XBLIG – Uncraft Me

More in the ‘I missed this’ series, I recently found Uncraft Me via a Youtube suggested video, and I’m very impressed.

Uncraft me is a jetpack platformer – some goddesses have been locked in cubes, and the only way to free them is to run through each level launching rockets at the cubes each time you reach a checkpoint.  What this means is it’s an excuse to have a bunch of anime chick pictures in the background, and a bunch of levels which range from easy to ‘OK, you win, I give up’.

I gave up at stage 8 out of 9 on a particularly horrible section with thin tunnels you can’t touch the sides of, with small single block platforms, and rocket launchers that seek the player.  The levels are well designed generally, although there are some sections which will make you tear your hair out (by design), and the really rough ones are the red laser gates which are a timed obstacle.  Too slow and you’re going to be starting from that checkpoint again.

The controls are pretty good if a little more twitchy than they could be – I’ll be honest I really don’t like analogue controls on 2D platformers – on paper it gives you more control but the reality?  No thanks – I’d prefer to tap digital to move slowly.  You have left, right and boost – but your boost guage is limited and only refills when landing on platforms, so sparing use in some sections is key.

Graphically the game really shines – the goddesses look great in the background (these can be switched to kittens if you’re really offended by cartoon women), but the real star is the platform world.  It’s done in voxel/cube style, sort of like Minecraft but everything is well animated and it moves at a solid 60fps.  In fact I think I saw it drop one frame about 4 times in total across my time playing it.  End result?  Brilliant.

The music is really good too, with lots of variety but one serious flaw.  Initially I thought the sound was missing or broken (seen it before in XBLIG titles) – reality is that the normal volume I play most games at is so quiet in this one that it’s practically silent.  For the video I had to apply about 9-11db of volume boost and it’s still nowhere near the usable peak.  Do remember to turn the volume back down after playing…

Highly recommended, there aren’t too many better ways to spend a dollar.