VVVVVV is a platform game all about exploring one simple mechanical idea - what if you reversed gravity instead of jumping?
User reviews:
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (5,368 reviews) - 96% of the 5,368 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: 7 Sep, 2010

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Reviews

“I completed the level and was reduced to disturbingly orgasmic cries. I haven’t felt as good with a videogame, in that direct physical way, for quite a while.”
Kieron Gillen, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
“I can't say enough good things about VVVVVV. It's Terry Cavanagh's best game to date, and one of the best platformers I've ever played. If you have any interest in challenging platformers whatsoever, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to pick up VVVVVV.”
10/10 – Anthony Burch, Destructoid
“...it would be wrong to let the sheer fiendishness of Cavanagh’s offering overwhelm any appreciation of the ceaseless elegance of the design.”
8/10 – EDGE

About This Game

Help! Everyone has been teleported away randomly! As the heroic Captain Viridian, it's up to you to find your friends, bring them back to safety, and save the universe!

VVVVVV is a platform game all about exploring one simple mechanical idea - what if you reversed gravity instead of jumping?

The game is designed not to artificially gate your progress. In VVVVVV there are no locks, no power-ups, no switches, nothing to stop you progressing except the challenges themselves.

Key features:

  • Elegant, minimalistic level design.
  • Challenging, fast and fun gameplay.
  • Frequent checkpoints mean you never have to replay challenges you've already beaten.
  • Over half an hour of chiptune music by composer Magnus Pålsson.
  • Special game modes, including time trials and a no death mode.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 256MB
    • Graphics: Direct X9.0c Compatible Card
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 42MB
    • Sound: Standard audio
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later
    • Processor: Intel Mac 2 GHz
    • Memory: 256MB
    • Hard Drive: 42MB
    • Sound: Standard audio
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 256MB
    • Graphics:
    • Hard Drive: 42MB
    • Sound: Standard audio
Helpful customer reviews
25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: 18 November, 2015
Worth buying for the soundtrack alone
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92 of 143 people (64%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
36.1 hrs on record
Posted: 15 January
Time for a controversial review. I’ve played this game on and off for the past 5 years, and I’ve gradually come to realize it's not that great. I’ll try to explain why.

To get one thing out of the way, the music is fantastic. The chiptune album “PPPPPP” is a true modern classic, catchy and energetic and well-produced. The game sells for $5, but I’d be willing to pay $20 for the soundtrack alone. It’s that good. Even after hearing these tunes for 5 years, most of them still haven’t gotten old to me. But chances are you’ve already heard the music and know this for yourself.

To get another thing out of the way, I think the visuals are awesome. The minimalistic art throws back to a time older than the NES, and the ever-changing neon colors are strange and mysterious in their simplicity, and demand to be explored. In a way, the game itself is a fitting music video to one of the greatest chiptune albums there is.

So, what do I dislike about this game? Well, where do I start…?

The game is built around a novel idea – flipping the gravity of your character instead of jumping – and then spends an hour or two trying to pretend this mechanic has no crippling limitations before just giving up. And I’m not exaggerating here: the entire game can be consistently beaten in about 30 minutes. The first time I played it, it took me about 50. Finding all the hidden trinkets can take about an hour more, depending on how many tries it takes you on the “Prize for the Reckless” and “Veni, Vidi, Vici” challenges.

Most games which are built around a central gimmick will try to expand it with additional game mechanics. VVVVVV comes up with about four new mechanics to complement its gravity-flipping gimmick: conveyer belts, automatic-flip lasers, auto-scrolling rooms, and rooms that wrap around the edges. It then uses each of these mechanics in a tiny dungeon area and almost nowhere else. Two of the game’s areas use a somewhat irritating mechanic where you have to lead a friend around, with the level design poking fun at the fact that your friend has no common sense and you have to do everything for them. As far as new ideas are concerned, that’s pretty much it.

