In the same way that titles such as Play As You Go can be confusingly poor, there are a number of indie games that, while not quite looking the piece, could pass as a concept for a full-priced game. Antipole is one such title, and while I wasn’t completely taken by the overall effort, the ideas are well worthy of note.
Antipole sees you take control of a kind of Moonwalker-era Michael Jackson type, complete with trilby and gun. As you platform your way through the levels, blasting the odd-looking creatures as you go, you’re reminded of any number of early platformers, both in the style and feel.
The twist here is that you have a recharging anti-gravity tool at your disposal that reverses gravity across the whole screen. This means that you can not only walk on the ceiling for a short time, but you can also send baddies to their deaths just by flipping a switch.
As a game it’s solid, streamlined, and about as well produced as an indie game can be. There is a somewhat unforgiving difficulty level with a few of the sections that I have played, and they smack of small lapses in concentration on the part of the developer rather than any kind of considered effort to slap a retro difficulty level on it, which I know many devs would have done.
This is something of an everyman’s title. It has that quirkiness to it that many will appreciate, as well as the nostalgia of an old-fashioned platformer. Indeed, I was somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed simply jumping from platform to platform with no nonsense. The enjoyment that Antipole offers is a very pure form of enjoyment. Whether you get your kicks from the nostalgia, or the cleanliness of the run-jump-shoot-flip-gravity mechanic, it’s considerable fun.
Of course, Antipole is still an indie game at heart, and simple fun only goes so far. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of it, but just because I enjoyed playing it, doesn’t mean it’s something to single out as a shining star of indie games. It represents the good ones, and that’s about it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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