Emily the Strange – Skate Strange Review (PC)
The 14 year old hipster in me was filled with fake indifference (to cover up my real feelings of joy) when I got this Emily the Strange title to review. I loved Emily when I was growing up (Yes Tom, I really do count as a grown up now). She was a perfect mix of weirdness and conformity, AND she had a cat. Who doesn’t like cats?
In this lovely PC and Mac game, ‘Emily the Strange: Skate Strange’ she seems to be exploring the realms of skateboarding and portals (seems an obvious pairing), all the while keeping her trademark dour face. Much to my dismay, there wasn’t a lot of cat action in it.
It’s a cute little 2D side-scrolling skateboarding game. There is, of course, the usual mix of red, white and black that accompanies an Emily themed game. The aim of the game is extremely simple; get to the end of the level while collecting everything you can and avoiding all the traps. It has the customary power ups and bonus points, and a little system where you earn nice patterned skateboards. While you are skating around there are letters to collect that spell out Emily related words on the screen.
There’s a kind of Mario feel to it, but obviously nowhere near as awesome. 36 levels are available to navigate around, and are broken down into a map of the world. The box boasts “stylish level design based on the cities of New York, London, Moscow and Paris” which turns out to be city themed stickers on the bottom of the screens. I am disappoint.
Level editors seem to be becoming a trend. Emily’s game has one, and, as always, it isn’t great. It’s really simple and fine for messing around with, but there is nothing from stopping you placing obstacles right at the start so nobody can progress. We all know how much kids love trivial shit like that. “Play my level! LOL YOU CANT GET PAST THE HUGE TELEPHONE BOX AT THE STARTING POINT. ROFLCOPTER!” they’ll say.
For those who require more of a challenge there is a ‘survival’ level, but honestly even WITHOUT that level, I never thought I’d be able to say ‘I rage quit an Emily Strange game’ but sadly, I can. If you lack patience, don’t play this game. I wanted to slam my head into a wall on more than one occasion.
Clearly this game was made for kids, and it does have cute pictures, fancy looking power ups and a few other qualities kids might get enjoyment out of, but the levels are either FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE or really repetitive, and I could see boredom or hatred setting in quickly. If you play this it could all end in tears of rage like it did for me.
Now, lets be honest. Was I expecting it to be game of the year 2012? No. But it DOES have the potential to keep the kids entertained for a while on a rainy day. For some parents this summer holiday, that might just be the blessing they need to stop them strangling their kids.
4 dour faced pre-teens out of 10