21/10/2018

๐Ÿ’ฃ Review: 99Floors "A $5000 prize is up for grabs…but is it worth it?" ๐Ÿ’ฃ #GameDev #IndieGame

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Game Title: 99Floors
Developer: Luke Powell
Platform Reviewed: PC (Download)

Procedurally generated games all have the same question hanging over them, ‘is the procedural generation there to cover up the fact that there was no time to design levels individually?’ 
It’s something that doesn’t really gel with me, I’ve had some good times with games that utilised procedural-generation as a main feature such as Nongunz and Last Encounter but for the most part my experience has been pretty negative and sadly, 99Floors suffers from the usual pitfalls of this particular design quirk.

Set as the title suggests in a tower 99 floors high complete with bosses, environmental hazards (including irritating invisible bombs), shops and all manner of enemies, 99Floors is a 2D pixel art action-platformer with 18 unlockable characters and even a local co-op mode (although my version of the game crashed every time I tried it out, so my experience with the game was single-player only) for your pleasure. 
The graphics are quite chunky and the random factor of the game design bleeds into the audio side of things as various pretty tasty  chiptunes are your soundtrack as you work your way through the game.
Billed as one of the hardest games ever made, it most certainly is but for reasons that aren’t particularly positive such as the fact that monsters attack you en masse, some along the ground and others jumping above you which, much like the boss fights in the 1989 Konami Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game means that you can’t hit an enemy without being hit yourself in most cases. The purely random design means that you could find a massive sword at the start of the game along with some cool power ups or equally, you may just find a load of shops which have items starting at 3000 gems when you only have a measly 72 in your pocket.
Aside from the procedurally-generated aspect of 99Floors, there’s also a grinding aspect, along with the aforementioned gems, which can be collected to purchase things in-game, there are also coins which can be spent on new characters in the options screen and it’s clear that you need to spent some time unlocking the best character to give you the highest advantage for progress that you possibly can. 
The controls in the game are quite well-laid out and accessible although the platforming sections are made all the more difficult by having floaty jump controls and a quick movement speed that can come across as slightly jagged on screen, the scrolling of the game isn’t as smooth as it could be, which is a shame.
I’ve left this point until last as I wanted to talk about the actual game first as opposed to the contest that surrounds it but yes, there is a $5000 cash prize for the first person that finishes it (as of writing this review, it’s been over four months since release with no winner in sight) and I’m pretty sure that I don’t have a chance of climbing into that particular gaming throne. 
It’s definite YouTube fuel as well as being  great marketing gimmick, one that I’m sure will help shifts many, many copies of the game, which, whilst being fun in short bursts still at heart feels like a mobile port due to the simple aesthetic and controls. 
Summary
Not a bad game, but one that has been overshadowed (rightly) by the contest around it. 
If you want to have a crack at that grand prize, do it! And let me know how close you get.
As for me? 
I’m off to play Swordquest.
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)