Imagine for a moment a precision platformer that is not only amazing-looking and smartly designed, but also accessible to regular human beings. Dizzy? It’s possible! I found it! It’s Super Cable Boy.
I understand the purpose of precision platform games. They’re for a select group of people whose gaming skills far exceed my own. They with the dexterity of ballerina fighter pilots, as they delicately string together balletic manoeuvres through impossibly tiny gaps in impossibly difficult games. I respect that a lot. I’m just not one of them, and often feel a bit sad when so many gorgeous-looking platform games just don’t seem to want the likes of me to come in.
Super Cable Boy is about the adventures of a small Game Boy-like character, who must jump, bounce and swing his way through levels, in order to reach electrical outlets and seemingly loop together a vast array of levels into one connected network. And, if he so chooses, he can make it far harder for himself by trying to pick up an onigiri on the way.
That’s the genius twist here. These levels can be easy. Sometimes too easy, you may find yourself saying, before remembering you opted into that. Or they can be far trickier if you’re willing to take the more complicated, more treacherous routes that lead to the riceballs, and then carry the extra burden of reaching the endpoint with that under your belt. Any mistake resets the level, which happens in the blink of an eye. Your eyes, however, will be closed and in your palms in abject frustration that you goofed yet again, and now have to decide if you’ll try the onigiri run again, or just take the easy path.
It certainly helps that the art is really special too. This one-man dev team has done something clever here – it reminds of Game Boy aesthetics, while feeling like something much more modern. This is never better, oddly, than in the level select menu, where it rotates in the most spectacular fashion. That’s not to take away from the levels themselves at all.
You can pick Super Cable Boy up on Steam for $US15 ($20). There’s a lot of it to enjoy, and I’ve absolutely adored my time with it. But ballerina fighter pilots beware: this one’s for the rest of us.