Mr Brew was forging through the dark mine chamber, alert to danger. A spinning blade swung out of nowhere, which swished a few millimetres from his nose. Sweating a little, our intrepid hero inched further into the gloom. A sheer drop loomed up out of nowhere, catching Mr Brew off guard. He just managed to jump out of the way of the spikes at the bottom. The ledge which secured his safety was already occupied by a strange fellow wearing a cardboard box on his head, and toting a shotgun. After taking a painful burst from the boxy guy, Mr Brew managed to take him down.
Mr Brew had been following this passageway for about 15 minutes, trying to make his way to the objective, which the map showed was tantalisingly close. Health, or lack of it, was becoming an issue. A green-haired chick with a machine gun took a pop, forcing Mr Brew to take cover before taking her down with a bazooka. Then, with just a fragment of health remaining, he continued down the passageway to….a dead end. Mr Brew stopped in silence for a moment, then just stood still and laughed. He carried on laughing until an evil floating square eventually drifted in behind him and nibbled on his fleshy parts.
There is something quite special about having a game experience nobody has ever had. Whilst the majority of our gaming experiences are shared by thousands or millions, once in a while we get the opportunity to go somewhere, or do something unique. The game world within Platformines is randomly generated, depending on the name you assign the world.
My world of Brewtopia was an unsullied location, never touched by another living soul before me. So exploring cool places, and having strange events, like getting stuck at the end of a great long dead-end in Brewtopia adds an individuality that is quite refreshing. Randomly generated worlds are rarely perfect, but that is part of what makes them memorable. The small homely eccentricities of your own little variation.
Platformines is set underground in a network of mines. Imagine Terraria-style 2D platform exploration, but more connectivity between underground locations. Starting at a central hub and safe zone, you can venture outside into the dangerous mines to scavenge the parts you need to escape your subterranean lair. Any loot you collect from fallen baddies, or from metal deposits can be sold at the shop for money. Then with that money you buy more expensive gear, such as bigger guns and better shields.
With this better equipment, you can then explore further afield. The further from base you go, the more dangerous things become, so exploring the outer edges of the map can get almost suicidal at times. But it makes for a balanced difficulty progression, with early objectives being just a short jaunt away, and the later retrieval missions requiring marathon slogs through mines brimming with different ways for you to die.
The levels are frankly enormous. Although finishing the game took several hours, the map was still less than 25% explored by the time I had completed it. If you are one of those gamers with a compulsive desire to explore every corner, Platformines may be a little too much for you. With ‘retro’ blocky graphics, Platformines is not aiming for any graphical awards. But the selection of music tracks is very good indeed, helping to create an even more exciting atmosphere as you dance most frivolously with death.
The biggest possible criticism that could be lowered at Platformines is that there simply isn’t enough variety in what is expected of you. Every assignment involves retrieving something from around the map. So you explore, try not to die, get the vital piece, and teleport back to your hub. Then, when you have all the pieces, it’s game over.
It is certainly fun to lunge around the intriguing worlds of Platformines; there just isn’t enough to keep you around for long. But don’t underestimate the value of a few hours pleasant gaming. Create your own digital world, and enjoy creating a memory that nobody else has ever experienced in quite the same way. Just watch out for dead-ends. And evil nibbly squares.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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