The Indie Lounge is a special short-form column on Two Credits intended to seek out and highlight interesting indie titles without requiring a full-on review to be put together. There are simply far too many games being released these days to provide full coverage to every title, and the hope is that the creation of The Indie Lounge will allow us to cover a large segment of games that we otherwise would not be able to.
Necrosphere is a simplistic indie platformer with metroidvania elements. Unlike most other platformers, you only have two buttons at your disposal – you can either move left or right, and for the most part that’s about it. There is also a certain ballet suit that unlocks later on in the game which gives you the ability to perform a quick sideways dash, but for the most part you’re constrained to just basic left and right movement. Although in theory that probably sounds boring, I can assure you the game is anything but. The simplicity of design actually ends up working out incredibly well as the developers have done a great job of putting together puzzles that stay fresh and challenging throughout the title despite the lack of many modern platforming features like wall-jumping, double jumping, or even regular jumping.
One of the things that surprised me most about this game is how well it succeeds at being challenging while remaining relatively frustration-free. Many of the platforming puzzles are quite difficult and will take you quite a few tries to get through, but the game is very generous with its use of checkpoints and you respawn almost instantly after dying which prevents the game from falling into the trap a lot of other “challenging games” do where progress ends up feeling less like progress and more like a slow and painful slog through content you’ve already completed.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by the story, to be sure, but the aesthetic and music aren’t half bad. The cutesy pixel-art style is pleasant to look at and the animations are nice and crisp. My only minor complaint is that the music gets a little repetitive after you’ve played for a while.
In short, if you’re at all interested in playing a challenging platforming game that you can just pick up and play on a whim, this one should probably be on your radar. The web demo is pretty extensive and should give you a good idea of whether or not it’s something you’d be interested in picking up.
Necrosphere is slated for release on September 1, 2017 on Steam and Itch.io. Until then, you can play the demo version of the game in-browser for free.