Yeah that’s right, you play as a butt in this 2D almost torture platformer that will test just how much you can endure. You don’t just play at any butt, this is Jayden Robinson’s. To keep from telling you a cringe worthy story that plays out through center screen white text over a black screen, I’ll just let you know that your goal is to make it back to Jayden. You’ll need to jump over spikes, avoid detection while dealing with lousy hit detection.
The game is definitely geared more toward speed runners and the die hard fans of torture platformers. Lost Butt keeps track of your deaths and times. Its enough to justify multiple play throughs for speed runners, but I think the game should celebrate when you’ve beaten your old score.
Each level is a screen or so long and allows for unlimited lives that keeps a tally at the top left along with the time. You’ll need those lives, because one hit is death and while your character is big, its not just its body that bumps into things. Even if its arm is on the same square as a spike, you’ll explode into a brown ooze. So if your arm is occupying above a spike without touching it, you’ll die. However, the game is still very possible even with this questionable handicap.
These levels all have an exit, but to get into that exit, you’ll need to get glowing blue keys. Lucky for us, if you die with a key, you don’t need to collect it a second time. You respawn instantly with no loading or waiting. That’s one of the game’s strengths, there’s no downtime. It keeps you in the game and has that “one more try” mentality. Of course you can end up falling into spikes right off the bat if you’re not careful. That sums up a lot of this game, you need to be careful. I’m sure people can still speed run it, but it requires precision and timing.
The game plays pretty simple, you’ve got native 360 controller support or you can use the keyboard. You’ll move left and right, press down to drop through thin platforms. There are buttons for jump, throw a brown projectile to hit switches and even make a stinky mist to blind foes. You need to rapidly tap the button to really fog the area, but the problem here is the fog can get so dense that you might not be able to see your character. While this isn’t the biggest problem, it might bother some.
Other than numerous spikes, you’ve only got one type of foe and that’s people that pace back and forth with lanterns. If you see you, then you explode. You’re fine to walk behind them without exploding. These lanterns are somewhat misleading and I feel like their vision should be what’s illuminated so you know how far they can see and they can see pretty far, they just can’t see through objects. It feels like a gamble running up to them head on. Well butt first at least. They’re easy to jump over for the most part, but some levels are painfully tight and difficult to slip past without being noticed.
Lost Butt plays a lot with light and shadow. Your character has a small lantern, there are lights here and there throughout levels and the people carry lanterns. This all creates a good effect, but its what hides in the shadows that makes life dangerous. Since the glow of your lantern is radial, in a circle, when you walk up to spikes, they can fit underneath of this glow until you get close. These are easy enough to see, especially if your monitor is brighter than mine.
Its in the second section of levels that the lights are completely turned off. You’ll really need to inch step by step to find the spikes. With that being said, you’ll die enough times that you can remember where they are and just gracefully jump over them. I feel like the second section of levels is the most difficult if not tedious because of the lights. The third and fourth cluster of levels are easier, yet longer.
Each new section of levels introduces a new background or theme such as a city and each section starts out easy, then ramps up the challenge by the end. It manages to make a certain pace of the game. After the toughest levels, you’ll get an easy one to build up your confidence with a fresh new theme.
To keep the game lively there are customization options for the coins you collect in game. You’ll get to buy hats and different colored bodies. So you can be a red tush that emits blue gas. The hats don’t tell you what they do when you buy them, but when you select one to wear, it tells you that this makes you jump higher or run faster. Its a nice touch to mix up a game that boils down to a tough game about spikes and platforming. It is a little cumbersome putting on the hat or body color then selecting a check box.
The menus in general feel problematic. It tells you to press the B button to go back, but its really the escape button. There’s full controller support, but there isn’t a button to go back. In game, the way you save is by pressing start. I can only hope that no one thinks the game has an auto save function. You could find an hour’s worth of progress lost and this is not an easy game to go back through.
For the creative types, there is a level editor for your mouse and keyboard. You can click to add the highlighted object and use the mouse wheel to select a different object. Its pretty simple to use. The editor doesn’t stick the tiles to a grid, so you’re free to really design what you want exactly where you want it without restrictions.
There are only what sound to be three or so songs in the game and some of them sound more grandiose and lively than the levels demand. I’d say the music is a high point in the game. I’m happy to report there are no obscene sounds, because a game about a butt could easily have them. Instead the sound is lacking. Getting keys and coins doesn’t make a sound. Some of the keys are over spike pits, leading me to believe some levels need at least one death.
It feels obviously unpolished, but its still competent and has functions that I like in a platformer. Its just an uphill struggle sometimes. Either from the level design or the hit detection. They’re both working against you. Narrow jumps over a watchman’s head all when you can’t get near them when they’re facing you. Later jumps require pinpoint accuracy due to the awful hit detection. One forced jump between two spikes feels impossible and after five minutes of trying, I just had to stop. I’d need too much precision for it let alone the angle I’m forced to jump from.
Lost Butt is a difficult game, more challenging than fun I’d say, but it does fit into a genre that has fans of toughness. With the little extras like hats, the level editor and keeping track of your score, it should stick with speed runners and die harts even despite its awful hit detection.
I would also like to thank Lugi for giving me a copy of the game.