February 29, 2012 3 Comments
I want to try an experiment. Let’s start by having you pat yourself on the head. Good. Now, try rubbing your belly at the same time. Can you do it? Impressive. I can’t even chew in both sides of my mouth at the same time, so I salute you, oh dexterous one. I have one final challenge for you. Keep rubbing your belly and patting your head, then boot up Super Mario Bros. and try playing it. Because that’s essentially what NYAN-TECH is about.
Okay, so maybe the concept is more like Twister meets Solomon’s Key. You play as an adorable kitty cat person thingie that has to grab a key and exit a level through a door. The gimmick here is that the platforms you must hop across are activated by holding down various buttons on the Xbox controller. Usually the combinations are something ridiculous, like holding the X button and left bumper down while jumping, then releasing X mid jump and pressing the right trigger. To be perfectly frank, I’m not capable of it. Dexterity is not something I’m famous for. Well, unless you count my ping-pong ball trick.
I was able to finish NYAN-TECH, mostly by placing the controller on the table in front of me, freeing my hands up to do the proper stretching needed to complete the stages. Sadly, this wasn’t nearly enough to make the game playable. Issues with jumping physics, or to be specific, landing physics, kept me firmly grounded in misery. The ground is slippery, as if the game is set on a glacier. It’s not. At least I don’t think so. It’s kind of hard to tell, what with the camera pulled so far back that you practically need a telescope to decipher things. My TV could be used by Godzilla as an ironing board, and yet I had trouble seeing which buttons some of the things required me to push.
Finally, I had a big issue with the time limit that is imposed. Especially on level 3-4, which took me an hour (it felt more like days) to finish. In NYAN-TECH, the timer only shrinks when you move. In most of the 27 levels (excluding tutorial stages) you’ll have more than enough time remaining to finish. But near the end of the “hard” stages, things get a bit fuck-youish. In 3-4, you literally cannot make a single misstep. We’re talking about a game that requires you to do things with a game controller that someone with a third arm growing out of their torso would find difficult to pull off, and that’s on top of the questionable physics. I admit, it felt world-conqueringly amazing when I beat the stage, but then I remembered that I had lost sixty minutes of my life and felt like crying the entire time, which made me feel not so good.
I asked for an XBLIG I missed that could contend for the leaderboard here. I got a few recommendations of NYAN-TECH, so I gave it a try. Do I regret that? Not completely. After all, I started Indie Gamer Chick looking for new and experimental types of games. Does that mean I can recommend NYAN-TECH? Well, no. Even if I concede that some people are better suited for the type of hand-yoga it requires, the technical flaws still outweigh the gameplay to a significant degree. That or I’m way off base and the game is spectacular if you can walk and chew gum at the same time. Which I can do, by the way. It’s just that I have a 50% chance of somehow landing myself in a coma while trying.
80 Microsoft Points need defibrillators on stand-by just to attempt twiddling my thumbs in the making of this review.
Some dude named StriderHoang made that video. Only gameplay footage I could find. Check out his channel I guess.