The central hub area, which comprises the majority of the map, is mostly just empty space: no enemies, no platforming puzzles, nothing but a few spikes here and there and a few of the collectable trinkets hidden away in corners. Even the interesting mazes are scarce. The hopelessly catchy track “Passion for Exploring” plays in the central hub, but in this case, “exploration” means just repeatedly falling through dozens of empty screens and searching for the next dungeon entrance. The overworld is also littered with dozens of checkpoints and teleporters which you will never use because there’s just nothing out there. They could have removed it entirely, replacing the hub with a series of teleporters to the dungeons, and the game hardly would have lost anything.

The game is touted as a “super hard” and “tough as nails” platformer. If that’s the case, it’s the easiest “super hard” platformer I’ve ever played. Some parts are hard, but there’s no steady sense of progression; the difficulty is mostly just limited to a few problem rooms which may take hundreds of deaths each, but otherwise the whole game is smooth sailing. If you want real difficulty, you can try no-death mode or the time trials, but it just amounts to repeatedly playing the same ridiculously short game until you get it perfect. In this case, the difficulty is mostly just self-imposed rather than the work of a level designer. Personally, I’ve spent the most amount of time on the Super Gravitron, a fearsomely difficult mini-game that was probably the spiritual precursor to Super Hexagon.

The game’s story might as well not be there. I can summarize the story as follows: “You are some kind of captain of some kind of crew piloting some kind of ship, which crash-lands on some kind of planet due to some kind of disturbance. In order to escape, you need to deactivate some kind of device located in some kind of alternate dimension.” I’m not exaggerating. Nothing is explained. This story could have been mysterious and compelling, but instead it chooses to go the “self-referential humor” route by having the characters poke fun at checkpoints and the level design, while they’re not busy talking about nothing.

And for those who say “Why would you play this game for the story?” I propose that you consider this: the game’s story could have been better if you removed all of the dialogue. The story is told perfectly through the visuals. The explosions, lost crew members, and alternate dimensions are all self-explanatory, and it would have left all the details up to the imagination. Captain Viridian would have made a great silent protagonist that you could have projected your own motivation into. Instead, the characters are all given completely needless speaking lines which don’t convey anything, and I’m just left wondering why anyone bothered to write dialogue.

TL,DR: Aside from the superb music and the visuals, VVVVVV feels like a game that was hastily thrown together. The difficulty is schizophrenic, rather than a fine-tuned progression curve. The overworld map is mostly empty space, as though the level designer had tried filling it with enemies and mazes but finally said “screw it, nothing works” and deleted everything. The story had no effort behind it. Interesting game mechanics are few and far between, and are only used for a few rooms each. The bonus game modes are needless masochism that are far too great of a difficulty jump from the main game. Overall, it feels more like an hour-long proof of concept than a full-fledged game exploring the possibilities and implications of its main gravity-flipping gimmick.

Yes, it was influential. Yes, it rode the very first wave of indie games back when Steam was gaining steam. Yes, the music is crazy good. All things considered, I respect this game. But after five years of playing and reflecting on it, I can’t help but see it as a short, pointless waste of time with no interesting gameplay statements to make (even for its time) and no heart put into it. It’s style-over-substance. But hey, it’s got a great style, so I can’t quite fault it for that. I know a lot of people love this game. I loved it for a while, but now that I've noticed its flaws I can't shake the sour taste this game leaves me with.

I know that few will agree with my sentiment, but hopefully I’ve explained my thoughts adequately.

And finally, all achievement hunters but the most dedicated should stay far, far away. This is one brutal 100%.
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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: 13 March
Beat the main game in about 2 hours, but wow, what an amazing platformer. Some of those rooms can be mind-boggling, and even if you die many, many times, you'll find yourself to be enjoying the game just as much as I do, with or without a sale,

Soundtrack is so amazing in this game as well.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: 16 March
Great Simple design. Challenging and fun. Highly recommend! Good old fashion fun.
8 out of 10

I like games where I can fall up...
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: 24 January
Greatly enjoyed my fun and fast playthrough of VVVVVV. It's a difficult platformer, but nowhere near impossible, with a catchy soundtrack to accompany my repeated shortcomings. The generous checkpoints and "save anywhere" system make a playthrough doable for even the most casual player. If it's your thing, there is also plenty of replayability through trinkets (collectibles), time trials, user created levels, and an alternate mode.
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