Saturday, May 9, 2009

From the Doctor's Office: Spewer

It seems that many games today try to make a statement about life around us. Spewer is no different. Just think about it. It addresses the three main problems in America: Bullemia, Pill Popping, and Pink Blobs of Cuteness. Edmund McMillen was trying to say so much more than what's on the surface of this game. How can one do this with next to no dialogue? The answer is simple. Relate Medical Science to those bullemics and Pill poppers of America and rally them behind a game that brings them all together. I salute you Mr. McMillund. I really do. For those of you who don't take trips to the bathroom directly after meals or take brightly coloured pills, Spewer is still a great way to pass an afternoon. Sure, you probably won't relate to the little guy as much, but you'll enjoy the game nonetheless (Especially if you're a fan of platform puzzles).

Gameplay: 3.5/5 Here's the deal: Puke is the most useless thing on Planet Earth. You get rid of bacteria in your system by vomiting, and after that, It's gone. Hopefully in a toilet or trash can. This is not the case in Spewer. Your vomit is the best tool in the game. You'll fly with it, make platforms with it, fill up pools with it, and best of all gobble it up again for recycling. As AWESOME as that sounds, I have an issue with it. Controlling your vomit is hard. It's very difficult to get clouds where you want them, and often times you have to "Sharpshoot" your puke into switches. The other issue with game play here would be the controls. You're stuck with WASD and spacebar coupled with the mouse. It would be much better if the player had the option to change controls.

Visual: 4/5 Very eye appealing, Spewer looks really great. Incidentally, the game is very cpu intensive and lag inducing. Partly, this is due to the puke physics, but party it's because the Doctor in the background is so animated. The background is really busy and this intrudes into game play a bit. For a while, I was convinced that the glare on his glasses was a White Pill and tried eating it. Either way, the levels themselves are quite sterile and white. Just like a real Lab. Well done. If the background is killing you for lag, there's an option to shut it off. This is a great addition for those on slower machines.

Audio: 4/5 Spewer has a very simple audio loop that can be easily muted or drowned out by swearing at the game in frustration. The games sound effects however are much better than the annoying music. There's a great noise played when you eat a pill and transform. Spewer makes a cute gargling noise as he flies through the air on a rainbow of puke. His death noise is even adorable. Spewer was voiced by Jordan Fehr. It's always great to know who's making those cute noises.

Difficulty 3.5/5 Spewer has a really weird difficulty curve. Some levels are a breeze (Especially when a new pill colour is introduced) and some are frustratingly difficult. You'll most likely be stuck on one level per chapter to be honest. Since the vomit is so hard to control, there's no real way to replay a level exactly the same way as you did last time. Some levels have more than one pill, so the player has to think logically about which one to take first. I'm not making a Matrix reference, but it really brings out the puzzle elements of this platformer. Ideally, the difficult levels should make you want to press on, but usually send you running frustration. Stay strong, fellow Spewer players. The 60 points at the end are definitely worth it.

Overall: 3.5/5 Three words: Spewer is unique. I've never seen a game quite like it and I've never thought of using puke as a means of transportation. Great ideas can be stifled by poor controls and random physics however. This is the case with Spewer. In actuality, it's not easy to control puke. But in a game where it's the main (And only) function, it'd be better to have more predictable vomiting. One thing that I really loved about Spewer though is the heartwarming ending. I won't spoil it here, but you'll love it. Trust me.

Quake was kind enough to supply me with a walkthrough of this game. You'll see it following this and my name and the Kong score. Also, don't mind the name change of my next few posts. I'm going to be reviewing some user requested games that are old enough to warrant the "From the Morgue" title. Enjoy.


Kong Score: 3.89/5

Play Spewer



Old_Brown_Shoe said...

Great review doc :D Very insightful :D Kudos!

Doctor_Autopsy said...

*Bows* I try. I typed that one up at a coffee place actually. They think I'm working. Pfah! This is too fun to be considered work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks guy, you also can link me if you want to my youtube channel or my youtube account, I'm konquake at kongregate and kongquake at youtube =D.