Review: Adventures of Shuggy
At first glance, Shuggy seems like an average 2d platformer, you jump around, avoid enemies, collect gems, fight bosses, unlock more levels. But only at the first glance. What you have here is a puzzle game so diverse, so challenging and so deep it lures you into a false sense of security then it hits you with a level that you can’t possibly solve. Until you start to think outside of the box. Yup, Adventures of Shuggy is one of those games that set you up with the basics and let you THINK about what you can do to finish the level, without any obvious hints or hand-holding.
I have to admit, I didn’t like Shuggy at the beginning. The puzzles seemed too simple and the levels seemed too unforgiving – you could traverse a level carefully for 5 minutes and suddenly, a mosquito comes out of nowhere and bam – you’re dead and you need to restart the whole thing. The puzzles revolved mainly around time travel – you would go around, hit switches, then a copy of yourself would retrace your steps and you would need to avoid him or you would die if you touch him, which would happen A LOT. After a few rage-quits and some meditating and soul-searching on the peak of the mountain, I returned to Shuggy and gave it another chance. Then, suddenly, came the spinning levels in which you could rotate the gravity. Then came the multiple Shuggy levels, in which you take turns controlling more than one copy of yourself. Then came the levels in which you herd little Lemming-like creatures into pens. And so on, and so on, and so on.
Every few levels the game would introduce a completely new mechanic – like swinging by a rope or having AI friends that would open up paths for you. Adventures of Shuggy is certainly not a one-trick pony game with a single redeeming mechanic, but a bunch of them that keep the experience fresh and new even after hours and hours of playing.
All in all, the game has over 100 single player levels and over 30 co-op levels. Sadly, only offline co-op is supported.
The game controls are redefinable, which is good since the default controls were a little odd. The one major flaw is the lack of generic USB joypad support, and since Shuggy is a X360 port, only Xbox joypad is supported, which I personally dislike because, well, it has a crappy d-pad.
Summary: Adventures of Shuggy is a shining example of the old saying “don’t judge the indie game by it’s cover”. It’s a really good puzzle game with some minor control problems and some rage-quit inducing levels.
Platforms: PC (Steam and DRM-free), XBLA
Verdict: 8 out of 10