Review: Spinch

Yet another platformer for me to try out! What a treat! I must say, I am not the best when it comes down to these games, but I immerse myself in them. And so can most people! Pleased to say that it wasn’t different when I was playing Spinch. This game was released on Steam on September 3rd by developer Queen Bee Games and publisher Akupara Games. It’s safe to say they made a unique platformer that made me reconsider how many colors I need in my games. Or if you have a shortage of that, you can replenish it here. With that being said, though: how is the game, you might ask? Well, let’s figure that out together, shall we?

We played Spinch for over 6 hours on PC.

What we liked!

  • Colors/style:Β If it wasn’t clear by the first picture, this game is colorful! If you are in dire need of seeing rainbows and animations, Spinch got you covered! The art in this game is cute and simple, yet pleasing to look at. And the bosses/enemies also have a unique look to them!
  • Gameplay: The game felt smooth, just smooth. You jump and climb as if it is your second nature. While moving around the platforms, you feel like it just clicks (if you play with a controller, more on that later). What I found unique to realize was that there is some form of enhanced physics. If 2 platforms are relatively close to each other, and you can walk/dash that distance and fall to get there, you don’t have to jump. I expected to just fall instantly but was relieved to realize this wasn’t the case.
  • Boss battles: Unique, that’s how I can describe them. Really Unique. Every boss has their own sort of mechanics and ways to be defeated. They are similar but different. During boss battles, you don’t have checkpoints, and you need to play it all the way through. I found them interesting to play and a fun experience.
  • Skill ramp: Spinch starts off relatively simple, but you will notice rather quickly that this will not remain the same. I found myself thinking: Oh, hey, I am quite good at this platformer in the first world! But by the time I got to world 3, I was starting to feel the heat. The game becomes harder the further you get. Luckily, you have mid-level checkpoints which you can fall back to (most of the time)

Somewhere between

  • Music: From what I heard, the music is custom and made by small artists. Which always brings joy to my ears! That being put aside, the music still has to be enjoyable to listen to. Which it was, for the most part, though. The music library brings an exciting and tense atmosphere to the game and changes according to the game state. All amazing, but the longer you play, the more you will realize songs tend to repeat to a point where they repeat themselves too much. More music variation would be nice. And with fewer high points/notes in the track. Enjoyable, but not in the long run.

What we disliked

  • Default controls: Yes, I am aware I can rebind the controls. But when I played a level with mouse and keyboard, on the default setting, I just kept wondering: WHY! L to dash, and spacebar to jump, while using arrow keys to move. Also, space to confirm in the menu, ESC can not be used. People shouldn’t be pushed into the menu to change settings. Controller handling was amazing and the obvious way to go, but the effort could have been put into the M&K settings. But I can’t put the controls back into mixed feelings, just due to Mouse and Keyboard users’ poor experience. Hope to see this patched in the future. (I find this a gesture towards players)
  • Display settings: The game starts in a windowed mode when you open it the first time. I thought, bah, but maybe I can change this. I mean, I should be able to, right? Well, no, you can’t. The game’s display settings are locked. No option, nothing. I cheated my way through, though, and used ALT + ENTER to enlarge the game. I did it again, which made it fullscreen (with black bars for ultrawide), but I was sad to see that you can not do this via the settings menu. The game has no way to run in windowed borderless or full screen windowed borderless (obvious if there is no option to change display settings). This is a big hurdle for those who are not tech-savvy or plan on streaming this game.

CONCLUSION

71%

If you are looking for a solid platformer and are willing to tinker around with the controls, Spinch got you covered. If you have a controller, then I certainly think you will have a splendid time! But you need to be patient. If you want a challenge from the start, this isn’t your game, and if you are looking for a game that stays the same throughout levels, then this is also not your game. If you get a rush from playing platformers and completing levels. And do you also get the satisfaction from improving your own time / completing levels altogether, then your money will be well spent here.
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