Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Video Game Review: Enough Plumbers

If you've played video games... well, ever, you probably are pretty familiar with Mario, who is certainly at least a contender for most popular video game character ever.

It's thus not surprising that there are a lot of games that slavishly imitate the "Mario Brothers" format (aka "clones"), with leaping protagonists that stomp on enemies to defeat them, especially on flash game sites. (An example of a game that takes the basic format and twists it around a bit is Eversion, which I reviewed in the past.)

Enough Plumbers goes meta with that idea, though.

At first glance, this game is a simple imitation of Mario, right down to the blue plumber.

But collecting coins does something totally bizarre in this game:

See 'em? Clones.

Yes, this is a game where you make clones of your suspiciously Mario-like character.

I'm sure that this is not intended as commentary at all.

There are power ups, with a twist: Since you only need one of your guys to run the gauntlet, each power up only affects one of them. So if you had multiple guys, you'd still only get, in the case below, one of them turned into a heavy metal guy.

Some other power ups turn your guy into a burning guy immune to fire (watch out-he kills your other guys that way) and a balloon dude (who has no way to stop floating up). These make for interesting puzzles.

Sadly, the game lacks in "off-brand Goomba" stomping. No matter how fun it would be to take ten or fifteen guys to stomp on some dudes, the game is a puzzle game first and foremost.

(Yes, that's about thirteen guys right there.) There's nothing wrong with puzzles, if that's what you want to do, but it's also frustratingly hard (and hard on one's hands).

As the below demonstrates.

What's really infuriating about this particular puzzle is that I know exactly how to do it-the trouble is getting the guy to go through the motions.

I just don't have the capacity or the patience for it, but if you like Mario games and their ilk, you might. It's fun to play with just for the clones even if you don't like those, too.

-Signing off.

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