Escape the mine, and gather loads of loot along the way.
Platformines from Magiko Gaming is a 2D platformer, but it is also so much more. It has shooting, looting, upgrading and exploration, ensuring that the game will appeal to the widest audience ever. It also has a rather nice 16-bit visual style and randomly generated worlds. All in all, it packs quite a lot in to such a small package.
With inspiration taken from so many different places, surely a game such as Platformines can’t go wrong. The player takes on the role of a suitably 80s style hero, with some nice customisation options available when created, and once the brief tutorial explains how everything works, the player is thrust out into a randomly generated mine with the goal of finding parts of a spaceship to escape the mine. Simple, huh?
Well, the mine is pretty vast to begin with, and will involve some heavy platforming action. This is made much easier thanks to the ability to pull off quintuple jumps, allowing the player to reach areas that may seem inaccessible. But despite the ability to jump really high, the mine is only revealed as the player explores it and falling from a height will cause damage, so look before you leap.
Another good reason for cautious jumping would be the huge number of dangerous, and frankly bizarre looking, creatures that inhabit the mine. Players are limited to firing their weapon in four directions as they explore, and some of these mean critters move quite erratically, so dying is fairly easy to do.
But there is shiny loot spread throughout the mine, not only when a creature is taken out, and collecting this loot is both compelling and necessary. The player will find themselves gradually uncovering the mine while frequently nipping back to the base to sell loot and purchase upgrades or better weapons. The weapons are a little short in supply, with only four different types available, although they can be upgraded to more impressive models. Other upgrades include increasing the capacity of loot that the player can gather before having to head back to base.
So, the player uncovers the massive mine while collecting loot to make them more powerful, in order to face the tougher meanies that can be found as they venture further from the base. But the purpose is to find these ship parts and finding them all will lead to a little mini game before a final congratulation for completing the game. Platformines gets surprisingly difficult quite quickly, with a lot going on, but player can come back to try another randomly generated mine, or possibly ramp up the difficulty for even more challenge.
Platformines supports controllers to a certain degree, and using one to play the game is highly recommended. Playing the game with the standard keyboard really doesn’t work very well. The game is very obviously designed with a controller in mind, and will work quite well if it ever comes to either portable or home consoles.
The game starts out quite enjoyable, with plenty of action and excitement. However, it does become repetitive quite quickly. You gather loot to become strong enough to venture further and gather more loot to become stronger and so on. While to some players this will not be an issue, but others will become bored as they will see all the game has to offer in a very short time.
Platformines is well crafted and does a good job of combining the different gameplay styles. It can be challenging and repetitive, but it can also be great fun. Platformines is a good way to kill a few hours, especially is loot gathering is something you find enjoyable.