Officially released in 2010, Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV is an intelligently designed, 2D puzzle platformer that relies on your quick reactions and logic to explore and progress through a multitude of challenging levels. As Captain Viridian, it is your duty to relocate your missing crew members and fix your spaceship after being thrown into an alternate dimension.
This is an incredibly simple game in theory – only relying on the use of the arrow keys, an action button and Enter – however, you must rely on your ability to flip vertically (i.e. walking on the ceiling) to navigate the ‘landscape’. This may seem an easy concept at first, but I guarantee that this game can – and will – make even the most hardcore gamer break down and cry with despair.
It is hard to explain what VVVVVV really contains behind its colourful, 2D exterior – think Super Meat Boy with less blood and more pixels, I would suppose – however, the main contrast lies in control sensitivity: whereas the former is famous for its incredibly tight movement response, VVVVVV is maybe a little bit too loose, resulting in many a frustrating death as your character oversteps a platform or slides into a spike. This system almost punishes you into learning how confident or cautious you can be within each area and rarely will you pass through flawlessly without having seen the layout before.
Despite its difficulty – which cheerfully ranges from casual to suicidal, VVVVVV rewards you with a huge amount of satisfaction for every small victory you achieve through its long, winding corridors and twisted, gravity-defying mazes. The graphics are refreshing and interesting (I could even say ‘cute’) and there is a constant atmosphere of light-hearted humour and positivity running throughout. Using numerous checkpoints and discovering larger teleporters within the map, it is easy to flick back and forth to explore, as well as to find the ‘artifacts’ strewn across each area – collecting set amounts will unlock different songs to listen to whilst playing.
Overall, this is a great game with a variety of different challenge modes and community created puzzles, which will definitely keep you entertained and forced to really apply logic and strategy within each section. I highly recommend VVVVVV to anybody who is looking for a higher difficulty and a fresh new take on gaming – a great addition to any collection, for a very low price.
Visit the website here (Nintendo 3DS downloads included)
Buy it from Steam here