Platformebruary 2018: Super Ultra HD Remix
What the hell is this?
It’s Platformebruary, bro! The third one!
That doesn’t answer the question!
Sure it does! Platformebruary is when I play a bunch of platformer games during February and review them. One review every day, all month, 28 total.
Why would you even do that?
There are literally (yes I am using that correctly) over a thousand platformers on Steam. Statistically there must be at least a FEW in there that aren’t complete trash, so I’m hoping to find them during my annual dumpster dive into indie platforming.
So this is going to be the 28 best?
Ahahahahah ohhh good lord no, this is me rummaging around in my junk drawer of games. Thanksgiving and this past Roguemas were for good games if you want them. What I’m actually going to do this time is review the 28 LEAST PLAYED games among my 400+ Steam buddies, starting with the most of the least. And yes, I have some that NOBODY has played.
This is stupid.
Glad you agree! Read along if you want to see some of the weirdest, wonkiest, or just plain worst platformers Steam has to offer. There is some good stuff in here, I promise, but really I’m just building a cabinet of curiosities for you to ogle. Stop by every day at 8 am PST to get your fix, or follow along on the curation group if Steam is more your speed. And spread the word! Maybe you know someone else who loves off-beat games as much as I do. Well, I say that now…
1. Shank 2
3. Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
5. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
8. NOT A HERO
11. Crab Dub
14. Omega Strike
15. Clash Force
16. Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition
17. The End Is Nigh
19. Timen runner
21. Bloody Trapland 2: Curiosity
26. Mayhem Triple
27. Mimic Hunter
We’ve come to the final stage of Platformebruary, the great gauntlet where we review all our reviews to see where the many titles covered this month fall. So, let us waste no more time!
THE TOP THREE
- Odallus: The Dark Call
- Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
- Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition
Odallus really blew me away with how smartly it combined classic platforming with modern design. It gets close to the giants of the genre like Shovel Knight in just how tight and polished it is, and the meaningful exploration and difficulty options are enough to make it my top pick of the month. Guacamelee similarly impressed me in how improved it is over its original version, addressing every issue I had with it and making some welcome additions on top. And Mercenary Kings is a perennial favorite of mine which I know not everyone will agree on, but I can’t help but love.
THE ALSO GOOD
- The End Is Nigh
- NOT A HERO
- Clash Force
- Castle of Illusion
- Mayhem Triple
There were still plenty of games that stood out in their own way, despite being oft overlooked on Steam. Vagante is a great application of the classic roguelike formula to the platform genre. I honestly believe The End Is Nigh is a better game than Super Meat Boy, it’s just that the method of getting there makes it less accessible. Omegaland is a clever and satisfying bait-and-switch, while Flinthook lands in a similar place as Mercenary Kings, great but with contentious designs. NOT A HERO is fantastic for action and mayhem, and both Clash Force and DevWill are retro-styled gems. Rounding out the Good is the solid if unsurprising Castle of Illusion and the stupidly fun Mayhem Triple, both worth a look if you need quality time-wasters.
THE JUST OK
Every year there’s a spate of games that either don’t try hard enough, or are too flawed to give full marks to. They’re not bad but they require pretty big caveats before dipping into, so if any of these sound interesting be sure to read my full thoughts (or someone else’s, I won’t get jealous) beforehand.
- Shank 2
- Tiny Barbarian DX
- Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
- Squishy the Suicidal Pig
- Save the Ninja Clan
- Mimic Hunter
- Bloody Trapland 2: Curiosity
- Timen runner
- Crab Dub
The rest of the pack isn’t worth your time, and I’ve explained at length why for each. The most common reasons are either poor controls or poor balance, both making the title too frustrating to put up with. Owlboy gets special recognition for having a singularly terrible story on top of frustrating gameplay and bad level design, and it’s a topic notable enough that I’ll probably revisit it in the future. I also want to call out Crab Dub for being an incredible intersection of confusing, ugly, and boring that you don’t see every day.
And with that, we’re done! I hope you’ve enjoyed this third dive into the muddy waters of indie platforming on Steam, and maybe even found a title or two that interests you. If you did like it, consider letting others know about it or linking reviews you thought were particularly insightful or amusing or some other fancy adjective. Thanks for reading!