The recently released pixel platformer Pompom: The Great Space Rescue ran across my desk as a showcase opportunity through my friends at Indie Game Collective. It’s a precision platformer, sort of, with a feature I’ve never seen before this involving time slowing AND improvised platform placement. You can play with a controller, or you can play it with a mouse (or hamster actually, since that is Pompom’s main character you play as.)
The game balances innovative gameplay, a moderate learning curve, and generous leniency to keep your gameplay flowing. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, at the level of some other top precision platformers like Celeste. From the pleasant pixel art to the rewarding gameplay, this game earns every slice in the Mr. Dave Pizza pie. So, let me do my duty and share with you some information about this excellent game.
What I Like Most in Pompom: The Great Space Rescue and Why
In truth, the reason these games appeal to my creative side is the balance between challenge and personal capability. Pompom is probably a little more on the challenge spectrum, however, the rung of my comfort levels hits a positive note due to the animal character and cheerful music. You might find yourself wondering, in the words of David Byrne, “how did I get here?” over and over throughout the game.
The uniqueness of the puzzles aimed at someone who has been gaming for 30 years is humble, even if it made me realize I don’t even have enough time to play. That used to be something that sold me on every game I ever played since I really wanted to just immerse and tune out. But there’s more to Pompom though than an old gamer’s appreciation.
Pompom: The Great Space Rescue demands multi-tasking. It’s like playing a drumkit. Platform there, knock the wall out, account for jump space, and block an incoming barrage. Also, this is important, you never stop moving and all movement is automatic. It’s a bit crazy honestly, although there are difficulty settings that can give you a third bubble (which is sort of like the SMB Wii bubbles) and a long or even extra-long time pause/slow ability.
I really only ever made it as far as the third city level, which I almost beat, but tapped out after getting butterflies in my stomach at the last moment. If you ever see somebody like Kevin from Pursuing Pixels play these games though, maybe you are one, it is definitely possible to complete the challenges.
Some General Impressions of Playing Pompom: The Great Space Rescue
So, I guess really it was the art, music, and concept that drew me in most. I’d re-tweeted a trailer for it before playing it thinking it looked cool. And IT IS. But you might find the game more challenging than it looks, which as I’ve said, can be a really good thing.
It’s one that may fly under the chart radar but has excellent replayability for the cost if that is a factor. (Yeah, I also got this for free through Indie Game Collective, so heed the slight bias, but it really is a nice quality platformer. And I love platformers.)
Oh, and there is a story. Something to do with pirate cats, which is fun. Think of them as the classic NES/SNES mobs and understand it’s about running the levels.
There’s nothing lacking here, and overall a super fun game. One other last comparison though, if you ever played Scribblenauts, you might see some similarities in the art style, a comparison I’m enthusiastic to make since it is a major reason I ever got into pixel art.
If I ever get to reviewing that game, I’ll probably remember this. Notice, I didn’t even mention Captain Bucky O’Hare once before this sentence, but there is a bit of that style in this game too–it was the 90s, and things were awesome.
Features in Pompom: The Great Space Rescue
- A game that is about controlling the platform and not the character
- Utilize tools like hammers, cannons, springs, swinging ropes, and more
- Delightful SNES style 16-bit graphics (or clean vector style if you want)
- Engaging gameplay that’s always happening and challenging
- Great jazzy soundtrack
- Imaginative levels and all sorts of area types, mobs, and obstacles
- Adjustable difficulty levels at any time
- Save your game after completing each level
- Speedrun mode
There It Is
Yep, so that’s my showcase for Pompom. Pretty interesting game, and one which I may try to get better at. I’d love to try it on Switch too. I have the link to the Steam page below. Thank you so much to the dev, publisher, and IGC for helping me put this together. I would never be fake in a review, but it was so pleasant to admire this one.
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