Much as AAA games are known for military shooters, sports games and Assassin’s Creed, you wouldn’t have indie games without the puzzle platformer. Braid, released in 2008, has some responsibility for the rise of indie games as we know them. With the kind of attention Braid got, it’s no surprise that there are tons and tons of indie puzzle platformers.
Today we’re talking about another of those: Sekai Project’s Reverse x Reverse, a two-character simultaneous platformer with a similar concept to 2013’s Ibb and Obb.
Reverse X Reverse stars Code and Rithm, a pair of debugging programs whose computer world is invaded by a virus. They’ll need to platform their way through numerous corrupted areas in order to address this digital dilemma. The unique thing here is that you’re controlling both characters on each stage and they both need to reach the end of a given level in order to clear it.
In order to become a better virus buster than MacAfee, you’ll need to put each character’s special ability to work as well as utilizing the environment to your advantage. Rithm, the pink one, can double jump and Code, the blue one, can dash; at first you’ll need to use each character’s ability on her half of the screen to bypass specific obstacles, but this rapidly becomes a bit more complex, necessitating that you join the characters together when needed. Early areas lean toward free-form platforming, but later areas are designed as a sequence of steps you’ll need to follow in order to make it through.
This makes Reverse x Reverse a fairly difficult game; it’s not quite on par with the legion of Super Meat Boy clones that were popular around the turn of the decade, but it’s still pretty tough. You’ll need to manage unique level elements – most notably switches that disable impassible areas and buttons that force automatic scrolling – and you’re probably going to bite the dust more than once. Code and Rithm are easy enough to control, at least, particularly if you use a gamepad.
Graphics and sound aren’t anything out of the ordinary for what was pretty clearly a doujin game before being localized. Don’t expect the presentation to shake the earth, but it’s good enough to work where needed. The choice of blue and pink for the characters was wise, as it’s easy to tell where either one is at any time against the largely monochrome backgrounds. There’s a possible complaint in that the scale of everything is fairly small, so it can be difficult to follow the action at first, but I rapidly got the hang of things and I doubt this would be an issue for long.
Reverse x Reverse isn’t going to blow your mind – we’ve had eight years of indie puzzle platformers coming out on a monthly basis or so since Braid, so it’s a little late for that. It’s still a well-made and enjoyable game, though, and one that’s worth a look if you’re somehow hurting for this kind of experience. At $10 or so on Steam, you aren’t risking much by giving it a shot, so you might as well see if antivirus duty was your calling in life!