Indie developers just love to make challenging platformers. Maybe it’s the feeling of nostalgia of the difficult games of the 8-bit gaming days, or maybe it’s masochism, but gamers seem to adore the genre, as well. Whatever it is, the indie market’s been more or less saturated by the games. With so many of the death-causing and hair-pulling games, it’s easy for games to get lost in the shuffle… well, obviously this does not apply to VVVVVV.
VVVVVV is a charming little game. Captain Vermillion and his colorful crew have been shipwrecked on a strange planet, and it’s up to the captain to find is lost mates and find a way to safety. The simple story is backed up by the simple graphics; the game looks like it was made with a Commodore 64.
That doesn’t mean that it plays like a C64 game, though… it runs very smoothly. With the simple controls (you jump, and you can change the gravity–really, it is simple, despite the way that sounds), after the initial stage you’ll have only yourself to blame if you die. You will die a lot, too… though not as much as most challenging platformers. While there’s plenty of tought jumps and situations around, it’s mostly fair. However, if you’re trying to get all twenty trinkets, good luck, as that is when the game will throw some impossibly difficult jumps and gravity switching at you.
For someone that doesn’t like the masochistic platformers of the indie scene, I really enjoyed VVVVVV. I died over 1,400 times, but I still had a blast, and rarely felt frustrated. It goes to show that not every game that wants to be challenging has to go overboard about it.