I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #138, and today’s game is “Cutouts!”.
Cutouts! has strong presentation and charm galore, and a price that guarantees it’s in impulse buy territory. For 80 Microsoft Points, platformer fans and people interested in its unique presentation (entirely made of hand-cut digitised felt) can hardly go wrong trying it.
First, from the developer (Robert J Louie):
“Cutouts! A game made entirely from felt! Run, duck, jump, and throw objects at your enemies! Collect buttons for extra lives! Nine levels across three worlds! A true indie project, all art, music, and programming made by me!”
The game is a traditional linear platformer, which menas no backtracking quests (which, depending on who you ask, isn’t even a bad thing). The art style really drew me in, and is a gimmick that is so pervasive you soon forget it’s there.
Much like Sonic the Hedgehog, who is nearly invincible as long as he can quickly grab at least one gold ring after taking a hit from an enemy, so too is your character nearly invincible in Cutouts! as long as you have your hat on. Every time you take a hit, you lose your hat. Leaving you vulnerable to a second hit being lethal. Grab another hat (or earn one from grabbing a 100th gold ring) and you’re safe again until you lose it. You cannot keep hats in reserve, which can make some sections of the game quite challenging, and is the main thing standing in the way of you completing the game’s 9 levels.
In addition to strong presentation, you get tight controls (which, let’s face it, all good platformers both need and have). There are a few tricky sections, but all in all it’s a compelling game that’s over way too soon, and a lack of collection quests limits the replay value, but for 80 MSP it’s brevity is forgiveable. I can only wish for a sequel.
Click here to download “Cutouts!”, and then please come back to rate the game.
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