Impossible Slasher! Review: A Nostalgic and Retro Platformer
Something about 2D platform games brings me joy. Maybe it reminds me of the old arcade games played with friends before we all had consoles, or maybe it is just the simplicity of early gaming. Either way, the retro vibes are just fun to see come to the screen every now and then.
I do tend to avoid reviewing a lot of 2D platform games. I find that they can sometimes feel too much like a copy or clone of the many that came before. Or the design is too repetitive and the levels begin to feel stale. Impossible Slasher! didn’t give me this feeling though. It didn’t try to be something it’s not. The developer did not add endless levels of mindless play, instead, he took a few well-designed maps and characters and perfected them.
The game’s idea is simple; get the highest score possible from killing enemies. The map doesn’t scroll at all, enemies simply drop in from above and you can move from side to side killing them.
The developer describes the game as:
Retro inspired 2D Platformer game. Defeat as many enemies as you can and Unlock different characters with different abilities. Various Types of Enemies with different attacks and abilities.thelostsun studios
Movement is straightforward. You can move to the sides as well as jump up. You also have an attack that will swing the weapon. After you kill enough monsters you get an ultimate ability that will damage or kill everyone it comes in touch with. The above image is one of the ultimate abilities in which the spear you carry is thrown and grows into a huge weapon that pierces everyone in the path. It is important to save these ultimate abilities for the perfect time when you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and need to clear the map.
You will also notice the health bar in the bottom left corner. Once this goes out the level ends. No extra lives or health regeneration can be found. Just one chance to get the highest score possible before it resets. Each enemy mob will affect health differently. If you get hit by some giant worms it will knock a huge chunk of health out compared to the little flying creatures.
In the bottom right corner, you will notice one of the most important things in the game if you want to keep leveling up… the score. To unlock the next fighter or the next map you will need to achieve a specific score in one game. For example, the next unlockable fighter cost 5000 points. To be able to play him you will need to achieve a score of at least 5000 points in a single round. Once you unlock them you will have them forever even if the next match you only score 10 points. The same goes for the next two levels that can be unlocked.
There are four selectable characters in the game.
- Samurai: The starting character and only one not needing to be unlocked. Has a fast and light sword.
- Sensei: The next unlockable character, a step up from the samurai and swings a bit bigger sword.
- Huntress: In a class of her own she uses a spear to take on enemies. Stabbing and throwing it for greater range.
- Hero: Perhaps the most trained of them all. This character carries a big blade.
They definitely look cool and really bring on the heat to the enemy. However, I wouldn’t say there is a huge difference between each fighter’s style. Personally, the Sensei was my favorite, he looks and feels great. They all perform the same actions with the unique weapon they carry; slash, jump, and slay enemies.
The levels are a good variety of designs. While the actual level fights don’t change that much, the art definitely does. You start off in a mysterious and dark forest at the first level. Next, you unlock a bright-colored city at sunset. It just serves to give the eyes a change of scenery while battling it out with monsters.
This is where I think the game does an excellent job at sticking to a few strong levels and leaving it at that. You only have three options to choose from but each one feels great. The last level is the highest thing you can possibly unlock in the game. Once you reach this level you have achieved a complete unlock and play of the game.
In my opinion, this is a perfect amount for a game like this. You can have a few hours of enjoyment in it and then feel like you accomplished it and can set it down for a while. These are not the type of games that players can spend days on. The platformers that do try to do that usually feel old very quickly when trying to grind level after level. This game found the sweet spot.
Price-wise this game is in a great spot at only $5 for a few solid hours of enjoyment with some potential replay value. If we look at the newest Halo series game, Halo Infinite, it is priced at $59.99 for about 18 hours of playtime in the campaign. Sure it has much more advanced graphics and detail, but looking at just the amount of playtime, Impossible Slasher! holds up great at $5 for a few hours of play.
While I’ve said it before, I think the game hits a great spot for the amount of stuff in it. It is just enough to stay fun the entire time without getting too repetitive and dry. The final unlock feels like a great ending spot. It is a game I can sit down and enjoy for a night and then set down. I can pick it back up and play every now and then when I’m looking for a little break from the big ones.
The art of both the levels and characters was well done. Felt like a good style and definitely saw the inspiration pulled from some of the genre’s favorite 2D platformers. The combat felt smooth and easy to follow while jumping around the map.
The mobs were a good difficulty and spawned well. Some would definitely take a chunk out of you and hit hard, but once defeated you had a minute to catch back up with mobs that would not kill you in a few hits. I felt good fighting the whole time and never got to a point where I felt like I was being destroyed by the mobs too much. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? No. Just the right difficulty to keep slaying without making the player mad. Although there were a few times I was just a couple points away from the next unlock and then got killed, but that was all my fault.
A great game to pick up for a bit of fun and change of pace.
Check out the game here as well as development notes on the creation.