Thursday, 13 February 2020

The Messenger

Intentionally annoying.

In this old-school pixel platformer, you are given some vague directions to deliver a scroll "to the East" and must use your ninja skills to get past all the demons in the way. The game actually has a low difficulty at the start, but as you gain more skills (literally given to you slowly by someone you meet near the start because it doesn't occur to them to give them ALL to the "CHOSEN ONE" ASAP), it eventually stops becoming an option to use them and more of a required mastery to progress.

You "could have" powered up from the start of the game.
Just one of many annoyances.

Checkpoints also get farther and farther apart and the gimmick that revives you from death loves to belittle and mock your skill as a player. After a fair bit of this, the game suddenly becomes a platform explorer - where you need do back track (a lot) to recover key items. At that exact flip-the-script moment did my patience run out for this game as yes, you'll need to go back through all those hard parts. In reverse. That must have saved some design budget huh?

It's a shame this game breaks the number one rule of game making - IT HAS TO BE FUN. Getting players angry and annoyed at your game results in the opposite of that. Thus, I give the Messenger 1 turtle demon out of 5. If you are looking for a platform game, I recommend getting the more encouraging Celeste instead, as it has a better plot, better player encouragement, and all the really hard stuff is optional.

Insight: Against bosses with large hit box targets turn left and right when you attack as a single swing counts as double, ending a fight much faster than usual.

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