I guess Imaginary is supposed to be a representation of a child’s vivid imagination.  And so I must ask, where the fuck do the children who imagined this shit come from?  Crystal Lake?  You’re fighting giant spiders, disembodied legs (I think), and a giant fan/tornado monster thing.  Yeesh.  When I was a kid, I used to imagine being a Power Ranger, not what it was like to drop acid.  Then again, a giant/tornado monster thing sounds like exactly the type of thing the Rangers would fight, rendering my whole argument faulty.  Move along.

Nothing fixes a platform game with severe pacing issues like making the enemies slugs. Slugs: nature’s road runners. Well, unless you count real road runners I guess.

Imaginary is a platformer starring a little kid that had his brains removed and replaced with helium.  That’s the only way I can explain the ultra-floaty jumping physics, or the fact that he flies back the length of a football field if he takes damage.  Honestly, the controls are kind of crap but it never gets in the way of gameplay.  The deal breaker for Imaginary is it’s just not fun to play.  The only real hook is the ability to turn invisible if enemies are approaching.  I guess that means the developer was a big fan of the Tanooki Suit from Super Mario 3, only without the cool flying stuff.  Most of the game revolves around finding switches to open doors to collect keys.  To beat each stage, you must find all four keys hidden in it.  The alternate challenge is trying to stay awake.

I had a conversation the other day with the guy who created Super Amazing Wagon Adventure.  He asked me if there was any game that I wouldn’t review.  The answer is no.  He wanted to know if it was obviously a harmless one-man project that never had a chance of being good, if I would still be willing to say the game was no good.  Yes.  I bring that up because Imaginary strikes me as just that.  And while it’s not as terrible as some of the stuff I’ve played, it’s really just as boring as a game can possibly be.  The possible exception to that are the boss fights, but even they can drag on.  Like the Tornado/Fan thingie that I mentioned earlier.  You have to wait for it to hover next to one of two devices that you can activate to shock it.  However, the recharge rate for being able to fire those things is brutally slow, making the fight drag on a lot longer than it should.

The Tornado/Fan thing I was talking about. Brian thinks it looks more like a milkshake.

Ignoring the floaty physics, the biggest issue I have with Imaginary is the way you activate switches.  You do so by shooting little balls of light at objects.  Aiming these is almost impossible, so the only way to make sure they hit their target is to be right on top of it when you fire.  But, get this, if you use your ability to activate switches too much, too quickly, you die.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because that made the game suck more and this feature was implemented while the developer was observing opposites day.

So it’s not as if you can just say the game is a victim of bland design and bad physics.  A lot of the ideas here are just not good ones when your goal should be “make a fun product.”  I gave up twelve levels into Imaginary.  The level design became more tedious, the stages started to center around hard-to-use trampoline-ball-things, and I had to admit that the previous hour and change had been among the worst I’ve had since starting this site.  I guess that means I can’t recommend spending your money, real or imaginary, on Imaginary.  Emphasis on imaginary.  I’m looking at you, Microsoft Points.

Imaginary was developed by Randomly Generated Games

80 Microsoft Points resent being called imaginary in the making of this review.  We are most certainly not imaginary.  We’re simply beings that are created by taking your cash and converting it into currency with no cash value.  What of it, bitch? 

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

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