Saturday, May 02, 2009

What's Your Rush?

I just played Blurst's newest release: Paper Moon. Go ahead, have a go, it's free. It's a very basic platformer. The twist is that you can pop select pieces of the scenery in and out. These bits are either behind, on level with, or in front of the scene.

This means that jumping puzzles can have an added element where you have to jump and then pop the next platform into place. The neat part comes when enemies start showing up. You can pop scenery in to bump the baddies out. bump them forward and they fly at the screen with a satisfying Bop! Be careful not to do it to yourself though.

Not that death really hurts. The game has no lives. You spend most of the time collecting fruit and navigating the simple areas. There are some physics puzzles, but they didn't seem too complicated. Being bumped off screen, touching baddies, or falling into bottomless pits makes you respawn at the last checkpoint you passed. These are fairly frequent, so any setback is minor.

The issue I have with the game is the completely unnecessary timer which results in Game Over when it runs out. There really isn't any story to the game (it's losely inspired by the song "It's Only a Paper Moon") so I don't know what the motivation to hurry is. I'd rather spend my time exploring and collecting fruit. And dying, I do that a lot.

Why are you making me hurry through your game? I want to play it again because I want to see more of it. But I also probably won't because my skill level means that I probably won't see that much more of it anyway.

This could have been a wonderful casual platformer with a slick graphics and a nice gameplay twist. I could have killed a couple of hours on it exploring every nook and cranny. As much content as you put into it, I would have searched out. But instead you timed me and only got my 5 minutes. It was only a paper moon.

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