VVVVVV is a platform game all about exploring one simple mechanical idea - what if you reversed gravity instead of jumping?
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (5,196 reviews) - 96% of the 5,196 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 7, 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
29 of 32 people (91%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
36.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2015
VVVVVV is a platformer. Are you surprised yet? You shouldn't. On with the review:

This game has caught my attention when it appeared on the Nintendo E-Shop on 2012. Being the person I was, I downloaded the $5 game (on the 3DS that eventually got stolen in 2014). It was worth every buck. The plot is very simple and quite complex when digging for the backstory.

Let's focus on the basic right now: You are Captain Viridian. Your crew has been seperated in a strange, and facinating universe. And it is your job as captain to save them. With the power to flip upside-down, you can explore places where you thought never was possible. That's all you have for a power really: no attack, no special, just flipping. However it's all you need besides skill in this game: as everything can be avoided and can be done without dieing a single time (no joke, everything is. I dare you to get the "Master of the Universe" achivement.). Along the way, you may find "Shiny Trinkets". These come to a good use after beating the game..after collecting all 20. I'm not going to list them or spoil anything since the steam community already did (plus this is a revivew, not a stradigy guide).

There are 4-5 (depends if you count the Lab areas as one area or two different sections) major areas in the game (not counting the transmission levels or the final level) all that can be accessed from the very large overworld. This brings for a total of 7-8 Levels in the entire game. Again, you have 20 Trinkets hidden in this entire world to search for.

The music & presentation is just excellent with everything being retro, and it gives that Atari vibe really well. Still, the music is just awesome! Souleye did a great job with creating the wonderful soundtrack for this game, as well as the 3 songs added in one of the updates.

It's mechanics are quite simple to grasp, such as moving platforms, vasnishing platforms, enemies, you know: the usual. The new comes in with the Warps. There are two types. One where you enter the side of a room, you are teleported to the exact other side. The other is a portal. Quite expected: you would be taken to a particular place in the world. You'll never know where it goes unless you used the portal once or twice.

Must I say the Level Design is very fair, balanced at times, and very devious. How is all of this possible? Simple: Each area has their own "special" quality, including the transmission levels. The Lab, for example, focuses on Gravity Lines and you have to use these to do some flips you thought you wouldn't be able to do. The devious part comes in with some of the enemy placement, spike placement, and even the name of the room. Yes, every single room in the entire game has a name: which for me makes it more enjoyable. "What tricks you have up your sleeve this time?"

There is a bunch of extra content too: such as Time Trial mode (each time trial is unlocked after beating the actual level ingame), Flip Mode (after beating the game), player made levels that come with the game, and other levels that people in the community made..which brings me to the next topic: the Level Designer.

You can create your dream levels of pure difficulty or possibly test out a few new things that can or cannot break the game. Again, you are the creator and stuff. Scripting is quite difficult to learn, but it's easy to input them once learned.

In the end, VVVVVV is a classic game in my steam library that I was glad to experience once again. Would I advise someone like Jirard (aka "The Completionist") to play this game? If you are tough as nails and can handle the challenge of 100% Super Meat Boy (at the very least), this probably be another game down the cake walk. However this can be quite difficult for new players. If you are going to go as far as 100% the game, prepare to die..a lot. You will suffer if you attempt that no-death run. I've only done it ONCE. Just ONCE on my 3DS. Just don't go that far as I did. If your curious, I still love the game even after all of that torture I went through. I know, I am very insanely crazy.
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30 of 44 people (68%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
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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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2015
Worth buying for the soundtrack alone
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
52.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2015
Great game! Really fun and not too difficult like how some people say. If you like semi-hard to hard platformers, this is for you.
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