Day 81: Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp

Posted: 2011/01/29 in Indie Games
Tags: , ,

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #81, and today’s game is “Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp”.

Borrowing from influences as diverse as Braid and Wario Land, Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp is a puzzle platfomer that’s worth a look for hardcore fans of the genre, and even worth a look if you don’t typically like platformers (as its heavier on the puzzling than on the platforming). Like Zoomaroom, this game suffers in the presentation but excels in the gameplay.

First, from the developer:

“Play as Johnny Platform himself in this retro-styled platformer! Do death-defying double-jumps and solve puzzles in your quest to defeat the evil robot army… and don’t forget to drink plenty of coffee along the way.”

Ignore the name and the art style, this game is a difficult and hardcore experience. There is a tremendous amount of variety in the puzzles (everything from the traditional “push things around the screen to get to the secret spot” style to one where you have to collect items while in constant freefall). More than 4 dozen levels keeps the quantity present as well as the quality, and the level design is satifying. The difficulty ramps up at a slow but steady clip, and the game does a good job of teaching you concepts along the way. Later levels are quite hard, but it takes a long time to get to them and your skills grow a great deal over the course of that journey.

Despite the kiddy-ish presentation, this is one of the most hardcore games in the Indie Games Channel this side of Soul. Well worth the 80 Microsoft Points.

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Comments
  1. Kobun says:

    I don’t see any outside influence let alone anything approaching Braid, but it’s a solid old school style platformer. It only gets tough late in the game — too late in my opinion — and it’s only on level 45 of 50 where I found it really started to test the player. Still a fun game but shorter than I had hoped. This used to be one of the best examples of platformers along with Super Cow, and while they’re still good games and all, I think we’ve come a long way from then. :^)

    The game began life as a DS game hence the vertical screen, and the Xbox 360 port thankfully allows the display to be rotated for those of use willing to do so. I hear that the sequel is better, but Ichi took away the screen rotation since it’s designed around a horizontal screen. :/ It’s Christmas themed, so I’ll probably get around to playing it in 11 months or so. :p

    • There were certain things about the puzzle design that harkened to Braid for me, and some things about the presentation that invoked Wario Land IMO. The unlimited lives is also something that’s becoming a bit more common (Soul, Super Meat Boy, Astroman, and others have), but the ability to reset a level also reminded me… just a bit… of Braid’s rewind feature.

  2. Ishisoft says:

    Thanks for the mention!

    The main inspiration in terms of gameplay was the PDA Games minigame in Alien Hominid ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TywciMEFfQ ). Single-screen puzzle platforming.

    Wario Land was quite possibly a subconcious influence, especially on the castle graphics. It’s one of my favourite games.

    I do regret making the difficulty curve quite so slow.

    The sequel Johnny Platform Saves Christmas is also a little too easy at first, but it gets far, far tougher than this by level 100, and the gameplay is generally more engaging anyway with the added roll mechanic. While it is Christmas themed (which I also regret), I was careful not to shove the Christmas stuff down people’s throats so I believe it can be enjoyed at any time of the year. ;)

    Advertising over. Fun fact: if it hadn’t been Christmas themed I’d have called it “Johnny Platform Saves the World”.

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