by Howie Howard
reviewed on PC
Its Chilly In Here.
Actually, I always thought that it would be more on the warmer side in purgatory where this new 2D side-scrolling arcade game takes place. The recently released Draw Chilly brings the game player to purgatory where you take on the persona of Vladimir. Vlad, as he is known in the game world, is a former mechanic that has come to the end of his time on Earth. He is unceremoniously sent to this weird place in order to fix “the employers” mistake. The mistake being other unfortunate souls that were sent to this place in error.
Draw Chilly takes up where the first game, Peace Death left off. Our hero Vlad is charged with dispatching hoards of enemies bent on stopping him from accomplishing his task. The task is to clear out progressively harder levels which will then free a resident after the level is completed. This will cause them to be sent to where they should have been sent in the first place by the employers.
You would think that a place like purgatory would be inhabited by creatures such as demons, maybe some skeletons and a devil. Nope, this purgatory features monkeys as enemies, along with chickens making the occasional appearance. The enemies try to stop progress by various means which includes throwing coconuts at Vlad. You may be saying to yourself that this sounds like a silly concept and you would be correct, but it really works! The games developer and publisher Azamatika have taken a pretty serious concept and turned it into a goofy and funny affair.
It's Intermission Time…
Cut scenes appear when something different, like a new game element is being introduced. Some of the cut scenes probably make absolutely no sense but they are quite entertaining. They also add a brief intermission into the game. The cut scenes made me want to keep going on to the next level just to see how something new would affect the game or advance the story. As an example, one of the cut scenes introduces the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse to Vlad. The accompanying text, that the player can advance by tapping X, tells us that one of the Four Horseman will join the fight by offering some help to Vlad.
Am I On My Way To... Well, You Know…
The action in Draw Chilly takes place on an elevator platform that enemies will jump on to as it rises. The platform needs to be kept moving upwards and Vlad accomplishes this by dropping off one helper mechanic from his crew on to each end of the platform. They will then crank the platform upwards until it reaches the top. If an enemy kills a mechanic then Vlad needs to make his way to the crank to drop off another mechanic, or the elevator will stop moving. The crew that helps Vlad will grow in number, strength and variety as gameplay advances. As they are dispatched, new helpers re-spawn and are added to the mechanic crew that surrounds Vlad. The platform eventually gets to the top where a Boss appears and he needs to be eliminated to move on.
Money called Vladcoins are picked up as you go along. These coins can be spent to upgrade Vlad's abilities and stats such as movement and attack speed along with adding hit points and resurrections (or lives if you prefer) to the inventory. This kind of RPG element gives the player the option to build the character they deem will serve them the best. The game does not rely on increasingly more powerful weapons and the available weapons and health orbs are rather underpowered. So you can't rely on them as a tactic to win. I really like this concept because game progress is dependent more on the entire crew’s strength instead of on my (rather poor) ability to use fast-twitch reactions on the games keyboard controls.
What's It Like Being In Purgatory?
The game is controlled by the normal left and right arrow keys and X causes Vlad to perform an attack. The Z key makes Vlad ride a motorcycle which causes him to speed ahead for a short distance. There is no ability to jump in the game. The motorcycle or other available vehicles serve to get Vlad out of the way of a Boss attack or other area of trouble. An Xbox controller is mentioned in the options but I can't see how that device can be used on a PC, but maybe it can.
Game graphics are rather pleasing and the colors are vivid and they fit into the games overall motif. As you move through the game, various levels have a different look. My favorite was a Soviet Union look reminiscent of the cold war. Perhaps the developers believe that the old USSR was actually purgatory. The music is nice and it enhances the feeling that you need to keep moving in order to finish a task before time runs out. Even though there is no game timer the music keeps things moving.
My overall thoughts about
Draw Chillyare quite positive with the graphics, sounds and gameplay all working seamlessly together. However, replayability might be a bit limited if additional levels or another sequel aren't on the menu.
Entertaining and funny theme. Story moves along nicely.
Limited replay-ability and old style game controls.