The Adventures of Shuggy Review (PC)
Smudged Cat Games have created this charming 2D platformer/puzzler game with more levels than you can count on your hands and feet four times over. Really there are over 100 levels.
You are Shuggy, the cutest little cartoon vampire I’ve ever seen in my life. You have inherited a mansion. Great, but it’s haunted and you have to rid your new pad of the evil within. The problem is your mansion is big…. and by big I mean huge. Lots of rooms. Who needs a house that big really?
Your mansion is split into 5 sections, the boiler room, the clocktower, the dungeon, the graveyard and the gallery. In order to gain access to these areas you need to collect keys. So you’re popping into each room within a section to shoo away the evil and collect a key, sounds so simple!
The puzzles within each room vary greatly. Sometimes it’s simply avoiding bees or spiky nasties while you go around collecting green gems. Other times you will need to rotate the room in order to reach otherwise unreachable ledges, but be sure not to rotate and drop yourself ionto a spiky floor. There are levels that involve pressing switches to open access to more gems but those sections may contain more nasties.
I find the trickier levels are the ones with the clock. How this works is that the clock will start and once it has done a full rotation the nasties will reset their positions, and a ghost version of Shuggy will appear and trace the same steps you have made. If you collide with your ghost version you die. It’s a very clever mechanism as there are times where you have to press and hold a switch on order to open access to an area, so you have to time things right so that your ghost can hold down the switch while you nip through, but of course you must have held down the switch before the clock expired in the first place. If this makes no sense then trust me, it will when you are in game.
The variety is astounding. The skill and precision timing required often induces pride when you successfully complete a room. When I get through the toughest sections I look up from my PC expecting people to congratulate me on my epicness only to find no one was watching. It’s fine, I know I’m epic.
The controls for the game are so simple: left, right, up, down, space bar to jump and the return key to rotate the room (not all levels can be rotated).
I really like that you can control Shuggy mid jump; you can change direction while you’re already in the air giving more precision, which is handy when trying to jump onto moving platforms or if you miss-time a jump and need to avoid a nasty.
You have infinite lives, and for that, Smudged Cat Games, I am truly grateful. Even when you fail a level and have to restart it twenty times over (yes I had that much fail in one level, Shhhhhh!) Shuggy is never frustrating. It’s cartoon graphics, comic style cutscenes and cheery music prevent you from getting mad at this game. The levels are well designed and small enough that even if you do fail close to the end it’s not a major loss, you can get back to where you were in less than a minute in most cases.
The Adventures of Shuggy need not be lonely with the co-op mode of the game. Granted, with the use of 1 keyboard it can get a bit crowded, but you can change the key bindings if need be to hopefully find something that suits both players. There are fewer levels in co-op mode but still plenty enough to keep the pair of you busy.
The folks at Smudged Cat Games recently ran a competition (now closed) to win a Shuggy T-Shirt, bag and comic book and I dearly hope they make a merchandise store to sell more of these. I really wanted a Shuggy badge!
Smudged Cat have created a gem of game. I’ll admit, some games I’ll uninstall after I review them, but this whimsical little vampire shall certainly live on within my computer. His mansion shall be restored. I want so much for them to make an iOS version of the game just so I can carry this fellow around with me.
A Fang-tastic 9 out of 10