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Discussion 2D indie platformers

While I know OP wanted more variety, I still have to mentioned Jubilee. It's a precision platformer where you have to collect gems and escape from a dungeon. You just have your jump, a little swirl that gives you extra air time and that's it. The main difference is that instead of having levels, everything is interconnected in one big map with different areas (and you can fast travel once you get to each shrine). There is a lot of variety in each world, each one with it's own hazards and some collectibles too if you want 100%. As for difficulty it's on the hard side, but it's not Super Meat boy hard and there are a lot of checkpoints (which you need t to touch to bank the collected gems), plus you don't even have to collect all the gems if you want to escape the dungeon, it's just a bragging right really


This post reminded me I actually had this game last week, so I just went and played it. It's pretty good! You can 100% it in a couple hours. It is indeed something more along the lines of Celeste or Super Meat Boy, but the way the game is structured makes it almost collectathon or metroidvania-esque too, with the caveat that there is only one real collectable gate and zero upgrades. At best you could say it sort of resembles a 2D interconnected version of one of the sandbox 3D Marios? But it's probably best to just describe it as a hardcore/masocore/kaizo platformer in the end.

The main collectable is cashed in at checkpoints like in Rayman Origins, Impossible Lair, Grapple Dog, or Mr. Run and Jump. I am very not a fan of that system, because it often ends up turning completion of each leg of the level into an experience akin to attempting a speedrun over and over again looking for that one attempt where it all comes together perfectly, so the game becomes exhausting. But the checkpoint frequency is much higher here and it's way less demanding with an overall much smaller number of them (only 999 in the entire game, around 100 per area), so I actually thought it was completely fine. It probably helps that it uses them as part of its level design completely differently from all of the above mentioned games, it's more like notes in Banjo-Kazooie where they're mostly just there as an indicator of which corners of the level you've explored (or which challenges you've completed, in this case). It's a lot more chill, oddly enough. Even for scenarios which specifically put some gems in an out of the way spot that's very difficult to reach, you can usually touch a checkpoint immediately before and after attempting it, it's not incorporated into a longer sequence.

I would say the difficulty tops out at around the level of Celeste's Mirror Temple B-Side, so while it's no joke it's also not complete despairing brutality. A lot of the challenge here comes from your limited moveset. Unlike Celeste, there is no other option but achieving raw input perfection, and you need to have a deep understanding of the small quirks in your character's physics, ala Kaizo Mario games which use mechanics like re-grabs, to do certain challenges, especially with the unlockable character. Luckily, it controls very well, although I kind of wish the spin was on a different button because I was constantly getting spins when I wanted jumps and wall jumps when I wanted spins. Tip: You have Coyote Time in this one, and it makes what I once saw referred to as "triangle jumps" (jumping out and then back in to land on a platform that was right above your head) much easier.

All told, there isn't too much to say about it because it's very small, but it's definitely in the upper tier of these very short platformers. I would say it's maybe a little expensive for what it is? But it's kind of hard to care about the pricing of a $10 game, so whatever. It's also hard to say exactly what the standard value of these short indie platformers is anyway. $1 for Toree 3D, which is like twenty minutes long, looks ridiculous next to $2 for an hour or two of Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica, which looks ridiculous next to $10 for a couple hours of Jubilee, which looks ridiculous next to $12 for 5 hours of Cavern of Dreams, which looks ridiculous next to $5 for 5+ hours of Pseudoregalia, and so on... And that's not even taking into account the relative quality or production value of these games, which usually just makes the comparisons even more lopsided.
There's a demo now for UmbraClaw and now got a better feeling of the game. It does have an exploration focus (which makes sense considering its the same director for Blaster Master Zero) but I wouldn't necessarily call it a metroidvania since you can clear any area with your base ability, which is only a dodge dash (and it's Inticreates, so 90% it's going to be a requirement for a true ending).

The mechanics are really interesting in a risk/challenge way. You play as a cat and your mobility is really limited with no form of attack, just a dodge dash. You die in one hit (but there are upgrades to take more damage), and every time you die you gain a new random ability calling the spirit of other animals, like a melee attack, double jump , ranged attack, stun , etc. Being a cat you have 9 lives before you have to restart the chapter (and there is a permadeath mode if that's your thing) but the more you die, the more you can activate the umbra form (the humanoid form) with way better mobility, attacks, range, etc.

There is clearly a karma system going on since going umbra means you forgot about your owner, you don't gain any points in this form (in cat form you kinda purify everything you kill and the enemies becomes flowers) and at the end of the level you can revert to cat form or continue in the humanoid (there are also some parts you can only go with certain form). Bosses react to this too. If you go in umbra form, the boss has more attacks and patterns, while going in cat form the boss is more simple but you die in one hit, so there is a challenge in both forms



Plus one of the power ups is a Chihuahua
The Rogue Prince of Persia was announced at the Triple-I Indie event yesterday. It's a roguelite platformer developed by the Dead Cells folks and mixes parkour and combat.

Jump ahead to the 2/3 mark for actual gameplay. I like what little we see of the platforming, but I worry that it'll be as combat and loot heavy as Dead Cells.

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