With a reputation like Willy Jetman, developer Final Hen Video games appears to be courting a nostalgic viewers who fondly recall the ZX Spectrum adventures of Matthew Smith’s Jet Set Willy and Uncommon’s (née Final Play the Sport) Lunar Jetman. It is a tried and examined transfer to draw curiosity in a crowded digital market, and albeit, it is unbecoming of a title as polished and satisfying as this. Willy Jetman does not have to stimulate avid gamers’ nostalgia glands when it provides a good, rewarding journey seemingly effortlessly.
The simplistic story is laced with humour which is kind of puerile at instances, however in a charmingly foolish method, and the dialogue by no means outstays its welcome. It is centered totally on the gameplay, with restricted tutorials that means you’ll be able to grasp the mechanics and simply get on with it, which is refreshing. They usually’re enjoyable mechanics, too, with Willy’s jetpack functioning exactly as you’d anticipate.
Leaping into the air earlier than firing it can trigger him to propel upwards shortly, whereas launching from standing is slower and steadier, however burns extra gasoline. There isn’t any irritating useful resource administration, although. The jetpack has restricted gasoline, however recharges shortly, that means it’s best to at all times have sufficient juice to drag off what you wish to do. Chances are you’ll assume this may make traversal simple, however intelligent stage design places sufficient hazards in your strategy to supply a meaty problem with out making the places really feel inorganic.
Whereas Willy Jetman does not have to homage its influences as overtly because it does, they’re undoubtedly a constant presence. The central mission of gathering particles and carrying it to a set level on every map is evocative of these Final Play the Sport classics like, properly, Jetpac. Fortunately you are by no means removed from a drop-off level so this exercise does not really feel arduous. Your back-and-forth journeys throughout the maps give ample alternative to take a look at totally different routes and seek for secrets and techniques, too, which can reward you with “gravitonium” that can be utilized to improve and refill your weapons.
Stated weapons are pretty numerous of their software, with the fundamental laser gun giving strategy to ninja-style shurikens and a vicious flamethrower, with every weapon stronger towards a selected enemy kind. One of many small frustrations of Willy Jetman is in your incapability to hold greater than two weapons – significantly within the early recreation when your second slot is principally at all times going to be taken up by the bombs, that are wanted for traversal. This slightly inspired us to choose a weapon and keep it up to the bitter finish, slightly than adapt our strategy to no matter state of affairs – just because it’d imply one other trek to the save level to modify gear.
Save factors, naturally, are as contentious as ever. Whereas they’re pretty plentiful, it is nonetheless irritating to lose progress since you did not save just lately. This may be the participant’s fault, after all, nevertheless it motivated us to play way more cautiously than could also be strictly crucial, which is not a lot enjoyable. Collect some gravitonium, save room. Kill just a few enemies, save room. Discover a bit secret, save room. It makes issues a bit repetitive except you think about your capability to not die – which is difficult as a result of Willy is not probably the most resilient little man, dying in two or three hits from just about each enemy within the early recreation, when the expertise is in its formative phases.
Regardless of these little drawbacks, we have been impressed with Willy Jetman. It rises above its by-product title and provides a gorgeous, intricate, very a lot hand-crafted Metroidvania-lite expertise.