Developed by 2D Heroes and Ursa Games
Published by 2D Heroes
Available for PC, Mac and Linux
Recursion Deluxe is an inventive, upbeat platformer game utilising the retro artform of pixelated 16 bit design. Much like Nintendo’s biggest selling franchise, Super Mario, the game features a character who must jump over obstacles, collect keys and reach the flag pole in order to complete a level. Where Super Mario has side scrolling levels, Recursion Deluxe focuses on static levels instead with the whole of the level able to be seen on the screen. The twist on this though is the player is able to move their character outside of the screen so it appears in its corresponding place as if the entire level is connected in one giant loop. For example, if you’re high up on a platform and jump, your character will disappear off-screen but appear on the bottom. Likewise, if you jump offscreen to the right, you’ll appear from the left. Take a look at the gameplay video below to get an idea.
This particular game mechanic makes for a much more interesting game than your run-of-the-mill platformer and also increases the difficulty. Not only must you focus on the hazards before you but underneath you as well. Like a strategic puzzle, the player must solve the best route to get the key and to unlock the flagpole in order to complete the level and move onto the next. Unfortunately, there’s spikes, blob cannons and bees that are ready to kill you at any moment whilst the genre favourite crumbling platforms and semi-invisible boxes are provided to give the player a challenge in completing the task.
The difficulty curve of the game is pretty steady, gradually becoming more difficult as you complete the various levels. More obstacles are added to make the completion time longer and to offer more chance of failure which will of course infuriate players as well as give them enjoyment and satisfaction, particularly when they complete a challenging level. I think the developers have got the difficulty spot on. Easy games are not enjoyable so having that bit of a test and having to use the old noggin is a good thing in my books, particular in a day and age where some games are dumbing down for mass appeal.
Aesthetically, Recursion Deluxe is very appealing with it’s colourful design and bright chiptune music that really brings that 16-bit gaming experience to the player. The design of the levels are enjoyable to play as well as look at, especially with the puzzle element making what first appears as a simple run-through an actual mindboggler.
If you’re a fan of platformers as I am and are looking for a modern take on a retro idea and experience, then Recursion Deluxe is well worth playing. It’s fun and compelling to play with the desire to beat the hazard-filled level gnawing away at you until you finally achieve completion.