- + Simple design, backed by customisable colour palettes
- + Trance-inducing soundtrack
- + Tough as nails, yet addictive gameplay..
- - …that will often mean frustration and anger a lot of the time
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
*N++ was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Metanet Software
“Must. Try. Harder.”
Gaming can take shape in many different forms. Sometimes it will be an epic and detailed adventure, complete with a branching storyline. Other times it might continue an annual trend of competing against others in an online environment, with the aim of shooting each other’s face off. Or, in the case of N++, it might just be a case of keeping it simple; bringing in clean aesthetics alongside a brilliantly upbeat soundtrack, and topping it off with addictive gameplay.
Your goal in N++ is to get from A to B in the quickest way possible. Doing so with style is no bad thing either, but actually achieving this impressive feat will require skill and patience. Each level is presented in one block and encompasses a whole host of different obstacles to overcome. If you gain enough momentum and pick up speed, navigating the tight corners or ledges will only take one jump, but there are more than enough threats to dismember your stickman should you calculate it wrong.
That’s where the real challenge presents itself. What is the best speed at certain points in a level? Plus, how high or low should a stickman be in mid-jump to slip past spikes, lasers and robots in the quickest and safest manner? These are questions that you will ultimately ask yourself, whether that’s after a string of deaths or throwing your controller at the TV. Collecting all of the gold squares located across a level will also mean death defying leaps, whilst you question the best route and method of acquiring them.
The music is punchy and one of the best electronic albums I’ve heard in a long time. It makes your heart race and allows you to succumb to an almost meditative state, as you lose yourself in each maze and try to keep up the pace. Of course, simply completing a level and opening your exit is fine, but pitting your skills against others on the leaderboard will spark your desire to get better.
You’ll never be left without a new challenge, since next to the core gameplay is an in-built level creator, ensuring that community-created masterpieces will provide no end to content. Some of the levels I came across were truly crazy, but the fact that even I could concoct a sadistic maze of mayhem freed my creativity a little. I don’t personally have the time to do such a thing, but getting given the option is a nice touch.
Metanet Software has proved that dazzling graphics aren’t everything. Simply giving gamers an array of simple challenges, against the backdrop of a superb soundtrack and addictive gameplay, will have players coming back for that “one more” retry. Skill is key: do you have what it takes to play this? Get the gold, be the fastest and exit – simple.