Tag Archives: Death Closet

REVIEW: Hop Til You Drop

Hop Til You Drop (80 MSP) is an extremely simple-looking endurance / punishformer tester continuing along the lines of what Death Closet did before it; placing you in a solitary room amongst a variety of spawning badities, with the idea of surviving as long as you can.

While Death Closet was (mostly) about learning patterns, with the game then working tirelessly to trick your brain into failure, Hop Til You Drop drops (see that? Nice, huh) the memorization and goes the full-random route, with stationary hazards, projectiles, and ‘chaser’ foes materializing around the tiny arena with only the briefest of warnings. Collecting coins equates to your score per round, earning a combo bonus for gathering two in one ‘hop’.

HTYD is slightly more acrobatic in its execution, having you switch places from the floor to ceiling, ceiling to floor, with each jump. You can also tweak your trajectory and landing mid-flight, splitting defenders and weaving through spike traps. It adds a little timing-based strategy and style to the formula, though the concept (avoidance) is essentially unchanged.

Aware of its limitations (jumping ad infinitum) some unlockable guest ‘hoppers’ hope to extend its worth, doled out for total points scored or time spent on the clock. These ‘avatars’ include thinly-veiled appearances by (not in actual name, of course) Princess Peach, Lebron James, and… Macklemore (he is labeled as ‘Thrift Shop’)?

Hop Til You Drop - Screen

Hang around a bit; it will get more challenging.

Even with the promise of prizes, the single available mode and compacted runs mean your enjoyment will only stretch so far. The visuals and repetitive nature of die-restart-die don’t do it any favors, either. Hop Til You Drop does exactly as advertised, for as long as you could want, but for most that’s just not enough.

.

Review on Indie Gamer Chick

REVIEW: Death Closet

To be honest, I’m quite surprised something like this hasn’t shown up on XBLIG previously. I’ve played trainers for Shooter / Bullet Hell-types (and enjoyed them), so it makes perfect sense you’d see a trainer for a punisher / platformer. Call it necessary, even, considering the amount of death you dedicate to a game over the course of any take-your-pick punishformer. Stepping into the role of would-be sensei is Death Closet (80 MSP), operating under the assumption that ‘practice makes perfect’, or ‘practice makes you insane’, as it were.

And Death Closet is, for all its devilish intents and purposes, insane, cutting out the supposed fat and gristle (personality, slower moments, health bars, bright colors, mascots), and replacing it with death and / or near-death experiences, back to back to back to back to… well, I’m sure you get the idea.

The game drops you into a room, okay, a closet, if you want to be literal, and, over four modes that unsurprisingly play very similar to each other, you jump and double-jump to avoid a slew of projectiles. One hit and you’re done, off to the great ‘restart’ cloud in the sky. Granted, some of those hazards go beyond a simple jump or maneuver to avoid, exploding, blooming, or actively seeking you out once launched, but (non-spoiler alert!) this is all you ever do, in increments of ten or so seconds, as you’re likely to die then or very soon after.

‘Checkpoint’ mode is the friendliest, asking you to avoid fire for a set amount of time before reaching a… checkpoint, which places you there upon each restart. Learn the patterns, pray you get lucky, and repeat. Hardcore and Infinite modes drop the checkpoint system, and seem to be more or less the same, with the only difference I see being that the projectile sequence plays in a preset format in one, while going the full-random in the latter.

The last option, ‘Infinite Coin’ mode, throws collection into the jumping fray, tallying the money you pick up in lieu of time survived. It’s a diversion from the standard practices, though there’s not much incentive to it as it’s just survival in a different flavor. Leaderboards, as much a pain as they are to implement for indies, would have saved this game for me. Sharing scores with a friend isn’t cutting it.

Now, or five seconds from now, an end comes to us all.

The chief complaint something like Death Closet will accrue is that it’s extremely limited and specialized. That it all happens in a single room makes that repetition even harder to shake. If you’re not a fan of punishformers, or maybe you are, but really don’t see the dollar in what’s little more than a primer or trainer for a much better (and expanded) title like Apple Jack 2, then this game won’t hold all that much appeal to you. On the reverse side, if you’ve always felt that the platforming in other games just got in the way, if you love to die over and over without much rhyme or reason, Death Closet has your funeral(s) covered.