“Flavourful, Concise, Platforming. All part of a complete gaming breakfast!”
Banana Split is a single-player platformer where you complete single-screen challenges to move onto the next level. The levels aren’t time-limited, and you do have a limited offense – some monsters can be destroyed by jumping on their heads, Mario style – but the game is more focused on simple puzzles and platform skill – like a side-scrolling Chip’s Challenge. The gameplay itself is well-designed; the puzzles start off easy enough, but quickly ramp up into giving you pause by level 10 or so. The game has over 50 levels in it, so if you love a little platform-puzzlin’, this game could definitely scratch that itch for you.
Artistically, the game is simplistic, but well done. With more and more XBLIG games coming out daily, the games that are going to get the kudos will not be those with complicated, half-complete features, but those that have polished the features they do include. Banana Split’s graphics meld with a cutesy breakfast theme, and no graphical glitches/artifacts are to be found. From a technical standpoint, the hitboxes around some creatures seem to be “off” from where one might expect them to be, but that is a quirk you will easily get used to. The music in this game is a soft passive background, and even has some traces of Creative Commons music. You won’t be wowed by any of the music, but it serves its purpose nicely – you’re too busy staring at the screen perplexedly to care about a light midi jingle.
The game does have fault, however, and it’s a notable one: this game was definitely designed for a HDTV. Playing on a 480p CRT was difficult at times, because the outer edges of the screen were cut off, partially obscuring start points or finish points. The difficulty must have been noticed at one point, because the option is available to shrink the screen to a smaller % through the option menu, though the result looked distorted enough to be undesirable.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a single-player platformer, and the likes of N+ are a tad too fast-paced-pixel-perfect for you, you can’t go wrong with Banana Split. At the very least, its personality and love of breakfast ought to make you chuckle. Just be careful about those edges.
You can see a video of the game here.
Game score 7/10
You can download a free trial of the game here.