To gamers, there is but one use of the arrow keys on the keyboard — the controls for platform games. Platform games appear very simple, really. There are random wall slabs (platforms) hovering against the laws of gravity in a 2D environment. Add in some primitive 16bit graphics, and a repetitive music tune that place in the background, that rapidly changes when crap hits the ceiling, and levels get successively more notorious due to changes in the position and number of wall slabs and obstacles. All that we need to do then, is run and jump.
In the league of platforms like ‘Super Mario’, came ‘Super Meat Boy’. ‘Super Meatboy’ is a cube of flesh whose goal in life is to reach ‘bandage girl’ at the other side of the level. Even with plain running and jumping, SMB is pretty grisly. One wrong move causing Meatboy to touch a spike — would result in him splattering into pixels of blood, a reminder of your mistakes as you redo the level. And it can get very infuriating if you don’t finish the level in one go, which also means you spend a lot of time on the game.
We must take a moment to appreciate the creative genius of Edmund McMillen and his collaborators in the games he’s developed. It’s hard enough to follow through one good idea, but to have multiple successful wacky ones.. ‘The Binding of Isaac’ is another of the platform games, but a different sub-genre that involves running, jumping and real-time shooting combined. Platform games compensate for the simplicity in controls and graphics through their infinite universe.
‘The Binding of Isaac’ uses procedurally generated maps, and ensure that you can play for however long, and will probably not see the same thing again twice. There are also extremely creative powerups and pick up items, such as a golden turd (I’m not sure now what that does again).
Now, McMillen has collaborated to make another game called ‘The End is Nigh!’ — the trailer is so vague, that you don’t really understand if or not they’re joking about it. The game releases on July 12, with a disclaimer that “you’ll die a lot, but that’s ok because you are probably already dead anyway.”