VVVVVV is very much a retro 2D game. Just from the loading screen it took me back to yelling at my older brother to stop beating me as we played games on the Atari. The premise of the games is that you are the Captain of a space ship that just crashed. However moments before the crash you and your crew teleport off the ship, but of course it malfunctions. You are now alone in a strange place and must find and save the rest of your six person crew. While on the mission of finding your crew member you run into spiked pits, moving/disappearing platforms, and moving enemies blocking your path. All you can to is move left and right and flip up and down. That’s right flip; you either walk on the ground or the ceiling.
I have to give a thumbs up to the music for this game. I was kind of worried that it would get in grained in my head and I would randomly start humming it, but that was not the case. It gets you tapping your foot and really makes you feel like you’re a kid playing those old school games again.
On the other hand I didn’t really like the controls too much. I found that the buttons they say to use don’t really match what they say at the start of the game. The action buttons stated on the title screen are space, z or v. When you get in game it says to flip use an action button, but “w”, “s”, or the up and down arrow keys will make you flip too (they don’t tell you this till later in the game). For all other actions, such as making conversations advance, you have to use the action buttons listed at the start of the game. It also seemed as though the left and right directions were extremely sensitive while up and down seemed to not work or lag behind.
This game is not a simple “run around and avoid the dangers” kind of game. It requires you to think and look ahead. For example in part of 1st level you have only a small gap to fall down surround by spikes. Little do you know though is that there are more spikes below on the next screen. Needless to say if it weren’t for the checkpoints being everywhere this game would be impossible (saves are only available if you buy the game).
Overall though, it is a pretty good game. The controls take a little getting used to but once you get them down it becomes much easier. This game is a lot about the timing of your moves, which can cause it to be frustrating at times. However the trance-like, upbeat music keeps you going. Is this $5 Steam game worth the bucks? I say yes!