Long has it been since the games market was dominated by 2D platform games, but even today we can get a handful of great 2D titles. The Adventures of Shuggy is the first XBLA game to be developed by Smudged Cat Games, and let’s hope it is not their last. The Adventures of Shuggy introduces us to Shuggy – a cute, purple cartoon vampire with a blood-lust for green gems. He has recently inherited his grandfather’s Scottish castle and has gone to investigate it. Upon arriving he notices that there are some strange frivolities going on and sets off on a huge adventure to set the castle to rights.
The world of The Adventures of Shuggy is set across five stages. The Dungeon, Boiler Room, Gallery, Graveyard and Clocktower all house a seamless map of doors in which the player must choose a door and complete the level inside. The premise is simple – choose a door and collect every green gem within the chosen room to complete the level. However with over 100 single-player levels, Shuggy has a massive task ahead of him in this 2D platform puzzler that is created for both the beginner and intermediate gamer. Shuggy has many tools at his disposal, from shrinking potions to infinitely long ropes, from teleportation devices to the ability to turn the entire room around. There are even levels with 12-second time warps creating a time-paradox of our undead friend, and thus creating multiple Shuggy’s across the screen. Once a level is complete the player is rewarded with a key. Earn enough keys and the boss-fight for each intended zone becomes available to challenge. Bosses such as the Furnace, Scarezombie and Evil robot Chickens introduce an immensely retro reminiscence on 2D boss fights.
If that is not enough there are challenge modes to play alongside your friends, with more characters to choose from, such as Pinky and Elvis, and also leaderboards to try to dominate completion-times with pure purple power.
Shuggy is able to take a gamer back to their roots of gaming, with a fun and jazzy soundtrack and brilliantly bright colours in a much more simplistic looking environment as opposed to today’s games. Shuggy offers a nostalgic journey to the past in a game that is both addictive and enjoyable to the end.