Tag Archive: greenlight

Below Kryll – The Piko Predicament by ArtixBot (12w6)

Steam Page || Official Site

Despite its name, The Piko Predicament doesn’t actually have all that much to do with piko plants beyond the fact that they initially block off access to some shurikens and slightly alter the shape of the level. The real star of the show here is the dark effect as it allows players to imagine for themselves what these overgrown ‘diseased plants’ look like while also somewhat hiding a few elements, such as spikes and climbable walls. The sole checkpoint in the level can only be accessed after you dispel the darkness and destroy the piko plants after making it to the shrine at the end. I normally don’t care much for levels which are frugal with their checkpoint distribution, but in this case I think it works out as the level is on the short side and basically consists of two medium-sized fights with a few easy encounters between them (the somewhat difficult jump in the lower-left room can be avoided until after activating the checkpoint).

Both of the encounters have something of a puzzle element to them and are likely to end poorly if you rush in. The first encounter starts with blood bats which need to be picked off with kunai or baited closer and then leads into a fight against a group of ‘bandits’ which are best dealt with by stunning them and picking them off one at a time. The second major encounter is probably the easier of the two and consists of frogs and bees on tiered platforms, which can quickly turn deadly if the bees aren’t taken out. With a design which looks great in shadows and in the light and encounters which encourage careful planning, The Piko Predicament makes for an all-around fun and challenging level.

Below Kryll – Cartless Mine Cart Ride by Luther-Dewott (19e11)

Steam Page || Official Site

With the introduction of grind rails a level like this was bound to be made. This stage sticks almost entirely to the basics to create a short grind rail course with some sharp turns and a few tight jumps near the end. Falling off of the rails results in almost certain death, but other than a handful of jump pads near the end the focus here is entirely on a single track devoid of enemies and branching paths. While I wouldn’t want to see this degree of simplicity in every grind rail level, in this case the stage’s simple nature works in its favor to create a quick and highly replayable experience. The racing flag at the start of the track is a particularly essential component which goes well with the straightforward approach to level design here as it allows this level to transform into an intense competition between players striving to shave off precious fractions of a second from their top times. A long or extremely difficult racing level would become a chore to go through multiple times, but here it is easy and painless to restart over and over for the sake of achieving a better time.

Blink the Bulb

Official Site || Steam Page

As much as I love the NES and the SNES, I’m still always happy whenever a clearly Genesis-inspired game like Blink the Bulb shows up. With bright and colorful visuals, massive levels with branching paths, and plenty of abilities to choose between and combine, Blink the Bulb puts some of the best qualities of Genesis platformers in the spotlight.
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Soulcaster: Part I & II

Official Site || Steam Page || Humble Store Page

The Soulcaster games are part tower defense and part Gauntlet without quite being either. Though MagicalTimeBean is better known for Escape Goat these days, the XBLIG launch of Soulcaster is what first put them on the map. With the PC bundle of the first two games in the series recently coming out on Steam and the third game scheduled to release next year, this is the perfect time to take a look at what makes these unusual games so great.
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Mute Crimson+

Official Site || Steam Page

What is black and white and red all over? No, it’s not a newspaper. It’s Mute Crimson+, a hard-as-nails action platformer dripping with style. Get ready to literally paint the town red as you cut a path through aliens and demons while pushing your ninja skills to their limits.
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