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The Ploshers - Review

The Ploshers is a simple but easily addictive arcade game developed and published by PlatyPurpleStudios. The game itself came out as unexpected, especially due to its simplistic looks, but turns out to be a nice surprise.

If we’re forever trapped in the early days of arcade machines, The Ploshers would be on all of them, due to its colorful ways and entertaining gameplay. The objective is simple, run across a stair-based level, firing projectiles to destroy enemies, and evading them by either running away from them, or going up and down.

While hitting all those colorful baddies, one has to collect hourglasses to expand the timer, and if going up on the Leaderboard is your goal, it’s advised to collect those shiny diamonds. Not to mention, each destroyed target leaves behind a coin, that can be either a bronze, silver or gold one.

The most interesting, if not the only alluring fact that originally makes this games to be so appealing, is how we use different colors to hit different enemies. So, if you are color blind, this game becomes unplayable from the beginning. Each baddie, has a color, either Yellow, Blue, Red or Green. The only way to damage enemies is by turning your Plosher into the same color as the targeted opponent.

It’s very convenient that one needs to change across 4 different colors, the same colors of your xbox-based controller, with A being the Green, Y the Yellow, and so on. The game was actually built based on that pre definition, since you’ll have to keep changing colors in order to hit different enemies all the time. The concept itself is curious and can become very frenetic really quickly, which only adds to its amusement.

Challenges will eventually become tougher across each of the 40 available stages. New enemies show up with different ways to kill you. Those evil things will come up in pretty much every shape and form, even shooting laser beams out of them. The strategy remains the same, avoiding them by going up or down, assuming there isn’t anything worse in those areas.

The structures of the level will change eventually, with portals where you can only traverse by being under a specific color. The further into the stages, bigger the challenge, but if you’re into arcadish games, this might come out as a surprise as well. There is a nice learning curve, and new enemies do not feel overwhelming, not at first.

There are three levels of difficulty, that determine how many times you can die by being hit or touched by those out of space minions. 5 Stars grant you five lives, while 3 Stars grant you three. 1 Star is the hardest difficulty, and grants you only one life, although once dead, players are taken to the Stage Select screen, where previously unlocked stages will remain unlocked.

Visually very colorful, each stage changes in its background, with different locations, such as mountains, forests, snowy hills, scary volcanoes, and all sorts of scenery. Hand drawn in a basic style, the backgrounds sometimes may cause some color fusion with the ongoing action. Some color pallets are just better in specific stages, but overall it’s relatively easy to focus on your Plosher.

Unfortunately, and with a good gameplay idea, its execution is somehow not well optimized. First, we have the control functionality, that clearly works well, but it’s not possible to bind your own buttons. This is bad because the game uses the D-Pad for movement, and for those used to play with the analog stick, it is an issue.

The controls feel somehow stiff, and I personally would appreciate a much more fluid gameplay. The soundtrack is simple, and if one takes the scores really seriously, it’s probably better to run with your favorite soundtrack. Sound effects are simple and work well with the objective.

The Ploshers can be played in local Co-Op and in the end delivers a nice and unpredicted surprise. It looks simple, but offers challenge and entertainment that highly resembles the arcade days.

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