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17
Jul

Review: Spoiler Alert

You know the ending, now it’s time to “uncomplete” the whole game backwards with Spoiler Alert!

This article originally appeared on the PMS Clan website in July, 2014.

At first glance, Spoiler Alert by first-time developers Megafuzz resembles your average platformer inspired by Super Mario. You begin the game as a wiggling chili pepper adorning a bucket on his head rushing for coins and jumping on enemies to knock them out. The level is quick and painless, with the final boss taking only one hit to kill. You celebrate your triumphs by retrieving the Tomato Princess and running off-screen. Then the credits roll.

But, the game isn’t over yet.

sa_tom

The same screen with Tomato Princess resurfaces, but this time rewinds. You now get to play the entire game backwards from level 100, but the catch is you can’t cause a time paradox. All of those coins Chili Pepper missed on his way to the princess? You can’t get those. All of the enemies you defeated? “Un-kill” them.

sa_jump

The shtick that saves Spoiler Alert from being just another platformer is its fusion with the puzzle genre, demanding precision and timing at a fast pace. The game is addicting and by no means hard since the player can “uncomplete” the game in less than 45 minutes in the first run. The learning curve is steady, displaying quick tutorials mid-game when you encounter new power ups like a hammerhead shark costume or the ability to roll underneath platforms.

sa_ham

What makes this game a challenge is timing the jumps. Random energy balls shot from off-screen by penguins piloting spaceships have prompted my greatest failures. Other hazards are spikes and slippery pavement. The worst, oddly enough, are “un-catching” the gold coins. Similar to Scribblenauts, you can go back to each individual level to try and get a gold trophy if you mess up on the first time. After beating all three worlds, a fourth bonus area appropriately deemed the Mariachi level unlocks. Enemies fought in previous areas now fashion ponchos or cowboy hats as chili pepper runs backwards blindly in a too-big sombrero to cheery music.

The storyline is lackluster, with the only text narratives popping up during boss scenes. Though I do have to say, the surprise at the “beginning” changed my perception of the story. Spoiler Alert doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should you.

sa_cacti

In the Mariachi level, the cacti laugh when you fail. What kind of cruel world is this?

 

With Spoiler Alert’s hefty price tag of $7.99 on Steam and brief lifespan, you might want to wait until more content comes out before purchasing. The game is fun but its shortness, coupled with repetitive gameplay, even in the level builder section, makes it a one-time play for now.

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