Some games are total feasts for the eyes. That doesn't mean they're photorealistic or jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Sometimes it means they're just so aesthetically pleasing that you can't stand to turn away from them for long. That's the case with Queen Bee Games and Akupara Games' Spinch, a platformer that takes cues from the more austere titles in the genre.
Where do you come in? You take on a tiny white character that looks almost like a little dumpling named Spinch. According to the Steam listing, Spinch is on a mission to rescue all of its missing children, but it's going to be headed into a bizarre world filled with "misshapen and malformed enemies" to find them.
You can dash, jump, wall jump, and shoot little Spinches at enemies to protect yourself throughout a series of challenging, always-transforming levels. And this isn't a simple game by any means. It's a callback to those classically difficult games that we grew up with and excelled at before many of us lost our catlike reflexes or just got old.
Honestly, I'm not particularly good at Spinch, but I enjoyed playing it. There were two frustrating jumps I just couldn't get myself to make, and I was irritated beyond belief since they seemed like such simple movements to make. But as soon as I stepped away from the demo to take a moment and work on something else for a little while, I soon found myself drawn to the game once more. When I tried the jumps again, I was able to clear them with no problems. I imagine that, for many, Spinch will have that same sort of allure.
The unique characters and environments are the work of cartoonist Jesse Jacobs, which I recognized instantly. I'm a big fan of his work Crawl Space, which has an equally psychedelic touch as the cover features a grinning face with a third eye exploding into color. The rainbows were bar none my favorite aspect of Spinch as well as the bizarre grinning characters. I was disappointed that the Spinches themselves weren't as inventive-looking, but I suppose the white character did end up standing out among the rainbows elsewhere.
There were only three levels to check out in the Spinch demo, but I'm eager to see the rest of the game when It debuts. Unfortunately, there's no official release date for Spinch just yet, so we'll be keeping an eye on it for the future.
For now, there's still some time left to nab the Spinch demo if you're interested in these tight, well-put together platformers with the potential for speedrunning. I can see it becoming a favorite on the circuit in the future.