Perfect cute platformer
Perfect cute platformer
Retro Reviews #1 (only games older than 10 years)
PIECES (Mar 24, 2008)
Before ENDEAVOR there were....Pieces
This is a nice platformer with emphasis on exploration, where you gradually learn the abilities as you progress through the surprisingly large game world. This game, despite its relaxing and kind of drowsy packaging, does have somewhat surprising depth to it. There are no enemies in this game, the only way to kill yourself is by falling into lava - still, despite this the game is challenging.
So lets start from the obvious: you play as a crash-landed girl in Commander Keen style helmet looking for parts of a spaceship. You gain new abilities that will allow you to unlock new areas from places you've already been to. Because the world is organized along a horizontal line, you will be backtracking from left to right or vice versa over and over again.
I have to mention the mechanics of unlocking abilities here - take jumping as an example: jumping is disabled when the game first starts. First, you have to find a "trigger" point that follows a cut-scene that makes the character you play as acknowledge she needs to "learn to jump". When you find the jumping rabbits, another cutscene follows and your jumping skill is "unlocked". Once again - In cases of other abilities you will have to backtrack the whole game world.
The 16bit-style retro graphics are nice and detailed, they are not eye-popping or distracting. When I played this game 10 years ago (in 2008) I remember thinking to myself "wow this is Nitrome-grade graphics".
The closest comparison to this game would be Knytt (2006?) and then the above-mentioned Endeavor (2010). But this game is not as minimalist, less atmospheric but way more challenging than Knytt, if I can recall the comparison correctly. In comparison with Knytt, Pieces lack the thrill of exploration as most of the gameplay will degenerate into tedious backtracking later on.
My major gripe with this is that once you increase your jumping skills (and speed of movement), precise landing becomes nigh-impossible as you will keep jumping over platforms you want to land on over and over again....and that gets frustrating - especially if lava is involved. The speed of your movement simply keeps you going beyond the intended point most of the time. This gets better only at the very end when you get the "floating" ability unlocked.
The world map is relatively vast and it is organized along a horizontal line with the place the game opens at roughly in the middle. However the world map is little inconsistent - The far-left areas do not have any underground sections, whereas the beige underground you will encounter first is overly complex and hard to navigate in without a screencapped map. The brown underground on the right is the hardest part of the game, but it isnt especially complex.
You will get stuck without a map, and you will be backtracking A LOT, so getting a map is pretty much recommended (*cough you can look it up online*). Also, certain passages will most probably kill you over and over again (especially when it is hard to control landing precisely) and the save points are sparser and sparser as you progess.
But I will admit - this needless and tedious backtracking was too bothersome, even though I made myself a screencapped map and I was seriously thinking about giving up and not finishing this game. But I DID finish it, and in retrospect this wasnt a bad game at all - quite contrary, I was absorbed by it for roughly 2 hours total time, until the backtracking got tedious.
I remember playing this shortly after it came out - probably in or around april 2008 - it was really buggy back then, which kept me from investing time in it. Now the game seems fixed.
3,5/5 (would be 4/5 if it werent for the tedious backtracking)
Worth a try. The game aged very well.
Fun game - but the controls are a bit iffy.
Control of where Proo lands is utterly dodgy.
I don't know...so much things bored me...
The camera gave me head aches, it's kinda hard to control the little girl...
Maybe is not my kinda game...
It won't let me jump when I push "Z". It looks like it'd be a really fun game though. :-<