VVVVVV

Keep typing Vs until your typewriter runs out of ink

The Humble Indie Bundle #3 is wrapping up, and one of the standouts is VVVVVV. That’s six Vs. VVVVVV was released in January 2010 for PC and Mac and in late July 2011 for Linux; it was designed by Terry Cavanagh and scored by Magnus Pålsson. VVVVVV’s inventive and unexpected method of roaming within the 2D environment pushes the envelope of what platforming is and can be. It’s difficult to imagine this game on disc for a console, and the ingenuity of motion in VVVVVV in itself furthers the case for indie game development and support for indie games from both casual and hardcore gamers.

V Mechanics

VVVVVV is a platformer without any jumping. Hold the phone! Platforming without jumping? Instead of jumping, VVVVVV allows the player to control gravity, reversing up and down to move the character among the platforms. Using the gravity manipulation, the player avoids wall, floor, and ceiling spikes and the moving enemies. The environment consists of a mainly flat, black background and a neon outline or solid foreground. There can sometimes be a bit of a seizure effect, neon images flashing different colors against the black backdrop; this game doesn’t play when it says it may give you epilepsy. It may give you epilepsy. (Disclaimer: I don’t know if this game will give you epilepsy. It gave me migraines.) It would be super-awesome disco V epilepsy, though.

vvvvvv image(image source: Indie Reviews)

I nicknamed that guy the Seizure Elephant. He’s sad because he gave me a seizure.

There’s a checkpoint around every corner and on practically every screen. This is a hard game. The high difficulty level doesn’t detract from the fun of playing, though, and the intense joy of reaching the next checkpoint, making it through a room, or finishing a level, would be diminished if the game pulled any of its punches.

vvvvvv image(image source: Game Central)

VVVVVV is puzzle-based, introducing new gameplay mechanics (such as escorting and protecting a party member) as the game progresses. The puzzles remain fresh and ensures that the game is more than just gravity reversal for three hours. Collectable pickups unlock new modes in VVVVVV for high replay value, and new levels are available on the Distractionware forum.

With a Name Like VVVVVV, it Must have an Intriguing and Involving Story

vvvvvv image(image source: Christ and Pop Culture)

The player’s main character, Captain Viridian is on the hunt for her five missing crewpersons. The five, each a different color and all with a name beginning with V, are transported away, and it’s up to Viridian to rescue them. Though play is difficult, with some effort and skill, the main story can be completed in three or four hours. With little to no skill, the story can go on forever. The collection of unlockables keeps the player involved beyond the initial rescue, and the downloadable levels will keep players returning in the future.

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