After a long wait The Adventures of Shuggy comes to PC finally,as well as Xbox360, PSN and soon for PSV, The game is a 2D puzzle platformer game, developed by Smudged Cat Games and published by Valcom Games.The Adventures of Shuggy is a puzzle platform format game that is about a vampire bat called Shuggy who has inherited his grandfather’s castle, however when he arrives there, all is not as it should be and he needs to collect the gems whilst avoiding the nasties that have been in the castle to fix the castle.The story of Shuggy is told in a comic style cut scene at the beginning of the game, and when each section of the castle is complete. The comic strip is very colourful, and doesn’t move through the story too fast so players are able to read the strip comfortably.
The game comprises of over 100 levels, which are split in to 5 stages of the game; Dungeon, Boiler Room, Gallery Room, Graveyard and the Clock Tower. These stages are unlockable by collecting keys by completing levels in each section. Every level has a game mechanic that is needed in order to collect the gems to complete the level, with new mechanics introduced with each new stage; that are required to complete that collections of levels. In addition to these levels; each section has a ‘boss’ level that is required to be beaten to be allowed to continue to the next section.
Mechinisms in the game include: the ability to spin the room around, multiple Shuggys, big/little Shuggys, teleporting, timer based mechanism. These mechanisms keep the game fresh throughout the sections. There are not always instructions on how to use each mechanism, however as Shuggy has very simple controls, with the right trigger being the ‘Action’ button, it’s very easy to pick up how each one works and at the start of the level you are given what type of action that room uses with a picture depicting it and a short cryptic description on what to expect.
With over 100 levels in the single player and an further 36 levels in co-op mode this game has plenty of longevity about it; with a large amount of levels that might take a few times to get right in both modes; with a frustration level on some of them that could rival that of some of Super Meat Boys levels. Once the player has completed enough levels a Challenge mode is unlocked in the Multiplayer mode. The challenge mode is a head to head with local or Xbox Live player hex based game, where player picks a level from the grid, and has to complete it within the time to win that square. The aim is to create a path to the other side by colouring in the sqaures by winning the levels.
This game has adding length if you are able to connect with Xbox Live, as there is head to head races, co-op on Live, challenges and of course Leader boards to aim to top, this is in addition to once a level has been completed, your completed time is used as a timer, to try and beat and further yourself up the Leader Boards.
The art style of this game is very much in the style of a flash game, with simple yet effective graphics, and well coloured and drawn, however in HD. My only gripes about the games graphics and presentation is the game is in 4:3 (which I can understand) and during the time based levels, the countdown to reset clock is placed in the top right hand corner of the level, which can cover up certain parts of the level, such as gems.
The presentation of Adventures of Shuggy is very good, the comic strip style of storytelling is extremely well done, and the art style fits the type of game perfectly. The only problems with the presentation is the fact the game area is set for 4:3, and to be honest that looks a bit naff on a big screen. Also the placement of some of the objects needs to change to make some of the levels easier to play, as you’re not missing a part of the game screen. The character design of Shuggy is very well done, and the ‘cute’ look of him fits the games art style. Shuggys audio is basic with a different piece of music for each section, the music is charming, however it’s only there as background as it doesn’t add to the gameplay.
The game play of Shuggy is innovative with the introduction of different mechanism in the levels, making no level the same, even with levels that use the same mechanism. The gameplay is extremely enjoyable if not a little frustrating at times with more difficult levels, that could take a few attempts to complete, however no level is too hard that it couldn’t be completed keeping the game still enjoyable. The added co-op levels and little extras just keep on adding to the gameplay enjoyment.
With over 100 levels in single player and 36 in co-op this game has a good life span for a XBLA game. The game can take an able player several hours of gameplay to finish all the levels in this game, plus with the Xbox Live feature of leader boards and head to heads with local and Live players this produces several more hours of gameplay. There are also 12 achievements that can be gained, by finishing levels, and beating some in a certain time or way.
Overall Shuggy is a well-made arcade game that will keep players entertained with its interesting and challenging game play and nice clean art, and is worth is 800MSP price tag. It’s a game that can be enjoyed by older children and adults alike (rated pegi 12).
I really enjoyed playing this game and will continue to do so; however I did come across some loading errors for the game. Sometimes it will take a few attempts to get the game to enter the start screen after the publishers and developer’s splashes, other times it required a Xbox shut down and restart before it will play. Also if a disc is in the disc tray it can be temperamental starting, as removing the disc sorted it. This isn’t in the review however as I cannot be sure if it’s my xbox causing it or the game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.