Andrew Morrish’s Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is a brilliant yet devious puzzle game, published by Adult Swim games. This illegitimate spawn of Tetris and bejeweled seems simple enough, with its falling blocks and you using your characters abilities as best you can to navigate and destroy as many of those pesky cascading blights as you can. However, I have spent hours on a single level, repeating the mantra of “just one more time” in vain as I fail yet again to best my previous score. In essence a frustratingly addictive game.
The idea of the game is to collect as many gold pieces as you can to upgrade your weapon in each level as you dodge colourful blocks that drop from above and try not to get hit by any unexpected hazards or spikes. You get to play as a multitude of different characters from the outfits that you wear, a wee bit Mario-ee but I liked being able to be a pirate and a ninja in the same game. Each costume has its own abilities, such as double jumping or dual weapons, as well as their own type of weapon i.e The pirate goes punch happy and the ninja throws the stereo typical ninja throwing(death?) star.
Each level plays mostly the same, you dodge falling blocks with your character and you try to destroy as many blocks as you can before you die, which you inevitably will. This can be said of most games though, they all play basically the same. What makes this game challenging are the unique hazards in each level. For example the Mansion is haunted and will send Ghosts and Skeletons your way. There are also random events in some levels, such as the volcano level where magma will shoot into the air from below you, or the magma level will raise. These events and the hazards keep each level fresh and stop the game from becoming stale.
Like Tetris, this game has the “just a few more tries” factor. At one point in a game you could be destroying your previous scores, then you end up dying an unfortunate death. Then when trying again you barely scrape 500 points. Most of you will be easily be able to hit 1000 points, but
the games preset highscores are easily surpassed, but the world-wide highscores are a different matter entirely. Those will have you playing the game into the early hours trying to topple even the lowest of the highscores. Personally I have yet to reach half the lowest score, but that just spurs me on as I am used to these kind of games being competitive.
The game look is brilliant, it has a retro feel to it but doesn’t try to have too much detail. The basic nature of the protagonists shape fits the form of the game, as the antagonist is the level not the falling blocks of doom. The levels are a playful antagonist though as they give you hints as to when they are going to attack with their special moves. This is done in the form of a red alert, so to speak, as just before you are crushed by a drill or set ablaze from a shot of magma the levels border is surrounded by a faint red light. You would think this an advantage to the player, yet I have found that its more like an alert to panic. As ignorance is bliss, so too do I play better when I set my focus solely to the playable area.
The in-game music is fantastic at setting the mood of the game, it follows the retro theme of the game and changes depending on the situations that arise during play. When you pick up the invincibility star, the games funky tune is replaced with a
tune which determines how long you are invincible. You will learn this tune very quickly, and know exactly when to jump back to safety.
My hindrances with this game are few and cannot be truly used against the game. The first is that, in essence the game is pretty much the same all the way through. However, as I said earlier any puzzle game is at its heart the same all the way through. So I say bring on more block filled levels for me to destroy with my laser guns, punches or ninja death stars. My second gripe is that the controls are not initially explained to the player, and you have to remap the controls to make full use of the game. Basically, up down left right for movement. Space to shoot your basic weapon, and I chose W as my secondary weapon. As you can tell I am a PC player and I like them RPG controls.
This game is fantastic and I can easily recommend it to anyone. Its unpredictable nature keeps you looking all over the level for your way to survive, this isn’t truly a game its a training manual for life – except you are less likely to be faced with canons and ghosts in real life. It addictive nature and inherent competitiveness behind it make it a long-lived game and will be enjoyed by most.