Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Antipole


This review will be my first mini-review focused on XBLIG's--these mini-reviews will be sort of like impressions of the game's trial versions rather than the full versions. As you can see there are not as many parts to it and it's compressed compared to a normal Review article.

Antipole 240 MSP


  • XBLIV Rating -
  • Developer - Saturnine Games LLC
  • Genre - Platformer
  • Release Date - 1/21/2011
  • Price - 240 MSP
  • XBL Marketplace URL - Antipole
  • Developer Website - Saturnine Games
"Wield your powers of gravity manipulation to fend off a robot invasion. Perform impossible jumps, destroy enemies, and solve puzzles by bending gravity. Explore 20 challenging levels, 2 difficulty settings, and bonus unlockable content."
                                                                      --Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace Description

Saturine Games LLC
is quite an interesting Indie Game Developer studio--it has created a title on not only XBL Indie Games but on Nintendo DSiWare as well, making them a cross-over studio that focuses on more than one Indie gameset. Their DSiWare game, Cosmos X-2, is a space-age shooter that incorporates first person views as well as a third person shoot-em-up adventure--this game is quite different than their XBL release, however. Saturine Games has also announced another upcoming title to be released on the XBL Indie Games Marketplace: it's dubbed as "Turtle Tale" and has only been announced through a promotional game cover--no details were released yet on this future project.

Image from Antipole

Antipole, Saturine Games LLC's first Platformer, is quite inventive and unique as it incorporates gravity transversal which allows players to think outside the box to progress onwards throughout the game. Conventionally, platformers are side-scrollers that have one main objective: to get to the next level or stage. To do that, however, is the challenge--many foes lie await in your way along with deadly obstacles and lethal drops. Players must jump, evade, kill and most importantly, plan their attempts or failure is guaranteed. Antipole takes a conventional Platformer and flips it over on it's head--literally.

Image from Antipole

By giving gamers the ability to use ceilings to get powerups and to progress onwards throughout levels, Antipole has earned a passage in one of the most original platformers I've ever seen in an Indie Game. I can't help but to be reminded of Castlevania's Symphony of the Night, especially when the entire game map is inverted and turned upside down--Antipole further challenges gamers to think differently and abstractly all while enjoying all the themes and elements you'd come to expect from any platformer game.
This sci-fi side-scroller has a loose storyline that progresses as you get farther and farther throughout the game, but the mechanics and overall goal are the same--kill foes, get past obstacles, get to the next stage.

Antipole also has great color composition and style--the menus are amazing and the characters, meters, power ups, and tokens are animated very well. Another unique element of this game is its unlockables--usually most games use this as an incentive to buy the game, however Antipole offers a slew of "awardments" that can unlock in-game content as well as power-ups for your character. We've seen this same concept take place in many Indie Games, and to me, it's an unique and fun replacement for Achievements and Awards found in retail Xbox Live Arcade and retail Xbox 360 games.

Image from Antipole

It is highly reccommended to all those that enjoy minor puzzler/unique Platformers, especially futuristically-themed ones. Try the Trial Game for free--I've played it many times over now, as its a great game to blow off some steam and have fun by flying up onto the ceiling--if you're skeptical, yet I find myself as a gamer who enjoys RPGs and not Platformers yet I had quite an enjoyable time with this game.

 For more information on Antipole and it's creator, Saturnine Games, check the links below:



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