Replay VHS is not dead is a unique game with a very retro vibe to it and that’s not just because of its 16 bit graphics but its the content it holds as well. The main plot revolves around the main character Martin who has decided to rent a few VHS tapes from his local rental store. As he walks home with his film choices and his TV remote, he is struck by lightning. As he gets home he puts on the first tape and a few of the scenes have been destroyed by the lightning. Then Martin is pulled into the TV with the tapes and now he works along side the characters from the films to restore the scenes and fix the tapes. Otherwise the cashier girl “Blue,” is going to be angry with him and take away his subscription card. We can’t let this happen to him.
The game is a fun retro style puzzle game. You get 4 chapters or tapes with 15 main levels to complete to move onto the next tape. Level 15 being the boss level, where you team up with all the characters from the film to defeat the boss. Each tape is a parody of classic 80’s films, such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Alien, Buffy the vampire slayer, the Ring and more. You end up teaming up with parodied characters like Ripley, Buffy and Indiana Jones to help them through their films and to fix the tapes. There are also keys in each level to collect and collecting them unlocks more levels to challenge yourself.
The game uses a unique system to complete the puzzles. You play through each level as our main protagonist and one or two additional characters. You must play as one of the characters and move items, open doors and stand on switches, then stop and rewind all the moves you have done and play as the other character(S). As you play the first character and complete the movements you made with them, now you must rewind the scene, undoing everything you have done. Then play as the next character and as you do, the first person you played as will make the same movements you made before.
Now you must time your movements to move items, unlock doors and so on to get both characters to their end goals. You can even fast forward on the scene to speed up recorded movements you have made. The main objective in each level is to get all characters to their film reel in each level. They use clapper boards on the screen for each character so you can track how much recorded movements you have and use this to coordinate your moves to the point.
The game has a unique amount of puzzles that really gets the player thinking and to get the timing right can be a challenge as you may need to use one person as a jumping point for another but hit a switch with that character quickly before another person is hit by lasers or walk in to a wall and wastes steps you made with them, that leaves them short of completing the path you made for them. Timing is key with this game and it might take you a minute or two of trial and error to workout what you need to do. It’s a satisfying feeling completing a level and the challenge you get keeps you interested in what they come up with next. There is a time system in place as well, granting you a gold, silver, bronze or “your best time” placements for how long it takes you to complete it. Giving you the replay ability (pun intended) to challenge yourself and do better on over 60 levels.
This is a fun indie game with a fun use of 80’s inspired pop culture references that makes you feel that it’s the 80’s again. The levels are challenging, with a rewarding feeling that makes you want to carry on and try to beat your time again and again. Available on the Nintendo store for your Wii U, its worth the time and notable for its creative gameplay, retro style and difficulty. Play, rewind and play again.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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