostalgic and enjoyable to witness.

You can switch between the old, pixelated visuals of the original title and the new, wonderfully hand-drawn visuals instantly at the touch of a button. You can also switch between the original sound effects and music and the new versions. It’s a neat trick that we’re seeing more and more of in remasters but it’s a superb visual and audio comparison between the old and the new to really tap in to the nostalgia.

Indeed, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a fantastic combat focused platformer, offering a short but impressively clever adventure with a stiff enough difficulty to test your patience and focus. Sure, these same elements are also the source of the majority of frustration you may suffer but overall it’s worth it.

Thanks to Xbox and DotEmu for supporting TiX

Disney Afternoon Collection review

Many of us were raised on the Disney cartoons of the 80s and early 90s. We’d while away the hours watching the likes of Donald Duck, Darkwing Duck and Talespin. The game adaptations of these cartoons on the NES were surprisingly well put together titles, sporting clever mechanics, tight controls and challenging adventures. Now you can relive your digital adventures with these classic Disney games, or finally get to try them if you missed out. And thanks to excellent emulation with added features, they’re more accessible and enjoyable than ever.

The Disney Afternoon Collection is a selection of nostalgic drenched NES titles from Capcom, including two Ducktales games, two Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers games, Darkwing Duck and Talespin. The six games represent the golden age of 8bit platformers, with smart level design, simple objectives, yet challenging enemy placement and enemy quantity.

The Ducktales title’s standout feature is their non-linear level design, allowing you to explore multiple paths across densely populated levels with a pleasantly surprising amount of verticality. Meanwhile, the Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers title’s challenge you to conquer a level without an attack, instead you must pick up items to throw at enemies or dodge them altogether, making for a unique platforming experience. Darkwing Duck feels far more traditional, with platforming and shooting making the title feel like a Disney branded Mega Man title and offering a refreshing change of pace as well as combat abilities. Finally, Talespin’s side-scrolling shooting from the titular plane offers another nice departure from its bundled brethren, although this is easily the least enjoyable title from the collection, with the slow movement and combat paired with peculiar level design failing to fit with the mechanics. Overall, it’s a brilliantly diverse set of titles that offers unique challenges to test even the most veteran platforming connoisseurs.

However, to help combat the striking difficulty is the rewind function. This allows you to simply rewind time, making an otherwise fatal mistake a mere possible future in your time travelling escapades. It’s a neat feature that we’re seeing more and more with HD remasters of older titles, and it allows these classics to maintain their archaic lives systems while offering a more contemporary checkpoint-esque solution. There is also a save function, but its use is limited per level. In addition, there are visual options to help re-create the look of these titles from their NES days or sharpen them up for modern displays, as well as a Boss Rush and Time Attack mode for those looking for an even stiffer set of challenges. Meanwhile, digital version of each title’s manuals as well as some history and art work, makes this collection more than just a solution for playing these classics on modern hardware but also turns it into a museum piece for collectors.

Being able to play these classics, these points of inspiration for so many titles going forwards, is a delightful treat. They don’t entirely hold up to the nostalgic memory for those who played them back in their original form, but the added extras and the wonderful chip tune tracks are sure to put a smile on your face. Meanwhile, for those less versed in these titles, this is an excellent way to see what all the fuss was about. Indeed, there’s some fun to be had here and the history behind the titles is interesting, but a stiff challenge and some archaic design isn’t going to impress everyone.

Thanks to Xbox and Capcom for supporting TiX

Jump Stars review

Cast your mind back about, say, 30 years or so, I can’t remember that far back and some of you probably weren’t even alive. There was a massive blockbuster film starring Arnie called The Running Man, ring any bells now? The plot was that contestants of a game show had to escape with their lives by killing each in order to win. Well that is basically the plot of Jump Stars. You’re prisoners in a game show and you have to work as a team to progress but selfishly to survive. It’s The Running Man for kids.

The game is small in comparison to most so I feel like I’m cheating you a bit with this review, therefore my two kiddywinks and I sat and had a play through of Jump Stars to test the multiplayer aspect of the game. It was fun, lots of fun. Watch the video below.

Jump Stars is a party game for 2 – 4 players, altogether there are 10 mini games that you have to master in order to get top dog status. There are around 20 different characters to select from 5 different character types. They all do the same thing so it’s purely cosmetics only. Jump Stars is probably one of the most colourful games I’ve ever seen and it’s clear that fun is the aim of the game. Your character has the ability to jump, punch left and right and also punch up. Each stage has a common goal for you all to work towards, get enough point and after a series of games you and your team get to face The Gauntlet which is a side scrolling obstacle race.

