Review – Chester

Chester came out a couple of days ago as part of the Indie Games Summer Uprising, after fans of the game voted it in to the promotion. It’s easy to see why.

Chester is a 2D platformer with a gimmick. Not only can you choose between different characters, you can also choose between a bunch of different visual styles, too, and every level can be switched between every style on the fly, if you so desire.

That there is just one of them, and each of them is unique and looks really great. There’s an 8-bit theme, a sketch theme, and a bunch more on top of that too. Some are better than others for things like, oh, I don’t know, seeing where you want to go, but all of them are impressive in their own ways and all of them fit the feel of the game.

This gimmick is also where the game starts to suffer. While each style looks amazing, it also means there isn’t really much feeling of progression in the game. Each level is part of one of three worlds, and progressing from world to world just gives you more levels with the same visual styles you’re already used to, and as a result every single level starts to feel exactly the same as the level before it.

There’s never any moments that surprise the player, and it feels a lot like just going through the motions to get to the end of the game. There are no bosses, either, so it really is a case of seeing everything the game has in the first few levels, then all that’s left to offer change is levels that get harder.

It’s unfortunate, because aside from this, Chester can be a lot of fun. The platforming itself is up there with the very best on XBLIGs. He jumps in a very satisfying way, with a perfect feeling of weight and momentum in all his movements that so many games get wrong. The enemies are varied and each has its own specific attack patterns and a specific way for it to be taken down. Some are more frustrating than others but all are easy enough to kill if you take it slowly.

All the platformer clichés you could want are here too. Each level is littered with collectibles that unlock those other characters and graphic styles, either by collecting enough stamps or by finding an item in a level specific to that character. There’s also a spaceship part (well) hidden in each level to find.

It’s funny, too. There’s no dialogue but the character designs and the artwork itself just has a whimsical air about it that makes the game incredibly appealing.

It’s not a game to sit and play for long periods, then, because the levels quickly start to feel samey. Played a couple of levels at a time, though, there’s some great platforming to be had, here.

Chester is available now for 240 Microsoft Points.

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3 Responses to Review – Chester

  1. Pingback: Indie Games Summer Uprising – Week 2 « Achievement Locked

  2. Luì Gì says:

    Falling through platforms for no apparent reason is especially funny. The game is pretty bugged…

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