What is this game?
Groove City is a stand-alone DLC that is set within the world of its platforming predecessor, ElectronicSuper Joy (or ESJ, for short). It is a “Hardcore Platformer” that demands what most games of this genre demand from its fans: precision timing and accuracy on your jumps, a patient and determinate disposition, and dedication to memorizing the level layouts as they pound it into your brain mercilessly through an innumerable amount of shameful deaths. ESJ did it very well and if you found it enjoyable, as I did, then you willfeel right at home with Groove City.
The Controls in Groove City are very simple. Using my xbox controller, I mapped “A” for jumping, “Y” for being able to respawn quickly, and left and right on the D-Pad for movement.The controls themselves feel good. The jump is sensitive enough to control the strength of how high your hero jumps. Never, while playing this game, did I feel that I was cheated because I had died from input lag or unresponsive controls. Everytime that I died, it was my mistake on a jump, my mistimed input, my hesitation, or I didn’t make use of my momentum and couldn’t travel far enough to get to the other side.
Achievements are very straight forward and the Options menu allows for the changing of one’s Screen Resolution(16:10 and 16:9 resolutions supported) , Fullscreen/Windowed Mode, turning V-Sync on/off, separate sliders for the volumes of Music and SFx, a timer built-in for Speedrunning, and “PG” Mode for those who might let their kids try the game out.
(Disclaimer: There’s naughty words, lewd clergyman, and robot strippers in this game)
I go to start the first level and suddenly get backstory telling of a battle between your hero and a nefarious fellow known as the “Groove Wizard” and how you tragically lost your butt and Groove City was destroyed. Groove City has now been rebuilt; but, almost as soon as I had just taken the time to take in the sights, things go awry and it’s back to the colorful platforming hell that I’m well accustomed to.
I am running for my life as the level design keeps me forever on my toes. The land is jutting up and down, forcing me to climb over hills, up and down sticky walls, leap large gaps, and climb high into the sky with only floating arrows and bright s tars to vault me up to the platforms that I cannot reach with my hero’s natural abilities.
The beautifully colorful and mesmerizing backgrounds easily distracted me and lead to a few of my deaths. Thankfully, The deep black void of the ground really helped to keep me focused and give my eyes a rest against the onslaught of color. The darkness of the ground helped to stabilize the levels considering how much is going on in the background. We’re talking a plethora of colors, and hues, bright sprawling metropolises and cities of industry blanketing the skies. Missiles relentlessly chasing me, critters charging m e or hurling projectiles, checkpoints bursting into bright kaleidoscopes, along with jumping aids and collectible stars.
Oh, about those collectible stars? There’s dark stars to collect as well. 50 points extra vs. 1 for White Stars. Small catch though. Every one that you collect spawns a homing missile that chases you to the end of the level for added d ifficulty. It seems like I cannot stop finding all of the ways that the game intends to kill me; it does it with brutal efficiency.
Right from the get go, this game refuses to ease you into anything. You either fight through the missiles, the little critters that charge you, the auto-scrolling level, your obsessive compulsion to collect every single little star, or you die….over and over. Fans of the genre are generally okay with this because they expect it. T hose that aren’t used to platformers like Groove City or a “Super Meat Boy” or an “I wanna be the guy” might be put off by this.
The very good Electronic soundtrack and the silly humor in Groove City really helped to offset any frustration that I was feeling while playing it. The music and the background mesh very well together. Each song helped me establish a rhythm through the beat and I was quickly timing my movement and my jumps throughout the level in accordance with the song that was playing. I’d make a mistake, die, reset back at the last checkpoint, the music would catch me, and I’d be off again. Not only was the Electronic music very good and fitting to the game’s aesthetic, but it aided in your gameplay.
I will say, this game is harder than it’s predecessor. Groove City takes out the smash ability that you had in Electronic Super Joy, so you are at the mercy of everything that wants to kill you. But it’s done in a beautifully frustrating way and to a killer soundtrack. For fans of platformers, it’s a must get.
Groove City will release on June 6th, on Steam for $5
The Game Website
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