“Why match colored blocks when you can just shoot the hell out of them?”
If you enjoy randomized platforming challenges, puzzle game mechanics, cute retro pixel art, and nostalgic chiptune music, Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is the game you’ve been looking for.
The game, made by Andrew Morrish and Adult Swim Games, is a unique blend of action and puzzle. Your character maneuvers along colored blocks which fall at random from above, shooting blocks to destroy them and gathering the fragments that drop to power your gun. Your goal is to find gems, which fall along with the blocks every now and then, and, of course, to stay alive – not as easy as it sounds, since the bottom of the screen is lined with spikes and hazards regularly drop amongst the blocks.
Destroying the blocks brings you closer to the spikes below, and touching them (or any of the other hazards, including cannons and swinging chainsaws) means instant death. You also lose points if a falling block drops on your head.
Super Puzzle Platformer has full controller support and the gameplay is very smooth, though challenging. It takes practice to survive more than the first minute or so, but over time you find yourself lasting longer and longer, and looking for more challenges to overcome.
And the game does not lack challenges. Reaching certain goals in the main game not only unlocks new areas to try (with their own challenges and hazards), you can also unlock challenge levels which will test your platforming ability in different ways. There are also plenty of Steam achievements to earn along the way.
Game rounds typically don’t last longer than a few minutes. Although it is difficult and requires practice, the game does not require a huge investment of time all at once. You can turn it on, play for five minutes on a coffee break, then quit and do something else without having lost anything. With its retro graphics and sound, Super Puzzle Platformer is clearly targeted at children of the 1980s and early 90s, who grew up with consoles like the NES and SNES. Now that this generation has grown up and has other responsibilities, often not having the time to invest in larger video games, it seems likely that this short playtime was a conscious choice on the part of the developers to draw in casual gamers as well as hardcore ones who can spend hours honing their skills and overcoming the toughest challenges.
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe can be bought on Steam for 8.99 local currency, and it’s well worth the price. There is also a free flash version that you can play in your browser called Super Puzzle Platformer Plus, which lacks controller support and is missing many features of the full game, but which serves as an excellent demo if you’re unsure whether to buy the game or not.