REVIEW: SuperCollider

SuperCollider ($1.00) seems like the end result of a feverish Red Bull1 weekend and a marathon session spent in Microsoft Paint. Between the ‘loud’ backgrounds and the cringe-worthy visual style, I can’t think of any other explanation. It would certainly explain the attention given to the design and gameplay (or lack thereof), which feels ‘rushed’ and without any kind of iterative refinement.

SuperCollider - Screen

A platformer that plays more like a timed race, SuperCollider stars a nameless female science experiment gone wrong / right, on the run from the spelling-challenged crew of G-Tonw.  Each level starts with ‘Here, have a plot sequence’, some swearing and / or misogynistic banter, and then its off to races, fighting (if you consider ‘running into’ enemies to equal combat) featureless, grayed-out foot soliders and other assorted baddies, in a mad rush— er, brisk walk, I mean— to reach the exit before your declining health reaches zero.

Your HP functions as the vital ‘seconds’ ticking off the clock as you go, with the levels gradually becoming longer and more maze-like. You can earn a scant amount of health back by defeating foes, but the real key to finishing subsequent stages is in acquiring permanent boosts to your HP and / or running speed, via powerups peppered throughout the maps. It’s not a bad system, in terms of ‘Risk vs. Reward’ for the player to weigh out, but it’s implemented piss-poor.

SuperCollider - Screen2

Don’t ask the how or why a shark is shooting out of a solid floor. Best not to dwell on such things.

Most of the upgrades are placed in out-of-the-way nooks, the path not always immediately clear or certain at first glance. A few of them might even be considered ‘trolls’, egging you on to reach them, only for you to discover— after the fact, natch— that you won’t have enough time to reach the exit. And with no checkpoints or continues to erase a fatal mistake, you really won’t want to sit through the terrible writing or mosey through the same stages again.

Nor should you. What potential the game has to entertain is wasted on bland visuals, even blander storytelling, and gameplay that punishes more than it enables. Despite the urgency the game goes to great lengths to stress, SuperCollider is ultimately just like its enemies— featureless and dull.

  1. The energy drink, of course, not an actual bull. Those things are dangerous in high quantities. Red Bull, that is, not an actual bull. 

11 thoughts on “REVIEW: SuperCollider”

  1. This game (much like my chosen name) should have been called “Super Troll”. That’s exactly what it is! These days I’m usually happy when I see ANY new game appear on the marketplace. Now.. I’m just happy to see I’m not the only one still trudging through what little left there is of the xblig era. Makes me a little less dead inside. With the exception of; “The (truly) AMAZING Princess Sarah” I’m led to believe all our trudging may be for naught. PLZ Tim… tell me it aint so!! (In other words; blow my mind by telling me about some truly promising game, that hasn’t been released/switched over to Steam yet.) I hate playing games on my CPU! Can’t afford a Steam box either, at least not for a while :/

    P.S. love what you do here, I always have.
    just hate witnessing the source material’s steady decline.

    1. Well, I thank you, good sir, for the kind words, and for stopping by the site. I’m just as glad to know there’s people digging through the remains of XBLIG along with me. 🙂

      I’m with you. It’s sad to see the new releases damn near dry up completely, both as a gamer and as someone who runs a review site— What the hell am I supposed to review if no new games are coming out?! 😀 All I’ve been hearing from developers is that there’s no one around to even ‘peer review’ the games anymore, and that’s troubling.

      I do have some good news, in that Dead Kings (sequel to BloodyCheckers) is officially coming to XBLIG. There was some concern it had been canceled, but it’s back on the table. Also did a preview for Dead War not too long ago, and that looks promising. As much as a zombie shooter can be, that is. Unfortunately, a lot of upcoming XBLIG games have jumped over to Steam, or to the PS4 / Xbox One / Wii U family, as you have feared. There’s a few ‘unknowns’ right now, meaning games I know were coming to XBLIG at one time, and have since dropped off the map. Not sure of their status, but the great thing about the indie channel is that there’s always a chance to be surprised. Amazing Princess Sarah is one such recent example.

      Wish I could paint a rosier picture, but that’s about as good as I can do at this very moment. Bottom line, though, there’s still some life left in XBLIG yet. 🙂

    2. Even though you may have confirmed some of my fears, I can still appreciate your positive tone. Makes me feel a little better. I saw your preview for ‘Dead War’ a while back and I’ve been anticipating it ever since. It may be another Zombie game, but the game-play DID look very promising and game-play always comes first in my book. As for the ‘unknowns’ I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Until then.. I’m keeping my chin up 😀 maybe we’ll get lucky! Either way; keep up the good work and thanks for responding!

      Remember; you’re not alone.. haha

    1. Yeah, I try not to harp on indie developers too much about their art style choices, but really, the backgrounds here are way too loud. Jarring, indeed, is a nice way to put it.

    2. It’s so tough to actually finish something that I don’t like to be too negative, but I think just a few slight changes would make it more coherent.

    3. Agreed. Not everyone can be an artist (or have the money to hire one). That said, and whether you like it or not, people are going to judge a game based on screenshots / trailers. First impressions might be the only impression your game ever gets to grab an audience.

  2. I would like to have been sitting in that advertising meeting. I mean they all had to be smoking something.

    Dude 1: OK I got it “Red Bull makes you fly”
    Dude 2: No no no no that will not work
    Head Dude: Wait!!! Why not “Red Bull gives you wings”
    All Yes Man Dudes: YES!!! Man that sounds like a great idea.

    Oh this was a review for a game? MEH at best on the game. 😛

    1. I tried so hard to work the ‘Wings’ line in there, but I couldn’t find a spot for it in the end. 😦 Might be better off that way, as I don’t want Red Bull clamping down on little old me for using their advertising slogan.

      The dialogue would almost work, though. You’d have to make a few adjustments, maybe call somebody a ‘fuckhead’1, etc., but then you’re good to go. 😀

      1. So it would read instead ‘No no no no that will not work, fuckhead!’ 
    2. Ah, it’s rare to see that version of the commercial! That was the alternate take they deemed inappropriate for the general populace. Can’t imagine why. 😉

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