LifeisXbox’s Gelly Break Deluxe review | Do you remember the days before online co-op? The time when you would go to your friend’s house after school or on the weekend and played games together in split-screen (that’s where each player gets half or a quarter of the screen for our younger readers ;p) or same-screen multiplayer games? For today’s review, I’ve played Gelly Break Deluxe. A game and passion project that was developed and published by ByteRockers’ Games.
ℹ️ | We played Gelly Break Deluxe for 4.5 hours on PC. This game is also available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation, and Xbox.
What we liked!
- Gameplay | Gelly Break Deluxe is a couch co-op platformer with twin-stick shooter action. Let’s unpack that point by point, shall we. In Gelly Break Deluxe you play as either Gel or Lee in a co-op setting, or as both of them when on your own. As individual gellies, you can’t exactly do much, but when one hops on the head of the other, they team up to form a tank-like formation. The bottom Gelly controls movement, while the top gelly is on gunner duty. Easy so far right? Now here’s the tricky part. You can switch places with your other half with the press of a button. Besides pushing away enemies and breaking glass surfaces, this is also essential for most of the platforming action. So, besides getting to the end of a level, your main goal is to find and free the other gellies that evil blob has captured for some sinister plan. These are often slightly off the beaten path, but sometimes you have to take on a serious challenge to free them.
- Colour coded platforming | The game world is full of orange and green elements which will be very reactive to the gelly of the same colour, yet won’t react to the other colour. Most of the time these manifest as see through platforms of the sturdy or momentary stability variety. While it’s often hard enough to remember to switch when you have all the time in the world, when a platform will fall shortly after you land on it, can prove a bigger challenge. (I swear I didn’t get frustrated at that airship level…). The other colour coordinated elements you’ll find are these bounce pads. Same simple concept, you bounce on the right colour and don’t otherwise.
- Graphics and World | Gelly Break Deluxe has a wonderfully simple and stylish design. The graphics style is your general sort of 3D that also looks somewhat cartoony. I can’t really assign a more specific style to it than that. Special effects such as shooting with the top Gelly, getting burnt by lava or switching places all look very well realized in the art style of the game. The levels are pretty well done. With a total of 6 different styles you visit laboratories, the big city, deep jungles, factories, an evil genious’ lair and even the clouds above. What I find extra charming are the backdrops behind the space you play on. Kept uniform for every locale, they offer a fun backdrop with some neat touches which makes the overal experience come together.
- Audio | Gelly Break Deluxe is one of those games that, when I’m writing, I have to pull up the game again to refresh my memory. This means the music was good in all the right places, but didn’t stand out specifically. All locales have been provided with the right tunes to give them the right vibe. From your soft techno bleep bloops in the lab, some jazzy trumpets in the city to the bongos in the jungle. Sound effects are also quite satisfying to listen to. For example, when you shoot as the top gelly you spit out your projectiles. And sure, you can see it, but it also sounds right. Like, sufficiently wet, if I’m making sense. For the good of this review, I’m going to stop myself here.
- Bosses | One of the few genuine challenges in Gelly Break Deluxe are the bosses, of which there are a lot for such a short game. Meaning, if you don’t stop for any of the side levels that open up as you rescue other gellies, every second level will be a boss level. Each boss is a spectacular animal inspired robot that introduces a new mechanic for its locale. Where some like the turtle or the sky serpent will actively try and attack you, you also have one of the bosses who will try to fight you via producing obstacles on an assembly line which may harm you indirectly. It’s great to see this kind of ingenuity in a level where the game has otherwise been quite simple. A welcome challenge.
- Enemy variety | While it’s certainly not a dealbreaker, Gelly Break Deluxe is quite lacking in enemy variety. Besides bosses, these come in 3 types, with 2 variations each. You’ve got these spikey stubs hopping around, their cousins hovering about on helicopter blades below. These will either try and home in on you or walk a predetermined path. So of these two types, you also have a glass variant. These will always be covered in a protective layer which you’ll first have to shoot off before you can end them by switching positions with your other player. Now, I know that combat isn’t the focus of Gelly Break Deluxe. Which is why it’s not down in the disliked category. But a fourth or fifth kind would go a good way I think.
- Game length | Gelly Break Deluxe is rather on the short side. I leisurely played through it in under 5 hours. Now, I do judge things for what I think they are trying to achieve. A couch co-op game like this will be a great activity for when you have a friend over you can play this with. It’s relatively short length means you can go through it, start to finish in about an afternoon. If you were to play this again with a housemate or partner, I think you’ll kind of have seen it after that playthrough.
What we disliked
- I had no genuine dislikes in Gelly Break Deluxe.
How long to beat the story | 4 hours alone, 4-6 hours together
How long to get all achievements | Probably somewhere around 8 hours since you need 2 people.
Similar with | Pile Up, It Takes Two, other co-op focussed games.
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.