Posted: March 29
Ohnoes! The Robodig is destroyed and you must fix it! Or something! So let's just shoot the story and go for a little platforming and shooting and loot collecting... in a mine!
Platformines is a nice package indeed, combining features from several genres to create a fun game that does nothing really new but still feels fresh.
You start by creating a male or female character from a couple of visual options, and are then brought into a randomly generated mine (where your ship, the Robodog, totally crashed). Your job is to explore the mine and relocate several building blocks to restore the ship- and to do so you need to fight masses of enemies, collect coins and loot, upgrade your equipment and be an all-round badass.
You also get to listen to a chiptune rendition of "Hall of the Mountain King."
Platforming is nice and precise even with a keyboard, though a pad is clearly better. From the get-go you have quintuple jumps, and there is almost no momentum, so you'll quickly put Mario to shame by staying airborne and shooting things easily. Vanity items you collect can give you even more jumps and also change armour rating, weapon damage, and other attributes.
Shooting feels old-school and satisfying. You can equip up to four weapons (pistol, shotgun, machine gun and launcher) and just like the Borderlands games every weapon is procedurally generated, so you'll often find something surprising. There's no ammo limit either; while weapons have magazines and reload times you always have "infinite bullets".
And there's more equipment, most notably energy belts that increase the amount of damage you can take but also larger backpacks: You'll collect gems on your way to sell in your homebase OR, and this is interesting, to replenish your shield belts. Do you dare to try and secure that teleporter over there and chash in on the gems, or would you rather play it save and spend them to make it further down the mine?
All in all, this really feels like an over the top "roguelike" without permadeath. Your home base is a safe haven where you can store loot, shop a little, and save your progess. The mine is constantly repopulated with enemies so if you need to grind for money you'll soon have some "easy places" to get some cash. It's NOT a metroidvania game- from the get-go you're able to explore as you see fit, only limited by your firepower and skill.
And is it fun? That's the most important question after all! And yes, it is. It's a fun little platform shooter with charming retro graphics and a lot of replayability. It's not OUTSTANDING and it doesn't really do anything new, but it's a nice mix of genres that'll keep fans of simple arcade games entertained for a good while!