The world is full of surprises. Take Team Shuriken, for example. Normally the purveyors of the multiple choice, Guess-Your-Own-Adventure genre, mixed with nearly-naked, impossibly-endowed women, they’ve now turned over a new leaf! Not that new a leaf, mind you, as the business of boobs is still roaring right along, but this time, with Uncraft Me! (80 MSP), the developer has wedged an actual game between all the generous cleavage.
Of course, that disguise comes booby-trapped (oh the puns!) in one of the most maddening punishformers I’ve come across, but hey, any progress is progress. At first sight, past the skippable tale of imprisoned princesses and an evil cube that wants to make everything square, it seems to be an average platformer, albeit one done in the style of Minecraft. You’ll jump and jetpack around the level (it recharges once you land), following a predetermined route through your standard set of obstacles and hazards. It’s low impact, the controls are simple, and it’s entirely adequate.
That humdrum changes with the first checkpoint, when a rocket blasts away part of the background, revealing a ‘portion’ of the aforementioned princess, locked away in her cubed prison. Surprise, surprise, she’s not overdressed for the occasion. This is how you know you’re playing Team Shuriken. The concept here reminds me of the clubhouse victory scenes in the movie ‘Major League’, where a piece of clothing was taken off for each win the team put up. Carrot on a stick, except the carrot is replaced by… you know, all the ladies.
Reaching subsequent checkpoints will continue to
undress break out that level’s princess, until eventually you’ve scaled the stage and get to fully admire your handiwork. And so it goes, until you reach the fourth or fifth ‘lady-stage’, where it becomes more of a punishformer, sticking its chest out braggadocios-ly, totally keen on making you sweat the gaps between each skin-tastic checkpoint. The lava becomes more prevalent, the lasers a little faster, death more constant, and the leeway, less.
Uncraft Me! forgets what it is, and insists on being taken serious, stressing the perfect timing and nimble maneuvering you’d find in a Super Meat Boy and the like. In a more serious game, I’d be happy to comply, or at least make a spirited attempt. Here, not so much.
Despite the new style and move towards actual gameplay, Team Shuriken’s latest is more miss than hit, a distraction for a distraction that’ll frustrate the most patient of playboys. I can absolutely say that I haven’t had to work this hard to uncover a pair of boobs since… well, ever. Uncraft Me! is a commendable attempt at a developer trying something new, just one that’s not worth the aggravation.