Developer: Henchman & Goon
Release Date: April 2015
Formats: PC, PlayStation Vita (PS Mobile)
Available: Steam, PlayStation Store
Steam key has been provided by the Developer/Publisher
You play as Flem, yes, Flem. A piece of snot which has been forcefully ejected from the nose of a being, whether this being is Human or animal is not specified but I’m sure it really doesn’t matter.
Flem is stranded in a strange new world and so must journey through 40-levels to find the Land of Eternal Tissue. In order to get to this paradise, Flem must endure the four seasons and traverse these dangerous lands in a series of platforming puzzle quests.
Along the way, Flem must run and jump past a series of obstacles which include strange jumping bird like creatures, fireball belching bulbs, and carnivorous flowers. Hitting any of these will result in insta-death and puts the player right back to the beginning of the level.
Flem eventually gains a special ability which turns him into a cloud, this can be used to pass through objects blocking his way, or to reach especially high areas. Using this ability depletes a rather quick to run down “energy” bar which regenerates over time.
As should be the case with any PC game released in 2015, this game has fully re-bindable keys, the only downfall is that sometimes button presses seem to be a bit laggy but that could be down to the wireless keyboard I am using. This game requires no mouse input save for the menu screen and even then this isn’t a necessity. It also supports a gamepad, however, these buttons are not re-bindable.
Each level I have played is designed to be speed-run, and as you can see from the screenshots attached, is timed. These times are uploaded to a leaderboard so you can see how you’ve faired against other players from around the world. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded based on the completion time of each level.
Flem was originally conceived during a charity game jam which focused on 8-bit inspired gaming. Fortunately, Flem lives in a world where 8-bit or Retro gaming is making a bit of a comeback, thanks to the likes of Steam Greenlight, the rise of the “independant” developer and the general nostalgia around old games. Unfortunately, there is a whole swath of 8-bit inspired games to choose from and it seems that Flem may well be lost in the sea of 8-bit.
There is nothing that this game has to make it stand out. Boring and bland looks, no true story, no spoken dialogue. Even the soundtrack gets pretty annoying pretty quickly, so much so I only endured about 5 minutes of it before turning it off completely.
This game is priced at £4.99 and there is a very good reason for that. It is quite simply mediocre but if you enjoy puzzle platformers and want something to play for a couple minutes at a time then you won’t be disappointed, just don’t expect this to hold your interest for long.
(Note from ED: The review copy sent to the reviewer was preview copy and in a discussion with the developer they stated that it was a ‘practically final version’).