Awesome Pea 2 is a simple game. In an effort to pay homage to retro titles, it’s a 2D platformer from developer Pigeon Dev Games that completely lacks any semblance of plot, but more than makes up for this with immediately engaging, addictive gameplay and fun visual effects. You play as, well… a pea, and must navigate a series of increasingly tough stages riddled with obstacles that can kill you in a heartbeat. The game doesn’t demand too much from the player, but its brutal difficulty will undoubtedly be a sticking point for some.

Set across 24 levels, your main goal is pretty straight forward: make your way through the environments without dying. It’s simple in theory, at least. In practice, death will come thick and fast as you leap over spiked floors, avoid deadly creatures, and dodge incoming projectiles. But with each death comes a learning experience, and soon enough you’ll be soaring through the levels at breakneck speed. There’s definitely a distinct feeling of satisfaction with a game like Awesome Pea 2 that’s missing from other titles.

The only ability at your disposal is the humble double jump, but we honestly believe that adding anything extra would needlessly complicate the experience. You have to be careful as to how you implement this too; often the ceilings are adorned with spikes, so you’ll need to time your jumps carefully in order to avoid leaping too high.

In addition to simply surviving, each stage within the game contains a number of coins for you to collect. These can be found everywhere, whether it's directly in your path, or hidden away behind a particularly trickle obstacle. There’s no apparent incentive to collect these coins, but each level records how many you’ve managed to pick up, along with your completion time. This, in itself, is reason enough to replay levels if you’re somewhat of a completionist. That said, an online leaderboard is conspicuously absent, and would’ve served well in a title like this.

In terms of its visuals, Awesome Pea 2 again pays homage to classic titles with a distinct green colour filter, made to look specifically like original Game Boy games. Like many other ‘modern’ retro titles, there’s also a CRT filter applied by default, but if you find this a bit distracting, you can quite easily turn this off in the menu. Overall, the visuals work pretty well, and the game as a whole is certainly one of the more successful homages to classic games from the early ‘90s.

With only two dozen levels to complete, a more experienced gamer might breeze through Awesome Pea 2 with relative ease. Those after a meatier experience – or perhaps one that contains a storyline – may want to look elsewhere, but otherwise, this is a decent way to spend an evening during the quieter summer months.