review
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POSTED 24/6/11


THE ADVENTURES OF SHUGGY

Smudged Cat Games
Xbox 360/XBLA

Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na Batman! No, wait... na-na-na-na – fuck this is getting expensive, have you seen the price of bananas lately? – Bartman! Umm, neither actually – although the star of The Adventures of Shuggy, not surprisingly Shuggy, looks similar and is batty. That’d be due to his being a vampire and all. Sheesh, keep up!

This here’s an indie game, which usually means puzzles or platforming. Generous sods that Smudged Cat are, they’ve combined both styles to spurt out a classically-styled romp that’s more diabolical than holy sudden incapacitation.

Shuggy (the game, not the character – we’re too indolent to type ‘The Adventures of’ over and over) may look familiar – the kind of ’80s-esque platformy environment Mario or Manic Miner would feel all pipe and slippers in – but start playing and several refreshingly, erm, refreshing ideas for the platform genre start boinging about. Who’s that stylish-looking fellow? It’s a ghost Shuggy, and he’s aping your earlier moves. But don’t touch him or BE-ZORRRRP! Whassat? The level just rotated – erp! Now there’s lotsa Shuggy – all on different planes. Ooh, this level lets you spin the screen at will. It’s all in the name of something another ’80s legend, Rockford, would dig (both in the literal and hippie senses of the term) – scoring diamonds.

There are over 100 levels of increasingly angst-inducing puzzles that – mostly - skate the right side of the frustration line, luring you back for more rather than inspiring the hurling of a controller across the room, it bouncing off the pantry, hitting the tiles, ricocheting into the couch then sproinging into the teev. Shit. Shit!

Shuggy isn’t the prettiest (character/game, take your pick), but unlike another ugly duckling indie, Super Meat Boy, the gameplay more than makes up for cosmetic deficiencies.

Innovation in an ’80s throwback platformer? Holy sudden infatuation!

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.