<div class=header> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png" alt="Logo by MP83"></a></p> </div> <div class=headerad> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div> </div> </div> <div class=headerrow> <div class=headercell> <div class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/books.htm" target="_parent">Books</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://ask.fm/hg_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/askfm.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.patreon.com/hg101" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/supportsmalla.png"></a> </div> <div class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"> <input type="text" name="q" size="30"> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </div> </div> </div> </div>

500-Word Indies

500-Word Indies Index

Discuss on the Forums!


The Adventures of Shuggy - XBLA (June 2011), Windows (June 2012)

by John Szczepaniak - May 3, 2013

XBLA Splash Image

There have been numerous platformers released on XBLA. Many implement some kind of experimental new mechanic or idea, and many are hugely successful. We've all heard of them: Braid, Super Meat Boy, Fez, PB Winterbottom, Limbo, and so on. The popularity and publicity of these games is obvious - what is less obvious is why some platformers which adhere to the exact same levels of mechanical and aesthetic excellence remain unknown. Shuggy is a superb title, created by a tiny team, that was sadly overlooked. The tragic saga of its failure was recalled by its head creator, David Johnston, on Gamasutra.

The single goal of every level in Shuggy is gems. Collect the gems to finish the level, move on to the next. Despite this simplicity most levels have wildly diverse conditions and actions, all facilitated via directional controls, jump, and a single context-sensitive "action" button. In some stages there are multiple Shuggy characters to switch between, each working in tandem. Alternatively you may need to rotate the entire stage in 90 degree increments, shrink or enlarge Shuggy to fit through gaps, swing via ropes like Indiana Jones, or in the most bizarre setting, guide tiny Shmu creatures to frozen gems to release them. It's a Quality Street style of design where each stage is slightly different. Despite its eclectic nature, Shuggy still manages to remain coherent, gradually introducing new elements. What's impressive is that many of the ideas could alone warrant an entire game - indeed, the timed levels with Time Cop style avoidance of past selves was seen in Johnston's earlier game, TimeSlip. The rope-swinging levels are also fantastic, with simple but tactile physics underlying them.

The Adventures of Shuggy (X360)

There are five themed worlds, lovingly wrapped up in a story about the eponymous Shuggy (a bat-like creature) inheriting a dilapidated, haunted mansion, and having to return it to functionality. Overlaying this is a rather jazzy soundtrack, like something from a 1930s matinee, perfectly in keeping with the horror motif of the story. Some levels are brutally difficult, others merely tutorials. The level of difficulty varies within each of the five worlds however, allowing for an ingenious style of progression. Levels are represented by locked doors, and completing a level unlocks any adjacent ones, with the goal being to reach the Boss Door in each area. Imagine almost a free-form board game with an indeterminate route to the end. It's a clever system which allows you to work around overly difficult levels, skipping them entirely in favour of easier adjacent ones. It also gives you an incentive to tackle tough levels, since it allows a quicker route to the boss.

There's also local and online multiplayer, offering head-to-head and co-operative challenges. The fact that players can sit around the same TV and play is nice, given the reliance on online multiplayer these days.

Shuggy is a fun puzzle platformer, with an "everything goes" sense of design. There's also a demo available.

Homepage

The Adventures of Shuggy (X360)

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Smudged Cat Games

Genre:

Type:

  • Commercial

The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA)

The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA)

The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA)

The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA)

The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA)

The Adventures of Shuggy (XBLA)



Related Articles


500-Word Indies Index

Discuss on the Forums!