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The eponymous hero Scarygirl runs, jumps, glides, swings and rolls across different locales and hazards while fighting her way through all sorts of cutsie enemies. The game feels very childish, but the gameplay itself is that of a hardcore platformer. The game in some ways reminds me a bit of games like Donkey Kong Country, sometimes putting the player into a situation of extreme peril to discover a secret or hidden item. Along the way, Scarygirl will collect gems that can purchase various power-ups and abilities to allow her to augment her abilities as well.
Scarygirl is based off of the graphic novel by Nathan Jurevicius and deals with her adventures throughout the world. The idea has been seen before but it is a fun game that both veteran gamers and young gamers can get themselves into. Combat is combo based button mashing while special movement style abilities and relegated to rolls and gliding through the air. Enjoyable concepts that will remind veteran gamers of Klonoa or the already mentioned Donkey Kong games and expose the newbies to these classic concepts.
While the game is filled with old school platforming nostalgia, Scarygirl is very vanilla when it comes to absolute variety. The game is enjoyable, but every level has it’s own “gimick”. Things like falling boulders, or hazards from the background falling into the playing area and even the typical water hazards are the type of things that you encounter while playing. It may not sound that bad, but I assure you, you have seen these things before and once you navigate past them once or twice, the honeymoon is over. Pairing that with creative, yet simplistic, combat will make many gamers find sessions to be shorter, since boredom can easily set in.
One of the larger issues that I encountered while playing also happened to be one of the things I liked the most on paper. Scarygirl offers a large amount of customization that shapes the way gameplay works. The thing is, many abilities and add-ons are not in a reasonable price range when you first encounter a use for them. Yes, this creates a reason to backtrack to levels you have been to already but it also come off as frustrating since you may already know what needs to be done but end up a handful of levels short of gems to purchase the upgrades you need. This form of carrot dangling would be acceptable if the awards were worth the work but they end up being little things like health add-ons. Megaman X did this feature the right way by rewarding backtracking by actually upgrading and enhancing abilities by finding these secrets, instead of vice-versa.
Now Scarygirl isn’t a bad game, if anything it shows how great a concept it is to create an old school platformer with new concepts. Unfortunately, it straddles a line between being an enjoyable experience and just an okay game, since I found myself just getting bored at times. The greatest thing about Scarygirl does absolutely have to be the game’s personality. To my son, the game was captivating and appealing, with surreal areas and colorful enemies. If that was what TikGames was aiming for when the game was made, they did a great job. There is a 2 player mode that we enjoyed a good bit, I was able o take on the major challenges while he just jumped around and enjoyed himself.
If you have kids, Scarygirl may be a game you would want to pick up. If you are pinning for an old school platformer, you will get your money out of it. If you are neither of the above, try the demo, see if you like it. Scarygirl a good game that just does not have something for everyone.
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- The game’s aesthetics are appealing
- simplistic combat
- music and narration are enjoyable
- Co-op mode
- A bit too easy
- A fair amount of backtracking for one item
- I found myself getting slightly bored after some gameplay