If you like Super Meat Boy, VVVVV and LOVE, well this could be the game for you! To everyone else, avoid it. Run. The good news is that you’ve inherited a lemonade factory with your spouse. The bad news is that before you take it over, you need to take a tour of all 36 deadly, spike filled levels. Super Lemonade Factory is a 2D platformer, where the objective is to get you and your spouse to the exit door of each level. Along the way, you’ll jump over spikes, ride on platforms, break boxes, push boxes, double jump, talk to employees and dodge them all at the same time. There is no sort of management to this game, even if its your factory. Its just a straight up hardcore 2D platformer.
There are two characters in the game, the husband and the wife. You can switch between the two of them with the push of a button. The husband can do a single jump, but can dash, which breaks through boxes. The wife can do a double jump, and can talk with employees which makes them halt their pace. Since the husband can’t jump high, the wife will need to push boxes down for him to get up. Since the wife cannot dash through big boxes, its up to the husband to get through. Getting hit by employees hurts you. When you get hurt by employees or spikes, you respawn at the last checkpoint. If you get hurt twice, that spouse dies and you restart the level. Did I also mention that the wife can get a piggy back ride? That way you don’t have to traverse the level with two different characters. There is a two player mode, but I played it one player. The three button, jump, switch, dash / talk controls feel good and easy enough.
The game looks great with its pixelated graphics, but I think the real unexpected joy was how good the old school chiptunes are. I am not one to talk about music in a game, but these tunes are almost up there at Megaman 2 quality. There is also a good use of color pallets too. The minimalistic style hits the mark for me.
The 36 levels are broken into three areas of 12 levels each. Each area has its own theme, and really its like a level of difficulty. The game starts off pretty easy and educates you to everything without slowing you down. Then by the third area, there are a lot of spikes and precision jumps over and between them. The spikes are more of a nuescence than other spike jump platform games. These spikes will hurt / kill your characters even from the side. It is not a common problem, but when it is, it needlessly amps up the difficulty.
Speaking of the difficulty, as you go through the levels, each one has a bottle cap. Its your choice to pick them up. A few levels have sugar bags to collect. These will give both characters an extra hit, causing a respawn before they’re dead and you restart the level. However, there’s nothing representing that extra hit, like there are hearts up at the top next to each character.
The game keeps track if you’ve talked to everyone in a level. If the game isn’t hardcore enough of a challenge for you, there’s a hardcore mode of each level that takes the normal levels and adds more spikes. In fact, for those truly looking for even more of a challenge, there is old school mode that lets each spouse get hurt four times. The catch is, if one of them dies, that’s it. You need to restart the game and not just the level. Its up to you. Completing the game and getting all of the bottle caps took me around two hours. Everything else just seems excessive to me.
There seems to be some way to load custom levels, but there doesn’t seem to be an editor in the game. Trying to select a level to play managed to crash the game for me on Windows 7. That was the only crash though. There are plenty of people in the forum complaining about bugs and issues. Maybe that’s why less than 8% of people have gotten the first achievement. Maybe its just the difficulty preventing them from getting that first achievement. The developer seems willing and able to fix bugs.
This was a great blend of art, music and gameplay well worth the $5 even if it was around 2 hours for me. The gameplay formula is good enough to carry a game with a wider mainstream appeal with a longer game length. I think the developer can pull it off in the future to be more than just a hardcore platformer.