Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp

I have a proposition for Microsoft.  It’s a bit radical but hear me out on this one.  I think every XNA subscription should come bundled with a dude named Gus.  Gus will just hang around when you are designing your games.  Now if it’s obvious the project is flawed from the beginning and the developer has no talent, Gus will simply alert the guys who have confused the job of reviewing games with kissing ass to break out the Chapstick.

However, if the designer has talent and is in the process of creating a fun title, Gus will stick around and continue to observe the development process.  And in the event the designer decides to include a feature that is so mind-numbingly stupid that it could potentially sink their game, Gus will empty a can of pepper spray on their face.  It’s my hypothesis that this will lead to a developer more carefully thinking through design choices.

I think this is a good plan, Microsoft.  You can save money by using the same guys who shoot people’s dogs when they use bad game quotes.  Oh, and just because the guy is billed as being named “Gus” doesn’t mean the guy actually has to be named Gus.  It’s a marketing thing, just like the “Geek Squad” is for Best Buy.  I have it on good authority that some of those guys are really more like dweebs than geeks.

Okay, end of insane rant, and on to the review.  I put a call out on Twitter for older releases that would be possible contenders for the Leaderboard here.  The always cool Chounard was swift to nominate Johnny Platform Saves Christmas.  This was quickly endorsed by multiple Twits, and thus it secured the spot in this review.  Well kinda.  As it turns out, JP Saves Christmas is a sequel.  For some reason, it just seems weird to me to review a game without having played the original, so I figured I should grab it and start there.

Thus, Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp.  It’s a puzzle-platformer where you play as this stick-figure-with-a-giant-green-head-thingie who has to navigate 55 single-room levels.  I guess calling these boards puzzles is a bit misleading.  They’re pretty much as puzzling as a light switch, so maybe this should just be called a platformer.  In order to clear most stages, you have to hop’n’bop all the baddies in a stage.  Other times, you just have to get to the door.  Along the way you’ll have to make use of a double jump and occasionally push blocks or wheels into place.

JP Biscuit Romp actually is pretty good, even though it has a couple glaring issues.  The first thing I should note is that the game’s difficulty has more curves than someone who has subjected themselves to reverse-liposuction.  Not that it ever gets particularly difficult, but there are times where one room will offer multiple baddies and clever layouts, and the next will be a straight forward “get to the goal” type of stage that can be beaten in seconds.  Actually, a lot of Xbox Live Indie Games tend to have issues with proper difficulty progression.  It’s further proof that Gus is a good idea.

But where Gus would really have had a good time is when the developers decided to include a lives system.  The fact that it even exists is a sin against gaming.  There’s no high scores and you achieve a “checkpoint” every five stages, so what purpose does it serve besides adding tedium to the experience?  It’s not really that big a deal but it does break the flow of the game and it’s really the only major flaw here, so I figured I should bring it up and someone should be washing their mouth out with Mace as a result.

Otherwise, Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp is a perfectly fine waste of an hour.  I had planned to do a double-review, much like I did with the Platformance games, but Biscuit Romp was good enough to talk about on its own.  It certainly gives me hope that the Christmas game will be a contender for the Leaderboard, especially since that’s the game that actually won last night’s nomination.  Then again, adding Christmas to anything rarely ends well.  Just look at the Ernest movies.  Or Judaism.

Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp was developed by Ishisoft Games

80 Microsoft Points noted that other things ruined by Christmas include drive-time radio, prime-time network programming, and diets in the making of this review.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

8 Responses to Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp

  1. John Getty says:

    Good lord, whoever played the game in the video clip in the end needs to play more Mario or something. That was some awful platforming haha. Good review otherwise. Seems like a decent platformer.

    • Kairi Vice says:

      That would be someone from IGN. Apparently they planned to cover XBLIGs when the service first started. Didn’t take. That clip had exactly 1 page view when I found it.

  2. Dcon6393 says:

    I agree with all of your comments, but the sequel is a bit more challenging. The lives system is a bit annoying, but it does keep me from rushing straight in willy nilly. I do like the Gus idea though, but to me most people already have a Gus, his name is really Common Sense. It seems a lot of people do not like to listen to him though.

  3. My name is Gus, but I don’t want the job of telling people to scrap their projects, even if they are shit. That’s the point of XBLIG, create any game you want, with minimal restrictions and see what happens. It is supposed to spawn creativity, and so what if there are a whole pile of games no one wants to play.

    • Kairi Vice says:

      Who said anything about Gus getting people to scrap projects? The point of Gus is to save good games from having bad ideas.

      I can see reading comprehension isn’t highly thought of in the Australian educational system.

  4. Chounard says:

    I’m glad you dig the game. I agree with your criticisms, but it’s still a fun game. I think the sequel is even better.

  5. ilRadd says:

    Not a bad little game from what I remember – I never played the 2nd one, maybe I’ll give that one a go.

  6. Pingback: Johnny Platform Saves Christmas « Indie Gamer Chick

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