Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

Dustforce review

Check out the Dustforce review for a look at the indie game that entices platforming perfectionists with a broom-wielding janitor.

There have been some difficult platformers released in the last couple of years. That Dustforce stands out as one of the toughest says a lot about the game. It's sure to appeal to platforming perfectionists. That’s not something I would have have imagined myself ever saying about a game centered on broom-wielding janitors. The object of Dustforce is to clear dirt, leaves, and grime from each stage. It doesn’t sound appealing on the surface, but the janitors all carry a freakish sense of agility. They can run up walls and along ceilings, leap across walls, perform a brief air-dash, and use special moves to clear the screen of dirt. These are the types of moves that I’m dying to perform as a ninja or a samurai, but Dustforce let me perform them as a janitor. One particular move I loved was the cleaner’s special move that clears the entire screen of dirt, making the area shinier than Mr. Clean’s bald head.

See more Dustforce screens

Dustforce carries an off-the-wall premise and it’s loads of fun to play with thanks to its inspired level design. Even the earliest stages contain spike pits and collapsible dust walls that will test out any player’s platforming skill, with later levels amping up the difficulty level significantly. Among the hardest levels for me were those that required multiple wall jumps, made harder still by the fact that one errant jump would send me into a nearby spike pit. The most brutal aspect of this game, however, is in its grading system. Perfection counts heavily in this game, with secret levels remaining locked until I could fluidly clear certain levels of dirt the first time through. There are some levels that I still haven’t been able to access thanks to this parameter and with the demanding grading scale, I don’t think I’ll be able to anytime soon. There’s one big issue with Dustforce’s demand for custodial perfection and that’s the game’s controls. Dustforce is playable with the default keyboard controls, but they’re incredibly difficult to navigate and racking up a perfect run is nearly impossible. I had a lot of trouble with the wall-jumping mechanic and many of my combos were broken as a result. The individual controls can all be mapped out to a controller, which makes this game much easier. I did have a few incidents where my analog stick didn’t respond to trying to run up a ceiling, but overall, a controller is highly recommended over the keyboard. Fans of parkour and acrobatics will get a kick out of Hitbox Team’s Dustforce. The characters’ moves are cool to look at and fun to pull off. Be forewarned, however, that the difficulty level of this game is incredibly high. Those that get easily frustrated may want to steer clear. Gamers looking for a legitimate challenge and some new leaderboards to frequent, though, will feel right at home with Dustforce.
Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 30, 2012 2:45 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Dustforce review.

    Check out the Dustforce review for a look at the indie game that entices platforming perfectionists with a broom-wielding janitor.

    • reply
      January 30, 2012 3:15 PM

      Was it harder than Super Meat Boy? It sounds like I'm going to have to pass on it even though I like the concept and art style.

      • reply
        January 30, 2012 3:24 PM


        • reply
          January 30, 2012 3:29 PM

          This post makes me really, really want this game. I used to speedrun Super Meat Boy and this sounds exactly up my alley.

        • reply
          January 30, 2012 7:54 PM

          100% SMB but can't finish this game?! K, not buying this game.

        • reply
          January 31, 2012 8:06 AM

          not even going to bother with this one. Games like N were fun because they were challenging but not annoying and irritating. If I want an irritating game I'll buy Irritating Stick.

      • reply
        January 30, 2012 9:26 PM

        I'd almost say harder, because of the demanding pace. Everyone at the Shack offices that has played this has compared it to Super Meat Boy, in terms of difficulty.

    • reply
      January 30, 2012 7:58 PM

      After watching the trailer 2 or 3 times i bought it on impulse, don't regret a second of it. It has a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it u feel soooooo bad ass.

      Also the games music is some of the most enjoyable I have heard. I wont skip the intro because of it lol

      • reply
        January 30, 2012 7:59 PM

        Damn it, I was supposed to study, now I have to play.

    • reply
      January 31, 2012 7:36 AM

      THIS IS THE BEST GAME EVER. I've been slowly SS'ing my way through it and scaring the shit out of my g/f with screams and curses.

    • reply
      January 31, 2012 7:57 AM

      Have they fixed the controller business yet?

      I can't believe a platformer came out in 2012 and I had to map the buttons on my gamepad myself. O_o.

Hello, Meet Lola