Concursion is the latest little gem to cross my desktop, and I must say: I’m lovin’ it. (Cue the McDonald’s logo splattered across your screen.)
Concursion is like all your favorite classic games melded their mechanics together and made the most beautiful child you’ve ever seen. Concursion is all about fluidity in genre; sometimes it’s a platformer, sometimes it’s a Galaga-esque space shooter, and sometimes it’s a ninja game (nothing comes to mind, but I’m sure some gamers elder than I [being 17 has it’s disadvantages] will recognize their favorite classic in the ninja sections). In fact, Concursion is so similar to classic games that you are likely to confuse the plot with that of the Super Mario Bros. games: a beautiful princess, your love, is kidnapped from you by a mean, giant frog. You must follow them through a series of levels before you finally arrive at a final level in which you face the frog in a Mario-esque dance off (although, to give developer Puuba some credit, you have to jump on his head four times, not three).
During the main levels, though, you don’t just play as the platformer OR the ninja guy OR the space shooter OR the Pacman-like guy, etc.. The idea of the game is that the evil frog, Dark Lord Biganbad, is trying to destroy the universe and take your girl. So, behind him are little green shards, pieces of broken universe, where the various universes from which one of the many characters/genres are. And in the levels themselves, you find little holes in the universe where two blend together. The central gameplay mechanic here: anything that passes into the universe hole is converted to that universe. If your platformer jumps into a dojo, he becomes a ninja. If a bird flies from the jetpack universe into the platformer’s, he becomes a flying dragon (yeah, it’s pretty cool). This results in your use of each genre’s special abilities to get to the shards which are unnecessary for advancing to the next level, but which do add a layer of added difficulty if you so wish.
So, how well does the game “work”?
Fantastically. The little pockets of broken universe add a kind of puzzle feel as you must determine how to use the given genre’s powers to get to your destination. There are no time limits here, nor are you forced to pick up universe shards, which allow an easy out if you cannot perfect a certain level. Re-spawn points are common enough to keep you from being frustrated (cough, Slip, cough) but far enough apart to make you work hard to stay alive. Also, for those looking for a difficulty boost, you can try to beat the suggested times and the leaderboards, and you can enable Hardcore mode, too, which puts checkpoints further apart. I didn’t, but I love that you are given the option: options make games more accessible and therefore often more enjoyable. I loved the constant switching genres because it kept the game fresh, alive, and on your toes. The story, while unoriginal, is delightful and motivating enough to keep you jumping and slashing your way to the next level.
As far as more technical things go, the controls are tight, responsive and fluid, and the graphics and sound are both cute and appropriate, though they both can become annoyingly repetitive after a time.
All in all, Concursion is a fantastic game that is definitely worth picking up here on Steam.