The presentation in this game is charmingly retro. In many ways it reminds me of the old Mega Man games with its 16-bit style graphics and chirpy chip tune music. The game is incredibly colourful and makes full use of the graphic style that it is working with, however, being in a factory the environment design is kind of…well, bland really. You don’t really see any other types of environments except from factory interiors, which is ok in a simplistic type of art style, but it does make the endless rooms you go through seem a bit tedious. I absolutely loved the music though as it really hit the nostalgia bones in me, bringing memories of playing Super Mario World or Mega Man flooding back which really helped to fit the retro theme of the game.
The gameplay in this Blitz Breaker though is what makes it so unique. As I mentioned you can’t actually move in this platformer and so instead you must bounce in one of four directions in order to get to the end of each level. It sounds like something which would be just a gimmick, but it really makes the level design important and changes up the mechanics of the standard platformer. What may look like a simple level from the standpoint of a typical example of the genre, quickly becomes makes a monumental task out of getting from one end of a room to another by bouncing at certain angles and at a certain velocity to get yourself through traps. It brought some much needed variety and innovation to the standard platforming genre and really helped to cement the game as something truly different. Of course, as I mentioned the game is also incredibly difficult with new mechanics being thrown at you with each new world which you have to get used to and master before you face the boss of that particular area. It reminded me a lot of Super Meat Boy as a lot of the challenge comes from learning a new mechanic and mastering it. You become the best at this game by understanding fast paced techniques and quick thinking, along with learning patterns in traps and bosses alike, akin to the older games I lamented over earlier. The last world in particular (simply named “The Gauntlet”) uses everything you have learned over the entirety of the game and throws you into some of the most challenging platforming levels possible, yet the developer, Boncho Games, ensures that the difficulty is not extreme because the game is being unfair, it is simply teaching you to master the skills you have learned in order to overcome the challenges it presents. While you may feel frustrated after dying over thirty times on a single level, you don’t ever feel like it’s the fault of the level design. However, this game does like to throw you many instances of insta-kill spike corridors which require you to have pitch perfect angle judgements which did tend to get very frustrating.