Jump

To face The Gauntlet you need teamwork but also to survive you need to be selfish and make sure to make the requirement of each mini game. It’s clear that Jump Stars is all about the multiplayer aspect, be prepared for some falling out with each other but on the flip side of that be prepared for some great laughs and challenges for you and your team to complete. Each mini game is unique, from having to collect pies to stay fat, to jumping as fast as you can up a scrolling level. Sounds quite easy but it’s not because every so often a modifier card is played by the host and this switches things up slightly. This could include slowing players down to flipping the whole stage upside down adding a bit of confusion into the mix.

Jump

If you’ve watched the video then there’s not really much else to say; the game is accessible to all ages and plays extremely well. The whole Mafia family have played Jump Stars now and all of us left with a smiles on our faces. It’s not a game that will keep you occupied for hours and hours due to its limited mini-game content but it will offer you and your team and healthy chance to kick each other’s backsides and show each other who is the boss.

Jump

Jump Stars is brought to us by Jamit Games and they have created the perfect “just one more go” type of game. Small in size and definitely one to go back to again and again. Why not have a few beers while playing it, obviously not with the kids, but Jump Stars will definitely get the older generation’s coordination going.

Thanks to Jamit Games and Xbox for supporting TiX

 

Human: Fall Flat review

Protagonist Bob in Human: Fall Flat is akin to a toddler learning to walk. He haphazardly stumbles around the environments, bumping into objects and clinging on to them like a drunk trying to steady himself. It’s delightfully humorous and charming, and when he drops from a significant height and crumples to the floor with theatrical, squishy ragdoll physics – suggesting he possesses no bones whatsoever – it’s hard not to concoct more and more dangerous activities for poor Bob to undertake, just for fun. Indeed, that’s a large part of the fun, but there’s a physics puzzle game here as well, one that’s brief but clever and funny enough to leave a lasting impression.

The colourless, devoid of detail, anthropomorphic blob that is Bob is essentially a crash test dummy for you to experiment with. The environments are equally devoid of details, with block colours on austere textures but it’s a unique aesthetic that’s easy on the eyes. With an editor, you can personalize Bob to your heart’s content, and let your creative juices flow somewhat, but the visuals quickly take a back seat to the physics.

Human: Fall Flat’s objective is to solve a set of puzzles and platforming challenges in order to reach the end of the level, with each level sporting a different theme, such as a building site, a mountain pass, and a medieval castle. You don’t really control Bob per se, instead you try to steer him around the environment, moving objects, pulling and pushing levers and switches, and otherwise clearing the way to the exit. It starts off simple, with a couple of tutorial levels teaching you the basics, before larger, more complex levels really start to get your grey matter working. Experimenting with the environment and Bob to see just what can be done within the physics engine encourages you to explore the environments and discover multiple methods to master the madness.

Indeed then, it’s a humorous game and bringing a friend along for some coop fun takes it up a notch, as you uncontrollably giggle your way through each level. But whether alone or with a friend, Human: Fall Flat remains fun and intriguing, and while Bob is sure to fall off cliffs, get squished with boulders, and make suffer less than graceful trips and falls a few too many times, figuring out the puzzles and making it to the exit is hugely satisfying. Meanwhile, the puzzles can often be solved multiple different ways, adding some replayability and a spark of creativity to your play-through.

Human: Fall Flat is a charming physics platformer and puzzler but also a very short one. The multiple solutions to puzzles as well as the coop mode offer some replayability, and the pacing ensures the concept and humour don’t out stay their welcome, but still it’s all over with disappointingly swiftly. However, it’s certainly an afternoon well spent.

Thanks to Xbox and Curve Digital for supporting TiX

Voodoo Vince Remastered review

Cast your mind back 14 years. If you’re anything like me then remembering yesterday is a task. Voodoo Vince was released on the original Xbox and has been sat, gathering dust on the developer’s shelves all this time. Beep Industries have however, given the Clayton Kauzlaric title a bit of a polish and released it back to the masses.

I haven’t played the original but remember it being released. PC gaming had most of my attention back then but I’m glad I have a chance to play now in all it’s HD glory. The video below is the review of Voodoo Vince Remastered so give it a watch and see if you agree. Don’t forget to subscribe to the TiX YouTube channel for streams, games and more reviews.

Thanks to Beep Industries and Xbox for Supporting Tix