In most video games, you normally play as the good guy, the so-called hero of the story which usually has some ridiculous task of saving someone. They usually go about their mission just stomping and killing anything in their path, but have you ever wondered if in fact they’re actually really that good? What if those “enemies” were just innocent bystanders just minding their own business when some stranger just comes along and stomps on their head? That’s what Retroid’s latest game, Wunderling tries to answer as you take control of a random, low-level goon, given the power of jumping and tasked with pursuing the hero so you can stop their reign of destruction.
Wunderling is essential a traditional platformer with a twist. Whereas the hero can usually move freely and jump around at will, your goon can only move in one direction until he hits a wall or obstacle and then moves in the opposite direction. Basically he moves like a goon should in games, except now with the ability to jump. As you progress through the game, you will also learn a few new moves that propel you far beyond the level of simply a goon.
Most levels are laid out like puzzles where you much figure out the proper path to the exit portal. Along the way, you collect flower buds to stay alive otherwise if you don’t, your life will run out. As an added challenge, there are secret chests you can collect that unlock clothing items you can use to customize your character with a supposed 28 million in costume combinations. There are also secret levels you can unlock by finding secret portals. Wunderling is actually quite challenging and features some of the best platforming I’ve played in quite some time.
In terms of graphics and presentation, Wunderling is top notch. The retro inspired worlds are so lively and full of color and the level layouts are just phenomenal. Each level is so varied and well done, you never feel like you’re just playing recycled content and each level truly does feel new and challenging. What I like is that you don’t mind playing some levels over and over again because you’re either trying to find the hidden chests or trying to get 100% of the flowers in each stage.
Audio in the game is also quite good wit h a soundtrack that is very campy and reminiscent of classic platform games.
My favorite part of Wunderling however is how the game’s protagonist is flipped. They’ve done it in such a way where you start to question whether or not all those years as playing the hero, if you were actually the hero or just a bully. It’s a really good plot twist and it makes for a compelling story.
With that said, Wunderling is a really fun and challenging game. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it as much as I do but it’s a very solid game with some really interesting characters. Retroid did a fantastic job with this. Wunderling is one of those indie gems that I think will surprise you if you give it a chance.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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