Occasionally here at Player2.net.au we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Super Ubie Island Remix – Blockbuster Gaming
Maybe it’s the pedant in me, but I really like lists. I like the sense of organisation and order they project and savour the feeling of accomplishment that comes from crossing items off of one, whether it’s a shopping list or a bucket list. And this translates nicely into games, where my obsession for trophies, achievements and attaining 100% completion statuses has at times reached ridiculous levels.
Super Ubie Island Remix is an excellent, peppy little 2D platformer inspired by classics such as Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country – and it is the perfect foil for my fixation with checking boxes. Four worlds, over 25 levels, hidden gems, secret doorways, collectible characters… oh be still my beating heart!
The basic premise is this: you are Ubie (that’s with an ‘e’, thanks to some threatened legal action by another, much larger game studio you may have heard of) a plucky little alien who has crash landed on Climate Island and is now trying to return home. However, the evil Dr Terrestrial is determined to keep Ubie prisoner, and it is up to you to defeat him. Along the way, you will fight enemies, collect the pieces of your spaceship and complete a range of sidequests before finally making your way home.
With a vibrant palette and bopping soundtrack, the game exudes good vibrations straight off the bat. The first few levels are suitably easy, allowing you to settle into the simple control system – you can move left and right across the screen, jump, pick certain items up and employ the use of a handy little balloon Ubie carries at all times to float gently down through the air.
The difficulty curve is perfectly balanced, with the challenge increasing gradually as Ubie moves through levels. Despite having to reattempt later levels many times, I never felt frustrated at the game as each failed attempt was still a barrel of fun and only contributed to the satisfaction I felt when I finally got to tick another level off my list. At times the balloon Ubie carries felt like it could be slightly over powered but I found this a good thing, as I could always simply choose not to use it.
As I got familiar with levels, usually having to attempt them several times before completing them, I was reminded of the fantastic Rayman Legends, in that my runs became carefully choreographed dances performed in time with the background music. Quick reactions are an advantage in this game but success was still very much achievable for players like I, who rely on memory to make it through.
Each level presents its own unique enemies and challenges too. Each world has a theme that carries throughout its levels; in the Forest World Ubie faces off with birds and blobs while Desert Land has enemies of the four-legged variety. These hindrances can also be turned into helpers with a bit of forethought and planning, becoming steps to a secret doorway or platforms to get that just-out-of-reach coin.
While the history of this game was slightly difficult to discern, I believe it was originally released as Super Ubie Land on desktop in 2013 with an original soundtrack and slightly less polished levels – the remix in the current title refers both to the remixed soundtrack and the rebalanced levels. New secrets have also been added to entice those who may be coming back the game.
And come back you will – even if you check every level off your list, there is plenty more to bring you back. Coins can be collected to purchase in-game content like new music tracks and different coloured Ubies, side quests such as rescuing worker bees and finding hidden gems exist and there are many secret areas and levels just waiting to be discovered. Not to mention the endless possibilities for personal challenges and those related to Steam achievements…
Super Ubie Island Remix is an extremely fun, challenging game that has plenty of content to keep you coming back to it again and again. Currently available on PC, Mac and Linux, it is expected to make its debut on Wii U later this year and I would strongly recommend checking it out!