Edgeland is a punisher starring a cute little blue ball.  This is roughly the one-millionth punisher I’ve played on XBLIG (give or take) and I have to say, the whole juxtaposition between cute graphics and sadistic gameplay has officially become stale.  As have punishers where the only thing that makes them difficult is having horrendous play control.  In that sense, Edgeland is past the point of being stale and has moved onto decomposition.

Pictured to the left in this picture: the fossilized remains of the last truly sublime game from this genre.

Like 99.9% of all platformers (give or take), Edgeland simply asks players to get from point A to point B, which generally means moving right until the game says you win, or if they want to get really ballsy, moving left until the game says you win.  Edgeland really changes things up by hiding the goal from time to time.  Otherwise, gameplay consists of jumping around, dying on spikes, jumping around, and dying some more.  Part of this has to do with the spikes blending in a little too much with the background sometimes.  Most of it has to do with the controls being looser than the village whore.  I think the game was trying for a Super Meat Boy like feel, but Edgeland lacks the mind-numbing dexterity of SMB.  The blue ball thingie can only jump, and the physics of that are purely inertia based.  Thus, when you jump, sticking a landing is overly difficult.  Despite the floatiness, the blue ball feels a little too heavy, whereas if Meat Boy was any lighter on his the feet, Republicans would line up to buy chicken sandwiches in protest of him.

Honestly, Edgeland is not a terrible game or anything.  But this is the same shit that gets shoveled out on XBLIG on a weekly basis, and I’m getting bored with the genre.  The give-up point for me was stage thirteen.  By this point, ice was introduced to the game.  Of course it was.  I’m almost convinced that platform developers great and small are forced at gunpoint to sign some kind of pledge guaranteeing at least one section of ice stages and one section of fire stages in each title.  Because nothing says fun like having your character handle like Inspector Gadget got drunk and said “Go Go Gadget Sealegs!”  I’m not exactly sure what that means either, but it seemed funny and I’ve been dying to do an Inspector Gadget joke, so plebbbbbb.  My point was that ice levels are platforming buzzkils.  Name one time, just ONE fucking time, when they were anything but an unfun pain in the ass to play?  (Brian: CHIP’S CHALLENGE!  Me: Not a platformer, doesn’t count)

Let’s pass a law saying that developers can only include ice levels in games if they rest ice cubes on their genitals while coding them. That ought to put a stop to their production.

So in Edgeland, the guy already handled like a walrus bathed in petroleum jelly.  With the ice, they took away what little traction he had.  Not only that, but they also seemed to take away the checkpoints.  I went pretty deep into stage 13 and didn’t hit one.  I was practically tripping over them in all the other stages, and that was the only reason why I hadn’t decided to microwave my controller up to that point.  Without them, my will to press forward was nonexistent.  Maybe Edgeland isn’t as bad as I have it pegged and I’m just suffering from punisher burnout.  Okay, that’s being too nice, because the game is a sloppy handling piece of shit.

But I’m going to put a moratorium on doing any more punishers in the month of August.  I’m not sure why so many get made anyway.  They’re not huge sellers.  Hell, outside of The Impossible Game and its “expansion pack”, they almost never appear on the top 90 daily selling list on XBLIG, or if they do, they fall off fast.  This is not a genre the masses want.  And yet, you guys keep making them like they’re going out of style.  Guys, they’re not going out of style.  They are out of style, and you guys are like the last holdouts in the Garment District still making bell-bottoms and parachute pants.

Edgeland was developed by Galactic Goat Games

80 Microsoft Points said the rule regarding making fire levels will involve a Zippo and a can of hairspray in the making of this review.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

4 Responses to Edgeland

  1. CJ says:

    Ice levels aren’t THAT bad. Remember Sonic 3’s Ice Cap Zone? That was an ice level that wasn’t a pain! But if you look at various youtube videos, you’d slowly find out that they could’ve made the whole zone crazy hard, when you find obstacles that can kill HYPER SONIC WTF SEGA ARE YOU INSANE!?

    I loved Ice Cap. The snowboarding segment alone almost made it worth the endless time outs I had to figure out the Carnival Night Zone barrel thingy.

  2. Jan-Vidar says:

    Hi, thanks for reviewing our game even though unfortunately it seems to have been a pretty short run.

    I guess it helped reaffirm the chicks dislike of difficult platformers, if not much else and much of what is said rings true!
    Below are just some of our thoughts and some explanations for why the game is how it is.

    We made this game trying to make a platformer where the player could challenge his/her dexterity and, in the spirit of games like Trackmania, keep improving the time by discovering paths of less resistance. The high-inertia movement was intended to cause a sense of speed and forward momentum once the player got the feel of it, but it has also shown itself to be frustrating for some!

    As far as the ice levels go, there is the spiked shield which is given quite often to the player, which will give the player normal friction when used on slippery surfaces.

    The checkpoints were always tricky to balance out, and on some of the later levels we might have been made blind by playing the game SO much ourselves during development that the difficulty would seem fine only since we had so much experience of the levels.

    Anyway, we are excited to see the game on the site no matter if it was viciously slaughtered. We expected nothing less from the infamous IndieGamerChick.

  3. sparsevector says:

    This is totally tangential to the review, but I’m 97% sure that the “Best Selling Daily” list on xbox.com is actually computed from the totals for the past 7 days. If you watch new releases they tend to slowly climb the chart for the first 7 days and then slowly drop down. It’s the same for the list on the dashboard. I think that MS changed the charts a year or two back to mitigate problems with the list freezing for days. I also strongly suspect the charts on xbox.com are based on trial download counts while the dashboard lists are based on purchase counts. I have no clue why they did that

    As for ice levels, I liked Spelunky’s ice caves. But I’m an asshole.

  4. I don’t like punishers, or ice levels, but I feel this sudden overwhelming urge to make a platformer.

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