by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
With such a large map, getting around could be quite an ordeal. And at times it is, with wide open spaces where your character can fall from great heights. Luckily, our hero can not only double jump, but can quintet-jump (or more depending on equipment). This is great for reaching high platforms safely. Running and jumping performs smoothly, and even when my character died, it was always due to my incompetence rather than an issue with the controls.
But having said that, I did die... often. Our protagonist has a narrow field of view and at times it is difficult to know what is just outside his field of view. This can often cause a somewhat unexpected death, as at times the screen becomes frantic with enemies patrolling, moving platforms scrolling in all directions, and environmental dangers just waiting for our intrepid hero to die when coming into contact with them. Upon death, our hero spawns back at his home base having lost all the valuable loot he has collected. These can be picked up again from the point of death, though.
Platformines comes loaded with a massive amount of weapons. Almost as many as Borderlands, despite only having four weapon types. Gamers start with a basic pistol, but as you move through the map, you will come across shotguns, machine guns and eventually bazookas. Although there are only the four types, the variations in range, power and hit points for each means that you'll come across a vast amount of choices as you progress through the environment. Weapons can be looted from the vanquished foes, or purchased (at exorbitant prices) from the shop, along with bags for carrying more loot and energy belts which boost your health bar.
Like the weapons, there are four basic types of human enemies, one with each of the four variations of weapons. That being said, each of the human foes comes kitted out with different headwear, giving them differing attributes. For the most part they walk or jump along a designated path and - more often than not - you can simply sneak up on them and shoot them as they walk away from you. They will turn around and shoot back, but by then you've basically taken care of them anyway. Apart from human opponents, there are spikes, circular saws, various deadly plant growth and electric blocks that impede your progress. That and falling from great heights, can put a severe dent in your health bar.
Luckily, scattered throughout the mines are gems. These gems can be sold at the store, or can be used to regenerate your health. This is especially handy when you are a fair distance from a portal, or are unsure of where the nearest portal is located. As you progress through the various levels of the mines, the quality and effectiveness of the gems improves as well.
Just like old times
With the old style platform gameplay, 2D pixellated graphics and some cool retro 8-bit style music (thrown in with some other cool looping tunes), Platformines feels like it should have been released decades ago. But the game is definitely a huge amount of fun to play. The controls are smooth, the weapons and enemy types are plentiful and there is a sense of achievement when you finally get your Robodig to plough through the layers of earth to reach the surface. Platformines is definitely worth a look if you're a lover of the current crop of nostalgia-inducing platform games.
Nostalgia abounds with the graphics, gameplay and even audio
Fog of war combined with field of vision can be a death trap