RAZED from Warpfish Games is a platformer, but it’s presented in a style unlike most others. The aim, similarly to your Mario Bros et al, is to get to the end of the level and progress to the next, but here you have to do it as quickly as possible. The big difference here is the game has been designed with speed running in mind.
Set over 60 levels and 6 worlds with the occasional boss fight thrown in for good measure, players are challenged to get from A-B as quickly as possible and are then graded on the time it’s taken them to complete the level. Things aren’t as easy as they first appear though.
Various traps stand between you and the exit and many of the levels will challenge your reaction times as much as your platforming abilities. From walls of spikes to exploding barrels, sweeping laser beams to collapsing platforms, everything has been designed to kill you. It’s a clever idea and like all the best games of this type that have come before it, you’ll be hammering the reset button and trying just one more run. It actually feels a lot like the Trials games in that its rewarding but equally maddening at times.
You control a little conehead looking guy with powered up talking shoes. These can be upgrade with a better jumping ability, a slam ability, drifting, strafing, wall grips and a boost. Making use of the many skills allows you to bend the laws of physics and improve the times you’ve set on previous courses. Oh and I forgot to mention, keep running or your shoes will also explode.
You see, whilst you’re not on a timer, you do have a limited amount of power that can be topped up with gems or by moving at pace. The segmented circle ticks down if you use a skill or if you stop moving so it’s imperative that you find the optimal route to the end. You also need to make sure you use the right skill at the right time otherwise you won’t make it. The gems themselves aren’t particularly abundant either, so missing them can also see you running short.
As you progress you’ll need to exploit shortcuts and figure out the best way to use your powers. Just because it looks like you need to follow the path ahead, sometimes it’s better to find another way around. This is more prevalent as you try to improve your rank or to get yourself further up the leaderboard.
Scoring A’s on the 10 levels in each section opens up a tougher special stage. These challenges often demand platforming perfection as well as knowing when to use each power you have to hand. Jumps can seem impossibly far and corners impossibly tight, but as with all the others perseverance will get you to the end. There’s also a series of collectables in these levels that will unlock Fusion mode. I’ll be honest, I didn’t ace enough of the regular levels to see what this was but it’s nice to know there’s some extra content. The leaderboards also increase the replayability significantly if you’re into that sort of thing.
The game feels like Speedrunners meets Portal. You start in a cage, there’s a being who seems to be testing you and there’s a liberal sprinkling of humour throughout. Take the loading screens for example. Every time you load into a new area you get a new pun based around a well known game or franchise. It’s hardly the greatest of comedy but it’s nice and light-hearted and it’s funny to see what game title they’re going to present next.
The graphics are clean and sharp, not the most detailed, but they remind you of the days when polygons were in their infancy. The style is perfect for this game as it’s always clear where you’re meant to be going.
Whilst I generally enjoyed the game, weird little moments where the collision detection felt off did hamper it a little. I often found myself making the same jump over the course of several runs only to get caught on scenery or to get mysteriously bogged down. None of it is game breaking, but it is frustrating when you have an improved time in your sights.
If you like games like Trials or Speedrunners this game will be right up your street. However, if you get easily frustrated by these types you won’t find anything new here to change your mind. I’m off for one more go. Gotta top those leaderboards…
- Easy to pick up, difficult to put down
- Good challenge
- Some off collision detection
- Occasionally frustrating