I really like Concursion, I like it a lot. I don’t say that because of its pretty genius concept of mish-mashing 5 games in 1 (although I like that too) or for its testing of skills and determination (but this is also a plus point). Concursion reminds me of the games younger me would play before class with friends in computers labs, frantically testing the limits of our own patience and our school’s budget keyboards. We’d rush off to lessons afterwards hating ourselves for not playing more as we regaled tales of who got further in the game than who. It’s a beautiful thing, nostalgia, and, as I said, I really like Concursion and I think that you will too.
When I say “mish-mashing” I don’t at all mean that in the ‘poorly put together, thrown together in a haze of code and graphics’ sense, because that’s not at all what Concursion is. The five games that make up Concursion’s gameplay are quite literally mashed within each other and believe me when I say that it’s brilliant.
Rather than being a sequence of slightly differently paced levels, a quiet bit of stealth after an all out shooter, for example, how Concursion’s dimensions fit in with each other is in little pockets that actually look a little bit like accidental screen tears, where the developer (Puuba Games) forgot to patch things up. Wander into these pockets, or these giant unavoidable sections of level and you’ll change, both in character and in gameplay, immediately having to readjust to the new landscape and control scheme like you’ve been playing that same thing from the beginning.
In truth, Concursion’s five titles aren’t world-tiltingly unique from anything seen before, although the game as an entirety is. The game (or games, depending on which way you want to look at it) are all essentially a spin-off of some sort of obstacle avoidance but you’ll appreciate the lone similarity as you’re using your keys to zip through the game’s five different art styles, bass of the 5 different soundtracks (each as catchy as the one before it) pumping in your eardrums, controlling a tiny little astronaut, a space ship, a hack and slash warrior type, a helmetted platforming fiend or a character that takes on what’s being officially described as a “crazy version of Pac-Man”.
I say this because you’ll fail and you will fail quite a bit. The game is designed to throw you and whether that’s due to the screen, which gradually pans right in some levels to shiv you into failure with an unwelcome little nudge or because of your own cack-handedness, you will. You most definitely will. But that’s ok, y’know? Because if you’re sort of bad at games (like me) or good at them (I can guarantee that if you have two thumbs you’re already better than me) then that’s absolutely part of the fun. Concursion includes checkpoints but the unspoken aim of the game is to whizz through it as fast as you can in one of the game’s 4 difficulty modes and then tell your other friends about the hilarious time you got stuck on a wall because you walked into another genre and didn’t account for the anti-grav cutting out, or when you forgot to blast your way through enough space rock to let your astronaut get through in the next sequence of gameplay. They might laugh (again, this is part of the fun) and suggest a better way to tap at the keys and it’s in that moment that you will have discovered the pure, unadulterated amazement of Concursion – 5 times the gameplay means 5 times the fun.
Yes, that tagline-esque phrase is a bit cheesy but in my hands-on preview of an early build of the game, that’s exactly how I felt, only disappointed with myself this time not because I didn’t play it for longer (I’ll also state that Concursion is a game with massive replayability potential) but because I unfortunately didn’t have any other friends to share it with, this being a preview build an all. It works fine as a single player experience, but Concursion is a game that deserves to be enthused about.
Concursion is on Steam Greenlight right now and I more than recommend giving it a vote.
Concursion will be released on PC and Mac in Summer 2014.