Stand up and stretch your arms out to either side of the room. Did anything happen? Anything like, say, your arms growing to an abnormal length allowing you to stick to and hang suspended between both walls? No? That's okay. That just means you're a boring, fleshy, ordinary organic being. But if you want to be something more, something extend-ier and stickier, then try Nitrome's arcade game Plunger. Use [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move our square avatar around, only instead of inefficient human legs he uses long plunger appendages that shoot out to either side of him in the direction you move, allowing you to slide along their length. The goal is to get yourself to and connect to all flashing purple nodes on a level, without bumping into any enemies or the nodes themselves since both will prove fatal. And, uh. So will a lot of other things. In fact, seemingly cheerful, innocuous bits of your environment will be glad to spit fire at you, or reel you in to gobble you whole, or otherwise ruin your day. Fortunately for you, there are pickups around that can help you out, like the lightning bolt that temporarily turns you into a masked electric avenger that can destroy enemies.
Plunger is a simple concept done up to almost unbearably cute degrees. Nitrome's always had a knack with cartoony environments, but something about the delighted squeal of our square hero when you win a level and the relentless cheer masking the deadliness of your environment makes this one a little bit extra special. A lot of the game's challenge comes from just figuring out what is deadly and how to avoid it, which is part of the charm when there are so many different elements in play that react to you in different ways. On the other hand, it also feels like a lot of progress can be made simply by abandoning caution and planning for mere flailing about until you get where you need to be and staying ahead of enemies. If you like a game where figuring out the rules of each stage is part of the experience, however, Plunger is a silly, fun, energetic little game that's sure to make you look at askance at chipper flora and fauna in your every day life. Yeah, bird. Keep up with the "Oh, I'm so harmless, tip-tip-tip". I got my eye on you.
Nitrome has been on a hot streak in terms of game quality, but this game finally has that old, bright charm that I've been looking for.
Oh, definitely. This was a great first release, and that little plunger guy is adorable, plus all the other enemies and the artwork. For some reason, the background for this game reminds me of Skywire's artwork. Maybe it's the yellows, or the fact that most things in both games have tiny, lovable characters.
The only thing I can't stand is that this computer I'm using makes the game animation choppy and my controls unresponsive, so I'm dying on pretty much every level past 3, especially on levels that involve a lot of moving. Oh, well. I'll just have to wait until I figure out what is going on.
Fortunately, the one thing that has been kept in tact despite unresponsive controls is that mellow catchy bassline in the music. I'm practically moving my head to the beat every time I attempt to play.