Look up in the sky! It’s a puzzler! It’s a platformer! It’s a Super Puzzle Platformer…Deluxe!
As someone who likes to game all the things, I generally dislike it when a gem slips through my fingers. So imagine my dismay when I realized today that there is a colorful, frenetic flash arcade puzzler called Super Puzzle Platformer that I haven’t even heard of. While I have you in my imagination, though, you may as well picture my delight in the knowledge that it’s being re-released better than ever, as Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe.
Made by independent developer Andrew Morrish, the original Super Puzzle Platformer plays a little something like Bejewled meets Super Crate Box. It’s as if a single-minded shooter from a coin-op era past has been transported through time into a matching block puzzler, causing a rift in the space game continuum. And as a result, the puzzler is fighting back. In successively more brutal waves, it’s your job to run around the arena avoiding – and then blasting apart) falling blocks, with shots causing all blocks of matching colors to crumble.
Inasmuch as you don’t control the order that blocks fall, the game quickly becomes about making split second decisions about whether or no you can afford to capitalize on a large string of blocks, or whether you need those blocks to keep your footing. After all, fall below the blocks too quickly, and it’s spikeville for your poor caped square of a hero. In the mean time, you’ll have to pull doubly duty avoiding blocks that fall from above, as getting crushed is, you know, not a good thing. As Morrish describes it, the game is one of balance and tribulation. “You can expect to die – a lot.”
For Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe, fans (and newcomers) can expect much of the same…only more of it. The pseudo-sequel will be adding “new levels with new dangerous blocks, new obstacles and [exciting] collectables.” Moreover, players will be able to destroy blocks differently than ever before by playing one of several unlockable characters, each equipped with their own special powers. Perhaps most excitingly, though, the game is adding a full multiplayer mode, styled as a one-vs-one battle of wills, in which players have three lives to compete for the highest score, all while sending destroyed blocks over to their rival’s side of the field.
Often, developer jargon comes across purely as the press party line, but in this case, Morrish’s own words most aptly describe the way this game looks: “arcade-like, with lots of visual feedback and a focus on gameplay. A colorful, fun game, in an industry full of many grey, dull messes.” A fun, colorful focus on gameplay. I think I can get behind that. Though I’m not so sure about all those pesky deaths.
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is being released before the end of 2012, and is currently listed as a PC title, with a price to be announced.