Creator: Terry Cavanagh
Things You Might Like
- Interesting retro visuals
- Brilliant(ly hard?) platforming
- Great use of gravity inversion
- Simple controls
- Tiny little story that just manages to work
- Retro soundtrack reminiscent of the Atari/NES
- Free Demo (Try it first!)
Things You Might Not Like
- Graphics can wear on your eyes
- Soul crushing platforming puzzles
VVVVVV (or The Letter V Six Times) is an original and entertaining platformer sporting simple graphics and offering challenge to anyone calling themselves gamers.
4 out of 5 Dimensions Torn Asunder
VVVVVV is a new game with an old heart. A 2D retro-inspired platformer, VVVVVV sings its siren song to fans of old-school graphics and those that love a good challenge. I’m sure we all remember the days of MegaMan or any other NES game where the big obstacles were spikes. Is there a flat surface? It’s probably covered in spikes. Well, VVVVVV takes that classic idea and runs with it.
The Captain of an interdimensional ship, your character, Veridian, and his crew get caught in some sort of spacial event that completely messes with the ship and strands you in a sort of limbo. As the brave leader, you are responsible for finding your crew and restoring order. This is where the spikes come in, along with the game’s primary mechanic: gravity manipulation.
Now, before you get all pumped, you can only affect gravity on yourself. Essentially, this means you are going to be bounding from floor to ceiling in order to save your crew. This mechanic is incredibly fun. There’s no jump button, so your only method of traversing the ship and the area around it is through gravity manipulation. So cool! …and here come the spikes.
The world around you, as well as parts of your ship, has surfaces plastered with spikes. You’ll have to avoid them to get your job done. Fair warning: You will die. A lot. The game’s primary focus is akin to the old NES game I mentioned before: memorizing levels to survive them. You will experience a number of tragedies, all of which are impalement related. Careful maneuvering and a good memory are all that will carry you through this ordeal. Oh, and lightning fast reflexes. It’s worth noting here that since the developer was not an unholy demon, there are MANY save points, usually located right before difficult passages. Respawning takes no time at all and you’re back to dying on spikes before you know it.
Despite how soul crushingly hard VVVVVV can be, one cannot help but be drawn in by it. Fans of classic games for back when ‘kids weren’t so weak’ will love the challenge presented. As someone who grew up on ‘real games,’ I can tell you that VVVVVV called out to me. I spent hours trying to traverse its labyrinthine structure to save my crew. Fortunately, the game includes an overworld map crafted in the Castlevania/Metroid style. In addition to the map, there are teleporters to help you get around the ‘world’, as well as the ability to teleport back to the ship’s bridge at any time, should you get stuck.
As for the audio/visual aspects, VVVVVV is simple and wonderful. The characters are a single color and shape, and the frenetic backgrounds provide an entertaining contrast. The music is classic chiptune, but can get a little annoying after a while.
All in all, VVVVVV is not for everybody. Fans of challenging games who aren’t afraid to die several hundred times will enjoy this game, while others who prefer a more relaxed gaming experience will instantly hate it. Try the demo before buying.