An XboxHornet review by WDesm
“Fantastic Platforming and Cave Diving. Two player? Even better!”
If you’ve ever played Cave Story, La Mulana or Spelunky, you should already be turning on your Xbox to buy Tobe’s Vertical Adventure. If you’re new to the genre, which I suppose could be called “Retro-Bit Adventure Platforms,” if you wanted to give it a pretentious name, well then, you now have a whole pile of enjoyable gaming to work through, starting with this gem. In a retro platformer, the emphasis is usually on challenging gameplay and cutesy graphics. Tobe’s Vertical Adventure achieves both of those with ease, providing a riveting challenge well worth your time.
Each stage begins at the top of a labyrinth of gems, monsters, and death traps, and the goal is safely traverse downward, get to an oversized treasure chest, and then escape while the labyrinth collapses around you. While the easy levels can be brute-forced rather easily, the later levels require pre-planning, as you place a limited amount of ropes to control your descent, or use balloons to guide your free-fall. To demand even further finesse, there are slight upgrades your character can earn by collecting enough of the gems and stranded animals through the levels, truly rewarding the skilled and thoughtful player.
Artistically, the game has an endearing level of charm to it – the game starts off with a person so addicted to their xbox that they have to be dumped into the most exciting and dangerous ADVENTURE! of their life. And if it should come to pass that one big-headed adventurer running around the screen isn’t enough for you, Tobe’s Vertical Adventure ups the ante by offering local co-op play. The levels are the same, but the gameplay is sure more enjoyable when you can have another platform junkie right beside you.
As far as I’m concerned, the game starts 2010 for the XBLIG scene off on a perfect note: I’m looking forward to an entire year of well-polished and creative games just like this, pushing new game designs and fun replayability into our 360s. But, lest I too loudly toot my horn, Tobe’s Vertical Adventure is still a small ways from perfect – the developer has admitted that Analog stick support is still to come in an upcoming patch(hopefully using the pressure-sensor in the controller, depreciating the run button), and has noted that their website, http://tobesadventure.squarespace.com/, is still in development:
“We gonna have some interesting downloads [on our site] in the next couple of days/ weeks. Things like instruction manual, or music soundtracks (you will need to unlock the password from the game), etc.
It’s going to be fun, so drop by, and perhaps say hi in the guestbook if you have the time ;)”
Considering how awesome Tobe’s Vertical Adventure is, you can bet I will.
Game Score 9.5/10
Download a free trial of the game here.