A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME CAN SMELL LIKE GARBAGE
This game is such a terrible mess, that I don’t even know what to call it. The game says that it’s titled IN GAME, but Steam tells me that it’s Oscar and Paul. Since it’s a single player game, I have to assume that the developers posted their names as the game’s title. The name “In Game” is so terrible, I hesitate to call it that, so instead, I’ll rename it InGOP for this review.
AN EDUCATION IN THE WORST OF GAME DESIGN
InGOP is an action platformer so boring and dull that you can accidentally fall asleep while playing it. I would never say that lightly, but InGOP’s in game character is slow that it makes getting from point A to point B take an excessively long time. Any dead end becomes a waste of time since you move so slow. It’s riddled with some amazing armature glitches and poor gameplay decisions that could make it legendary if there weren’t so many terrible games out there for sale in the same price point.
The game is marred with terrible level design and placement of spikes. Luckily the game gives you plenty of health, but getting spiked three or four times will cause a death and a respawn back at the last checkpoint. Pressing against a wall in mid-air will stick you to the wall. This isn’t a wall cling, since you can’t jump off it or anything cool, you’re just stuck.
While I only played thirty minutes, there’s just one deep plunging level where you go further and further into the depths of a single screen cave with plenty of checkpoints littered throughout. I manged to clip through floors to either discover ham-fisted secrets or glitches to bypass things. It’s a blend of dull and easy gameplay mixed with some terrible level design, some that I dare say forces you to take spikes.
The further I got into the game, the less care was put into it. Less bridges were used and the level geometry and layout became basic and dull.
After watching the trailer, the game looks fine. Like a typical game with pixel art, but in playing, the environments look terribly stretched out and blurry. I’d love to play the game that’s in the trailer, but not this. Chances are it’s my resolution, but the game should correct that for me.
I swear the character is a different resolution than the game world. The character looks fine, but it’s everything else that’s stretched to a ridiculous size where you can easily count the pixels. Even with the mangled pixel art that is stretched out of proportion worse than your favorite T-shirt after a rhino asked to borrow it, I swear I recognize the art, which leads me to believe it came from an asset pack. Even when the character uses the bow, the character pixelates even worse.
After further inspection, the game defaults to the very low graphical settings, which is a giant setback. With this setting, I was able to see between tiles every so often. Then again, it could be like that in general, but I’m unwilling to play again to find out.
There is no title screen graphic, it’s the most basic white screen with menu buttons that’s quickly becoming indicative with terrible games.
You’re forced to use the WSAD keys, which for most people is easy enough. The W will let you jump and tapping it again while in air gives you a weaker double jump and it’s less of a second jump and more of a stop in mid-air that loses your falling momentum. Pressing the jump twice immediately sends you on some sort of high moon jump that’s either a glitch or gameplay depth. It makes jumping over lesser things much easier, but you’ll still need the stop jump for the game’s numerous spikes with low ceilings.
Moving left or right will send you far further than you expect. There is no stopping your character. I often had to move left and right in jumps to land between spike trails. Climbing up ladders will often launch you off the top when you reach the end. That’s because to climb up and down it’s W and D.
SHOOTING FOR HEALTH
Your character has a bow that fires an arrow directly forward when you press E. You have limited ammunition, but you’ll find more ammunition and health in things that almost look like treasure chests. The catch here is the treasures take a few shots with an arrow to break open. So if you don’t have enough arrows, you can’t get more arrows.
Enemies take far too many shots, but it’s easy enough to just moon jump over them. So your ammunition becomes strictly a way to get more health. Without these treasure chests, you’ll never get more health.
To the game’s credit, you’re given infinite lives to hide its poor level design. When you die the camera drags itself back to the last check point where you respawn. The catch is there can often be enemies where you respawn or spikes. So you’re just dumped into damage, which would lead most to never play the game in the first place. To top that off, respawning in a giant level, I never know do I start going right or left? There are no arrows near checkpoints and those arrows in the game are so utterly blurry in general that I can’t tell where they’re pointing to.
I would recommend a stage select for previous levels, but the catch is that it’s just one giant level connected with check points. You’re allowed to leave the game and continue where you left off.
THE HARD SELL
Well on the plus side, if you love terrible games that are beyond single screen garbage platformers, this is for you. If you want to be refreshed and reminded in poor game design and terrible level layouts, this could be your game. Perhaps you like an action platformer that’s between running through tar and getting stuck in the ceiling while you avoid spikes.