This is a game clearly made by a team of people that love precision platforming games--that much is obvious, and I will always applaud any team that makes a game out of love. Unfortunately, in trying to make a unique contribution to the genre, they've added a lot of needless complication and frustration that serve only to make the game inaccessible to new players and frustrating for all the wrong reasons. The overall premise is great, and the visual style is very fresh, but being that this is a precision platformer, the devil's always in the details.
First off, while the controls themselves are serviceable, and I feel like I could learn them just fine given the practice, the "rules" for how I interact with the world feel a little loose. Hands down the number one cause of failure I experienced was accidentally performing wall climbs when I meant to perform wall runs, and vice-versa. This interaction is controlled entirely by the angle your mouse is at as you approach it--point mostly straight-on to run up the wall and at an angle to run along it. Unfortunately, being a little too far one way or the other can mean you do the entirely wrong thing, wasting a substantial amount of boost bar at best or dying at worst. This was particularly frustrating when almost every wall in the game is blatantly placed for either climbing or running but not both--I knew what I wanted to do, the game knew what it wanted me to do, but the difference of a few degrees wrecked everything. Again, I know these aren't problems a pro would ever deal with, but as a ♥♥♥♥♥ I'd appreciate some fudge room--maybe let walls that I'm "supposed" to run across fudge the angle a bit so I only run across them unless I come at them really straight. I know I'm a ♥♥♥♥♥, I won't ever get an anywhere near "good" time on a level without busting my ♥♥♥, but I'd rather fail because I made a bad decision or reacted poorly, rather than because the controls are merciless.
Speaking of merciless, I'm having a hard time seeing how it helps the game more than it hurts to have a limited boost bar. I mean, I can only assume it's limited because so many other games with similar mechanics have limited boost bars, but did the team ever stop to ask whether it was really necessary for THIS game? Any wall that's longer than one bar's-worth of boost has a full-boost-refill powerup halfway across it anyway, and I can still only jump once more in the air regardless of how much boost I have, so what does it hurt? The only thing that would be lost is limiting my ability to run straight up walls, but that's already taken care of in the level design--there aren't any walls that I could "cheat" by having unlimited boost, and if there were, putting a limit on specifically running up walls seems like a better solution. At the end of the day, the only thing the limited boost bar does is send rookies and experimenters plummeting to their deaths when they run out of meter mid-jump because they were a little inefficient--would it be so bad to let them finish the level anyway and just give them a D, rather than let them make ZERO progress?
The inclusion of enemies and shooting mechanics was an interesting one, but there were a number of details to it that were just baffling. First, I still have zero understanding of when enemies shield and when they don't. The fact that they seem to put up a shield when I KILL them rather than when I'm fighting them makes zero sense, as does the rules for when they revive. Is it on a timer? Is it when I get more than a certain distance away? I even encountered an enemy that chases me constantly with a shield up that never goes down until I get hit by it--that simply felt like a glitch, because I couldn't figure out any other way to deal with that enemy, which was a jarring break in the flow of the game. Perhaps the most needlessly frustrating enemies were the invincible missile-launchers that constantly fire persistent but destructible homing missiles. Why, of all enemies, would THIS be the one that I cannot destroy--the one enemy that I don't have the option of outmaneuvering and escaping? The enemy that, uniquely, can attack me from behind if I try to outrun it? In a game all about speed and agility, having an enemy that would EVER force me to stop, turn around, and shoot down an incoming missile seems like a mismatch. Really, the enemies are mostly fine, there were a few that made me question how much thought went into their design.
Perhaps the biggest frustration: why are there limited retries? I understand that If I were actually good at this game, I wouldn't need any retries at all, but I'm not, so I'm perfectly happy just trying to finish the level AT ALL and collect my D-rating. They were smart to include both static and custom checkpoints, AND a one-button instantaneous reset (which is great, and I think it should be standard to the genre) but a limited retry system on top of that serves no purpose but to frustrate the players that need retries the most. And then, paradoxically, the reward you get for getting high ratings on levels is... more retries! Does it make much sense that I only get more retries by proving I DON'T need them?
Lastly--and this is a minor quibble--while I found the little story wrapper that they came up with compelling, the monologues between levels had a little TOO much navel-gazing for my tastes. I always appreciate having a bit of narrative to chew on, but they might have been better served by going for something a little more understated.
Ultimately, I do respect this game for the love that went into making it, but because of its unusually unforgiving systems and somewhat scatterbrained design, I can't recommend it to anyone but diehard precision-platforming fans.