Indie development studio Puuba recently released their debut title on Steam, named Concursion. The game is a fast-paced puzzle platformer that puts players through different inter-dimensional rifts, offering multiple genres of gameplay and challenging players to react quickly.
Concursion starts off as a regular platformer that follows many of the rules and mechanics that govern Super Mario Bros. This includes enemies that are only defeated by jumping on them, a lifespan of two hits, and a number of pitfalls and hazards that can cause instant death. As the game progresses, players will encounter tears in space that lead to an alternate universe, where even the gameplay is completely different. The types of gameplay include a Pac-man inspired option, a 2D side-scrolling spaceship shooter, and even a ninja adventure platformer. It should be noted that the change in genre also affects the characters amount of health. While the platformer character can only take two hits without healing, for example, the 2D spaceship shooter can take ten.
The controls for the game are simple, requiring only two buttons to run/shoot and jump, and controls to move around. These controls remain the same no matter what genre, though the action and jump buttons may act differently. The goal of each level is the reach the end through the obstacles provided in different rifts, and sometimes using smaller rifts to access difficult-to-reach areas. Each level also has a number of green magical shards, some of which are in the direct path of the player, while others are hidden away. The game itself is split into six different areas, or Acts of the story, each with around ten levels and one boss fight at the end.
Concursion uses graphics and visual designs inspired by classic games, and each genre looks graphically different from the others. One genre uses lower quality graphics to fit with the age of the genre style, while another creates a more mature visual, with more detail in the image, and accuracy in the scale of the animated characters and enemies. These graphics will many times crossover with each other in the same level, adding new and unexpected challenges using familiar enemies.
The story is fairly simple and Mario-esque. A princess has been kidnapped by a green dragon (not for the first time probably), and it’s up to the hero of the game to save her. Each Act introduces a different boss that the player will fight upon reaching the last level. It’s a fairly basic story, but Concursion is more devoted to offering entertaining and challenging gameplay. The soundtrack is varied to match the different types of gameplay and the many different levels as well. Most of it feels spacey and tends to be upbeat, following the pacing that comes with each level. It’s not my favorite soundtrack, and I probably won’t remember it after finishing the game, but it serves it’s purpose.
With around 60 levels of gameplay, and each level more difficult than the next, the game is fairly long. It also offers a lot of replay value for those players who want to have the fastest and most efficient run, either for themselves or against other ranking gamers. Concursion also offers a Hardcore mode, providing an even greater challenge.
The game is a lot of fun to play, and requires a decent amount of concentration in order to successfully complete each level. On a personal note, I found that playing with the controller is much better for the quick-reaction scenarios Concursion put me through regularly. It takes a lot to adapt to the fast-paced and always changing environments each level provides, and players will find themselves dying often throughout the game. Because of the simple controls for each genre of gameplay, the game isn’t incredibly difficult to get used to, but it will take a bit of patience. In general, this is a very new and unique way of playing a game.
Concursion is incredibly innovative in how they took simple and classic genres of gameplay, and blended them all together to make something new. The fusion of different genres also works exceptionally well together, combining high-paced gameplay with puzzles that require quick thinking, and different strategies for each mode of play and the types of enemies that are encountered.
Concursion is currently available on Steam for $11.99 and can be played on Mac or PC platforms. The game is certainly worth the purchase for the amount of nostalgic and challenging gameplay that it offers.