It’s always hard for a new game to stand out, especially when there are so many games coming out that it seems like there are new ones every day. One thing I’ve always loved about LadiesGamers is that I feel like we give time to new projects that are trying to break through in a competitive industry.
Retrospect is an endless runner platformer and action game, similar to Bit.Trip Runner. It tries to stand out by letting the player choose the shape that changes the rest of the levels. I recently had the opportunity to play the free demo available on Steam. Here’s what I think.
New ChallengerRoute description
A good day for swimming
Choose your fate
When you enter a level, you are constantly on your way to a goal. Sometimes it is a shift to the right, sometimes a vertical drop, often a combination of both. You have to use different jumping motions and simple control maneuvers to dodge the dangers that arise, as well as collect different collectible symbols such as hearts, money, books, etc. Collectibles appear everywhere, and you can take different paths through each level to get them. They are very important because they play a role in what will happen at the next levels.
Between levels you interact with an obscure, pixelated character named Dee, who takes an interest in the characters’ private lives. You will be asked a number of questions, the answers to which will play a role in the course of the next level. I found out that if you collect a lot of hearts, you get double health in the next levels. Collect many flame symbols (or spirit symbols as they are called here) and you can use the shield move. The most important thing seems to be the creativity that changes the look of future levels. This idea gives the game a lot of legs and an incentive to play it again to see how things can turn out differently.
The demo contains four levels, all in very different locations. You really can’t predict where this game will go. The first level is just a scroll to the right in a typical green setting. Then you fall vertically into space, then there’s a level where you go into the computer and play a Game Boy-themed level with a deadly binary code.
These levels seem to reflect the lives of the pixelated characters, such as growing up. Dee runs it between levels, and I felt like the developer had some sort of personal connection to the story. The whole thing is presented in a colorful, pixelated art style with a beautiful score.
This is some kind of code of death.
Recording and playback
The controller is easy to pick up and use. All you have to do to get started is jump over the spiky obstacles and decide which route to take. But the game quickly becomes very cluttered, with hazards and collectibles sometimes filling the screen and being hard to see.
The demo offers three difficulty levels to remedy this, but in some levels I still found hazards impossible to avoid. I think this is an area that needs adjustment and will hopefully be corrected before the final version.
Sometimes it all seems a little confusing.
More to be expected
In retrospect, it’s a one-off ride with a simple formula. It’s clear that the developer has put a lot of effort into this project, and we hope that this title will appeal to players who want to enjoy a game with a soul.
The release date has not yet been announced, and the developer has not said if the game will be available on other platforms. Let’s hope the game finds its way to the Nintendo Switch, because it looks pretty cool on the go.
The free demo is available on Steam and works on most computers. You don’t need a great gaming machine to try it out.
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