Terry Cavanagh‘s VVVVVV is an extremely smart-but-simple platform/indie game that feels a lot like a Commodore 64 game from the ’80s, although it was actually released in 2010.
VVVVVV – I think – is a wonderful love letter to the days of 8-bit gaming. The graphics are sparse but characterful; the gameplay is simple but maddeningly addictive; and the music really is something special (Magnus Pålsson‘s brilliant soundtrack elevates this game massively).
What makes VVVVVV really stand out from the crowd, though, is not its ridiculous title (is it pronounced “vee, vee, vee, vee, vee, vee” or “six vees”?), but the fact that your character (Captain Viridian) doesn’t jump (and in fact can’t jump), but that he reverses gravity instead. Which allows him to drop himself strategically into certain places. It’s all very clever when the going is easy, but highly challenging to get right when the going is tough. And there are a few places in the game that take great skill and determination to beat.
One of the best “modern retro” games out there, although VVVVVV loses ten percent for not having a built-in grabber. Terry: sort it out mate. 😉