Ratalaika Games has revealed a rather quirky little platformer that's springing its way onto Switch next week. Go! Go! PogoGirl, developed by Ohsat Games (which consists of just one person, Andrej Preradovic!), follows a pogo champion whose prize pogo stick is stolen, and she must use another in order to track it down. The game launches on the eShop on 10th February, and it's giving us some serious Sega nostalgia.
Looking like it sits between the Master System and the Mega Drive, Go! Go! PogoGirl levels are themed around the four seasons and are all designed around PogoGirl's pogo-jumping skills. Each season will have five levels each for a total of 20 levels. And, well, if you take a good look at the levels, you might spot some similarities with a certain blue hedgehog's Green Hill Zone... those flowers look awfully familiar.
Solo developer Andrej Preradovic has stated that his inspirations come from his favourite Sega games growing up such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Castle of Illusion, and Rocket Knight Adventures. It looks like a barrel load of bouncy fun, and the game has been getting positive reviews on Steam since it launched last year. For more info on the game, here's what publisher Ratalaika has to say:
Isn’t She lovely?
PogoGirl is a pogo champion living on Pogo Island. She's fun-loving, happy and easy-going but one fateful night, her favourite pogo stick is stolen from its case. Distressed, Pogo Girl grabs a spare pogo stick and gives chase, bouncing after the thief throughout the night and day - across the whole island in order to get her treasure back and strive to do the right thing by helping others. So the exciting adventure begins and an impressive challenge unfolds.
Straight to the Point
Go! Go! PogoGirl takes place across the four seasons, with each season comprising four levels plus a boss level.
Clever design work is implemented in such a way that players can find good routes for speed-running and things are never that easy. Those who want to take their time exploring will find hidden gems behind fake walls and lots more. Exploration is encouraged as care has been taken so that players can freely explore the levels without fear of getting lost! As the game plays check out some of the familiar backdrops, inspired from classic 90s titles. Once you've beaten the last boss, an additional bonus world with 5 more levels is unlocked but there is a long way to go before you get to this stage.
More Than Just Jumping
As is familiar for classic 2D platformers, the main goal is just to reach the end of each level. However, the game employs a task system for added challenges. In each level you can achieve three extra goals:
1) Collecting all 100 gems in a level
2) Finding all 3 hidden gems in a level
3) Beating the level without dying.
Each of these goals will award players with a pogo medal, and if you collect all the medals in the game (including the bonus levels you unlock after beating it once), you will unlock a low gravity cheat, making PogoGirl bounce super high. Finally, players can also enable a timer in the game to speedrun it.
Winner Takes All
As well as completing all the set levels and going onto unlock additional ones there are lots of other unlockables, surprises on offer. In truth, just like some old school games that have mystery finds and hidden cheats, Go! Go! PogoGirl recreates the excitement of finding secrets you did not expect!
Controlling the Music
Slick and responsive controls are the order of the day and some nice music and sound effects present a stomping-retro experience to be had by all!
Go! Go! PogoGirl is a pogo-powered platformer that will bounce you back into the 90s with gems, enemies, spikes and secrets.
While it wears its inspirations on its sleeve, we think this looks like a delightful little platformer that will have you bouncing up and down with joy.
Go! Go! PogoGirl launches on the eShop on 10th February for only £4.99 / €4.99 / $USD 4.99. Will you be checking this one out? Pogo on down to the comments and let us know!
This looks gorgeous, but if she is bouncing all the time, that will just drive me mad! lol I don't know why, but even watching the video made me feel annoyed! I don't know what it is? Maybe because it makes movement feel so... stuttery? Is it just me who has some kind of a bizarre bouncing intolerance?
I love the 90s as much as the next person with an unhealthy nostalgia obsession, but “oh it’s the 90s!” is becoming a scapegoat for indies to not bother with 3D.
@NTDO89 And not bother with high-quality hand-drawn 2D, like Cuphead.
At first it was cool to see games made with 8-bit graphics way after the Game Boy Color died, Mega Man 9 started this trend, but eventually it was overused, even when they done high-quality pixel-art, I started to get sick of these kind of games.
@Ooyah Same. It is Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales, but only using his pogo cane. 😬
I do like that it has collectable challenges for each level. And the price is very reasonable. 😊
It's nothing that hasn't been seen before, but this game's vibes are the epitome of feel-good aesthetics. I like it, and that price tag definitely sweetens the deal.
I really dig the graphics and music - but I'm not sure if there will be enough variety in the gameplay to keep it interesting. Some of those characters that I take to be boss characters (could be wrong) looked very basic and similar to one another, for example. Probably worth a try though, since it's so reasonably priced.
