Reviews»Indie Games»Super Puzzle Platfor…
2013-07-02_00001
Kareem Ali 3.5

Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe

 

  • The good

    Satisfying experience when you can destroy a number of blocks at once and survive long enough to collect necessary items

  • The bad

    Initial start, not a truly memorable experience and the limitations of a platformer puzzle game show

  • The ugly

  • Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is an indie block puzzle game developed by Andrew Morrish and Adult Swim Games. It’s a combination between a platformer and a falling blocks puzzle game featuring a character who shoots projectiles to destroy these blocks while avoiding various hazards. It’s an interesting concept as it takes all the usual elements of a platformer and confines it to a puzzle game level. And you have to collect diamonds in order to unlock the next board and advance to the final level. So it’s not enough to just avoid the falling blocks and the other hazards because in order to survive long enough you have to destroy them to collect the resulting woodchips and diamonds. Can you survive long enough to collect all the necessary diamonds to unlock and complete the final board?

     

    GAMEPLAY

    I play a variety of games for different reasons and as a result there are different expectations. There are those whose simple gameplay I enjoy because it’s perfect for unwinding or passing the time and this is where puzzle games can usually fall in my game playing routine. I admit that the first time I played Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe I wasn’t sure where it could fit.

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    Although the concept of this game isn’t one that’s difficult to grasp, the fact it is a puzzle platformer that doesn’t lay out the goal or the way to advance in a very clear manner to start made me feel slightly turned off from it initially. It’s a really good thing that I decided to play more of it at another team because I started to appreciate its gameplay more and there’s relatively a lot here. And even though it has its flaws  it’s still one that I have been able to enjoy from time to time.

    As mentioned earlier, it has all the usual elements of a platformer so your character can jump, shoot a projectile and can acquire objects during game play that affects the survival of the character. And there are up to 8 characters that you can unlock and their jump, power, speed and special ability are different. One character has the ability of double jumping but less power. Another one has a jetpack but moves slowly. How to unlock each character is spelled out on the character select screen. This can change your experience drastically and it’s not so much that one has an advantage over the other but which one you become more comfortable with using. Unlike a regular platformer it’s not about getting from one location to another but about how long you can survive and avoid the hazards which appear on the board. So for example, I preferred the character that could double jump because even though the power was less I could avoid hazards faster and double jump so I wouldn’t get trapped behind a stack of blocks. But you don’t just have to avoid falling blocks or worry about being trapped behind a stack of blocks forever because you can destroy them by shooting them. As a matter of fact, it’s a necessity and this is where the puzzle aspect of the game is at play.

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    If there are two or more adjacent blocks that are the same color then shooting them will destroy all of those blocks at once. The time it takes depends on your character’s power. You have to be careful because you don’t want to destroy the blocks you’re standing on if there’s nothing else between you and the lava at the bottom of each level because that’s instant death. Destroying blocks not only gives you points but leaves behind gembits for you to collect. By collecting these gembits you level up, which increases your strength and score multiplier and also build up your resistance to falling blocks so you don’t die instantly when hit. However this only applies to that particular game and resets when you die. One of the problems is no matter how many you collect there are still some hazards that kill you with one hit regardless. I understand that is used to maintain the necessary danger in each board but reducing the bar by more than half or close to death could’ve led to a longer gaming experience on each board.

    But you’re not completely powerless against these falling hazards, which consists of spikes, cannons, links of fire and other objects, because if you destroy a block that is adjacent to one of them then you destroy them as well. And I have to admit it is a satisfying feeling when you’re destroying a ton of blocks and destroy one of these hazards too. It’s very enjoyable when you get on a roll and this is the main reason the abrupt death from one hit before you can get on a roll takes away from the experience. There is a random star that falls and you can power up and almost feel invincible during its duration.

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    There are 6 boards and in order to unlock the next one you have to collect a certain number of diamonds first. You don’t have to collect all of them in one try so you can die as many times as you want before collecting the required number. However you do have to survive long enough each turn for these diamonds to appear. And each board is different and not just in terms of the name or the graphics but in the hazards faced. It gets increasingly difficult and presumably your skill in this game increases as well. So you don’t just worry about hazards that kill you with one hit falling from the top but coming from below and shooting at you from the sides too. Successfully acquiring the required number of diamonds can either feel rewarding or like a chore depending on your skill level.

    There is also a challenge mode and a multiplayer mode. The challenge mode has different boards that have to be unlocked and have simple names such as spikes, cannons and fireballs and are much harder than the boards in the single player. For example, in the fireballs board you have to survive for a minute while avoiding fireballs shooting out of various cannons. If you’re a glutton for punishment or just have patience then you might accept the challenge and observe the patterns to last long enough. I found it to be tedious as opposed to being more challenging in an enjoyable way. And the multiplayer mode is only local so unless you have someone you’re willing to share a keyboard with then the multiplayer mode won’t be of much use.

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    SUMMARY

    Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is an interesting concept with decent results. It’s successful in the sense that you can’t play the game as either just a platformer or as a puzzle game and get far, however it doesn’t come off as a very gripping experience. I think it would have benefited from having simple instructions in the beginning to clarify the gameplay a bit more initially and create a better first impression. I did enjoy playing it at times and I can see myself playing it at times in the future for a quick, mindless gaming puzzle fix so I can only recommend it as such after one play through. If you’re a huge falling puzzle game lover and looking for a new experience don’t let the platformer elements turn you off and give it a try.

  • Gameplay ( 7 )
    Graphics ( 6.5 )
    Sound Quality ( 7.5 )
  • Total score 7.0

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