Publisert: 25. august
Now before you think I dislike the game, I don't...I just can't recommend it fully for a few reasons which I'll outline in this review. Overall, I'd probably give the game an 8/10 for the first half only, but a 5/10 overall.
Mechanic Escape is a fun little Super Meat Boy-esque platformer in the sense that it is very trial and error. For the most part, when you die it is entirely your fault as the player. It takes skill and dexterity to get through the levels. Again, for the most part.
The story is pretty lax. There's a tiny movie at the beginning and the end. Basically, you're a TV and your TV buddies are captured. You collect them and free them from captivity. That's it. Where it shines, though, is the style. The artwork for it is beautiful and I really enjoyed the general look of the entire game. Some areas seemed to pop more than others and being stuck in certain worlds made me grow tired of their appearance, but for the most part it was a lovely looking game.
Gameplay is where the game both shines and falls flat. Chapters 1, 2, and the first half of 3 were great. The controls felt tight and responsive, though there were some minor pitfalls. The second half of Chapter 3, however, introduced a lot of segments where you have to float upward while avoiding walls, spikes, etc. The problem with this is you are floaty. Too floaty. Nudge right or left fly halfway across the screen floaty. The worst offender is the finale of chapter 3 which may be the hardest level in the game by far. There were 2 or 3 of these air sections in total and they really got on my nerves by the 40th death or so. Note that before this level, the most deaths I've ever gotten in one level was 21 and I would not move to another until I 100% completed it by collecting all the TVs.
Level design was hit or miss. Some levels were awesome and harkened back to platformers of yore. My favourite addition was put into the third chapter and was well welcomed by myself and I'm sure anyone who played Donkey Kong Country...barrel cannons! These were utilized well and one level in particular used them nearly exclusively. That level may have been my favourite in the entire game. Where the level design fails, though, is when it relies too much on making you wait or keeping you moving. Almost every level has a boss enemy that chases you. These enemies are unkillable and never stop, so you must keep moving, too. Add onto the completely broken mechanic of there being laser gates that open and close at set intervals and pillars that can smash you and occasionally you're thrown into many unwinnable situations. Sometimes beating a level is more luck based than skill based since the timing isn't always 100% the same each time you reload.
I also noticed frustrations in controlling your character that didn't matter much in earlier levels but did a TON in later ones: walljumping is performed by being close to a wall and pressing the jump button. Your hitbox is large. A lot of times you will walljump without meaning to and cause your own inadvertent death. Second, any button at all triggers the Kong barrels. If you are running into one and do not let go of the direction button in time, you will be shot out in an instant. This has caused me some unneeded strife in later levels.
There's also a few glitches in the game, too. One that can be both good and bad depending on how its used is some objects do not obey pausing the game. For example, there are turrets that shoot insta-kill fireballs. If you pause the game, the fireballs still travel forward. So too do the smashing pillars raise and lower and the laser gates open and close. This is a horrible design choice if you expect the player to have to pause for any reason. I had to go take a bathroom break halfway through a level in Chapter 4 only to unpause the game and die before I even see what happened. After experimentation, I find out the glitch I mentioned above. Honestly, it wouldn't have hurt to know earlier both to avoid deaths like that and to maybe even the playing field when it comes to those levels where you both have to constantly move but paradoxically wait for a path to open up.
Finally, let's talk about achievements. The ones in this game are really easy to get and if you beat the entire game, you WILL get all of them with the possible exception of the 1000 deaths one. (I had to spam kill myself after beating the game to pick it up). This is all well and good, but there is NO reward for beating the game. Even worse is that the collect x amount of TVs achievements will be maxed out by 100%ing chapter 3, making chapter 4 almost pointless to play unless you really enjoy the game. And by that point, you won't. If you do druge on like I did and 100% the entire game, collecting all TVs and conquer all 80 stages, you are greeted with a short cutscene saying "The End, Thanks For Playing". This is the very same scene you get for just beating the levels without collecting all TVs. In other words, there is no incentive to actually 100% the game. You'll have all the collection achievements by the end of chapter 3 and all the unlockable costumes by the middle of chapter 2.
In conclusion, for completionists this is a terrible game. The glitches and the control gripes make 100% clearing it a chore and you are given nothing in return if you do. For the casual platformer fan, though, this could be a nice diversion or alternative to other games out there. For the price, I do feel it's mostly worth it, but I can't really recommend it as the flaws outweigh what's great. I liked the game, but after about 75% of it I began to tire of it and only continued on to see what it had to offer. I made it that far, might as well complete it. But I was only met with disappointment and a longing for something a little more polished.