Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1156 deaths and counting

In vvvvvv, you play as the captain of an interdimensional spaceship. You and your crew are doing whatever it is that you constantly smiling dudes do when, oh noes! your spaceship crashes into what is presumably a planet lined with spikes and pitfalls in a dimension far far away. Your job now is to scour through and around this place in search of your stranded spaceshipmates, all of whom are named after colors that start with the letter 'v'.

That's Vitellary.

And after the extremely short introduction, you're tossed into uninterrupted, unadulterated platforming bliss, but the thing is, you can't even jump. Not even over that little box blocking that shiny trinket.

It's knee high, dude.
Instead, you're armed only with the ability to flip gravity's pull from the floor to the ceiling and back. But hey, it's more than enough as you traverse through the lonely, nearly animationless scenes. While graphically minimal, what vvvvvv lacks in visual flash, it makes up for in style.

Cavanagh has released many other games, but this one is just pure genius. Like many other indie platformers, vvvvvv limits you to a single game mechanic. Sounds like it'd get boring, right? Far from it. Cavanagh's imaginative brilliance is displayed in full with vvvvvv's level design.

The pacing is perfect, and while the game is quite tough, it isn't unforgiving. You'll learn to appreciate the checkpoint system and infinite lives because you will die. You'll die as you quickly ascend "The Tower." You'll die as gravity is constantly reversed and corrected all while trying to dodge flying geometric anaomolies in "The Gravitron." You'll die and scratch your head as your mind is sexually assaulted over the free-fall, screen wrapping madness. You'll die. You'll die over a thousand times before you complete the game, but the game is never painful. In fact, you'll love every second of it.

Yeah, sure you are.
Prepare yourself for an amazing auditory experience as well. Trust me. Leave the game music on. I typically mute in-game music and put on whatever it is I feel would fit, but for the love of Magnus Palsson, leave the music on. It blends 8 bit sounds and rhythms with contemporary electronic melodies creating a sort of retro-futuristic feel. Check the links for the soundtrack. It's good.

All in all, vvvvvv is definitely now one of my all time favorites. DIY lo-fi fo' lyfe.


Terry Cavanagh:

Magnus Palsson (musician):

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