Platformines is best described as a mix of the popular 2D title Terraria and cave exploring Spelunky with a loot system similar to many role play games. Developed by Magiko Gaming and published by Namco Bandai, the game offers a single player experience with full controller support and Steam Trading Cards. The general plot sees our customized hero is thrown into a gigantic cave system that is randomly generated and must use his ability to jump multiple times in a quest to escape. Escaping may sound simple, but with a number of things trying to kill you and the destruction of a large helpful robot causes problems.
From here players much venture throughout the dark depths of the caverns to get out of there. Gamers will instantly notice the pixelated style, reminiscent of Terraria, that to some extent offers a mixed color pallet. Despite being set below ground and brown being a common theme the levels are shockingly not overly dull. The brown nature does result in sections blending together but it isnâ€™t instantaneously as anticipated. The presentation is massively helped by a fitting and fun soundtrack. Potentially if the game went on for much longer the music may become repetitive but for the short time it takes to play Platformines players will happily enjoy the music on offer.
Soon you will find that life is not something that is easy to maintain. A way to die or someone or thing attempting to kill you is always just around the corner. Fortunately our friendly hero is equipped with some powerful guns and life saving hats or hairstyles. Downing enemies presents an opportunity for cash, guns or hats to drop. In turn these enable players to customize their characters. The hats and hairstyles give stat boosts so gamers can find one that they like the look of whilst giving a decent stat boost. This loot system is simple to get to grips with and adds a lot of entertainment to the title; as players strive for better stats with awesome looking hats.
The guns themselves come in four classes and these range from pistols to rocket launchers. While it is possible to go far with the best shotgun it is fun to swap out for other weapons. Some sections almost require the player to change with certain weapons clearly being the best to use in the situation. Quite soon into Platformines you’ll find that you have all four weapon types and this creates an explosive start but means that you don’t have that epic four class to eventually unlock. It means with no new classes to unlock the game feels similar for the later stages.
The big difference when it comes to gameplay mechanics is the five, yes five, possible jumps. A single jump, or even a double jump, is clearly too normal for Platformines. The map is built to enable players to use the full five jumps and in places you will need all five to get to the next ledge. Initially the full amount of jumps seems unusual although after a few failed attempts it becomes a fun aspect of the game that, despite not sounding it, does change the gameplay a large amount. It isn’t just during the platforming elements that this gameplay tweak comes into play. When in combat the player can fly around the screen dodging safely the enemies.
Two aspects hold the game back. While you are often rewarded with different guns and hats all the way through the game, once you have found your favorite you will stick with them. This results in the game feeling the same throughout. It is easily countered by changing from your preferred arsenal to spice the gameplay up a game shouldn’t make you change to keep you entertained. Worryingly the game manages to feel repetitive whilst an easy run will only take you approximately 5 hours to complete. The game certainly isn’t long and past the initial bangs and explosions players may tire of the gameplay. Thankfully harder difficulties are unlocked and this does offer a better experience. The replayability is added into the game, but the randomly generated level system and with plenty of looted items to try if you are willing to exit your comfort zone there is fun to be had.
Overall, Platformines is an interesting title. It offers a unique platform experience with plenty of twists past arming the hero to the teeth. The slightly odd visuals and brilliant soundtrack go together to draw players in and they will mostly stick around for the gameplay. Whether gamers will feel the urge to replay the game after the first run through is over is a matter of how much they change items as otherwise the game does, despite the randomly created cave system, become repetitive. Platformines is in the brink of being an entertaining game but certain aspects are left to the player to make the game enjoyable.
[Editor’s Note: Platformines was reviewed on the PC. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]