Let’s not waste time; Octahedron was my game of the show at this year’s EGX in London. My only disappointment is that I will be unable to play the full version for at least a year, this makes me very sad. Now I’ve got that out the way let me tell you why it’s so good. As I walked through the Rezzed area I was drawn in by the by the bright neon visuals and the trance soundtrack. It took no more than a few seconds for a childish grin to creep across my face, this game was for me, that’s before I even played it. It immediately reminded me of early platforming games I played as a child, with strange characters, enemies and collectables littering the screen.
Described by one man development team, Monomirror, as ‘a psychedelic D.I.Y arcade platforming adventure’, the object is to clamber up the 2D levels to the exit. Pretty standard platforming I hear you cry. Well you weren’t paying attention were you? What is the D.I.Y. part of that description about hey? It means that not all the platforms you will need to ascend the level will be found in the level. Luckily, a press of a button will see a platform appear beneath your feet. You are limited as to how many makeshift platforms you can produce at a time so the challenge comes from working out when and where to place them.
As the game progresses you will unlock various different platform types, for example a brick platform that can be dropped on enemies or used to brace crushing level scenery, allowing you to remain in one piece or a platform that shoots from each end as you place it. Not only that but you are also able to ‘surf’ your platforms, enabling you to traverse not only up but across the screen. You will need each and every one of these skills as well as the knowledge of how best to use each platform along with the required dexterity to finally escape each stage.
In the demo, only 2 of the 50 plus levels expected in the final game were available. Despite this not everyone was able to complete them and they certainly gave me a run for my money. The difficulty level is definitely set to hard-core. Like its retro heritage there are not tutorials here. You are left to fend for yourself from the start. Not really surprising when the developer later tells me Mega Man was one of his main inspirations. Like its inspiration one of the things that make this game so great is that the mechanics are just so tight. Jumping and dropping platforms are instant and the controls are super responsive. Any deaths are your fault and yours alone. It’s this feel that makes the game so compelling. A certain candidate for just one more go gaming and also possibly a few broken joypads!
As previously mentioned the art design has a beautiful, retro, neon styling that reacts to and compliments the fantastic soundtrack. Admittedly I only played 2 levels but I found it impossible find any flaws in any area of the design, visual or gameplay. What makes this even more incredible is that all this is the work of just one man from Switzerland. If the amazing work I’ve already seen can be carried through for the entirety of the game this has the potential to be one of the greatest platformers of all time. So far Octahedron has been confirmed for PC, Mac and Linux in 2015 with the dev hopeful it will also see an appearance on Xbox One and/or PS4.
Problem is that now I’ve tasted the brilliance I want more. A year seems like so far away, I’m not sure I can wait that long. Please, let me have more Octahedron, soon.