Visually, there's stuff about this that comes across more SNES than Genesis, mainly the colours, some proper transparency, and the amount of overlapping parallax. I think there's shades/tones of each colour that the Genesis would struggle with (although I'm just eyeing that rather than using any scientific method to properly test it), the shield uses proper coloured transparency that isn't possible on Genesis, and there's clearly moments where there's at least three overlapping parallax layers there, which the Genesis can't really do (unless it's using sprites to fake it). And the Master System almost certainly couldn't display so much colour, the coloured transparency, or that many overlapping background layers--yet there is a bit of a Master System vibe to the visuals. The pogo mechanic is actually a bit like Ducktales on NES too, which reminds me more of a NES game in that respect. Although the NES clearly couldn't touch visuals like that. So, yeah, I'd probably say it's more reminiscent of something on SNES actually. Anyway, it looks kinda cool.
@NTDO89 It's totally that, and not a bunch of people that want to make games like the ones they love and grew up with.
3D games are not necessarily more difficult to develop these days, anyway, and it certainly doesn't just automatically make a game better to have a z-axis.
What a ridiculous notion.
@LikelySatan As striking as it looks, that's always only two overlapping background layers with some expert use of layer priority shifting and row/line scrolling doing a great job of making it look like there's more:
Unlike the simple-looking platform game above, there's never any time in Thunder Force IV where you will see more than two layers properly overlapping at any given scanline on the screen.
And, like I said, it's the SNES that can have more overlapping scrolling layers, up to four of them actually, although most games use Mode 1, which allows for three of them:
That's why you can do stuff like this on SNES, which would simply be impossible on Genesis:
That Thunder Force IV level is still dang impressive for Genesis though.
@NTDO89 Most indies don't have the resources and/or skills required to make anywhere near great full 3D games (particularly when it comes to the likes of animating well in 3D), unless all you're after is stuff that's very simple and amateur. 2D is much easier for them to approach on a budget and technical level. Also, I think it's far easier for indie projects to compete in the market with something in 2D than it is to exist in the same space at the almost entirely AAA 3D titles you see from the major developers these days. Plus, on a personal level, I still honestly love playing a well-made 2D game, often more than most 3D games. Give me a proper Nintendo first party sequel to Super Mario World or Yoshi's Island using the game graphics and such, maybe even an official SNES release, and I would be all over that in a heartbeat, and more so than any 3D iteration of Mario I've seen.
I'm surprised the NES Duck Tales game wasn't an inspiration, as it was the first game that came to mind when I watched the trailer.
@RetroGames shhhh. Just...shhhhhhh.
Using modern tech demos does not count! Cause I'm making up the rules now!
Really, I'm so glad for this discussion, and I hope you don't get irl offended. Just having fun talking about how much better the Genesis is!
Bro Ranger X bro.
It's a yes from me.
I'm getting this day one.
@RetroGames Dusk and Minecraft are amazing 3D games made by like, one dude.
@calbeau @RetroGames @Tandy255 Happy to see I'm not the only one who immediately thought of DuckTales!
Anyway, looks good, seems fun and has a reasonable price (that's how much a Virtual Console NES game costed) so I'll eventually get it for sure!
@LikelySatan #16 I'm not sure what you think I said in regards to that?
#14 I'm not sure what the first link is supposed to be about? Is it just demonstrating some vertical visual parallax trickery using column scrolling and that kind of stuff, like this:
SNES does this as standard in background Mode 2 (one of the 8 available background modes), and to a higher fidelity than Genesis can, down to 8 pixel-wide columns on SNES vs only 16 pixel-wide columns on Genesis.
And the second link has a cool visual/graphical effect, for sure. Much like this stuff running on a stock SNES:
And, if you want an example of a commercial SNES game with clearly more than two overlapping parallax layers (yet still only using Mode 1, so only three rather than the full 4 possible layers on SNES):
And this is another great example of just the three layers plus some window/shape masking and colour math at use on SNES:
But here's an interesting example of a SNES game that uses all 4 background layers for a cool effect (maybe you can work out how it's useful here):
And, funnily enough, those 3D The Lawnmower Man levels use 4 overlapping background layers on SNES too, which is why they tend to have better draw distance and smoother fading in than in the Genesis version:
@RetroGames "Most indies don't have the resources and/or skills required to make anywhere near great full 3D games (particularly when it comes to the likes of animating well in 3D), unless all you're after is stuff that's very simple and amateur." I don't think this rings true anymore.
Anyway, thanks for the convo.
@LikelySatan Well, like I said, "most", but obviously not all. There's definitely some indies out there doing stuff that's just a cut above everyone else, for sure. Although, Minecraft certainly doesn't have good animation, which is a particular thing I mentioned as differentiating the real cream from the crop, and it's basic but passable in Dusk. But, I do think most of them are sticking with simple retro 2D for the reasons I mentioned. I know that's kind of my reasoning with my own games for example. And no probs.
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