Have you ever fell asleep on a bus, only to miss your stop and end up far from home? Well that’s exactly what happens to Kurt, a little alien boy who finds himself on a distant planet REALLY far from home. Help him get back to his own planet in this 2-D puzzle action platformer downloadable on Steam for PC, or on the Xbox 360 and PS3 game consoles (PC version reviewed here).
At first glance, and during the intro levels, the game seems like a typical 2-D platformer. Kurt the alien boy can run, jump, and duck to avoid obstacles and enemies. But soon into the game, you’ll find a treasure that’ll give Kurt a special power: a glowing ball he can throw that emits a beam of light when it hits a wall or floor. Kurt can ride this beam of light to reach faraway places.
If the glowing ball hits the floor, the beam of light will go up vertically and you can ride it to reach high up. Throw it against the wall and the beam of light will travel horizontally, handy for traversing long pits. And if the beam of light is on a slope, it’ll go diagonally. You can have three beams at the same time, and can cancel beams with a press of a button. Use beams wisely to solve puzzles and bypass obstacles. Beams can even be used to affect enemies as well. This mechanic kind of reminded me of the tubes of light you could ride in Portal 2.
Collect stars scattered about the levels to buy upgrades like life vests that’ll let you take extra hits. You can also find other equippable items, like bombs that you can throw to blow up blocked areas. Two players can play co-op as well, bringing a whole new dynamic to the puzzle solving gameplay.
Only problem I had with this game, besides the insanely difficult learning curve, is that the controls feel a little sluggish. Kind of like you’re controlling a pudgy little kid (which I guess technically you are). It just makes it hard since the game requires precision jumping and other movements. Although I bet it probably works better with a controller on the consoles.
Pid is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Cartoon Violence. If your character gets hit, he’ll just fall over and the screen turns black. Most enemies are robots that just break apart when defeated. Reading skill is helpful for the text instructions. Younger kids and less experienced gamers might get frustrated at the difficulty.