Game of the Week: The Man Who Sold The World

Today I’m feeling a bit retro – how retro? Let’s just say, “David Bowie 80’s” retro. I woke up this morning and checked on one of my favorite little indie game developers that are based right up here in the Northwest. [ Woo for hometown gaming! ] If any of you were lucky enough to stumble upon I Saw Her Standing There…, well then you’ll know why I love Krang Games. They have a distinct retro-simplistic art style to many of their games. Narratives and stories seem to drive every fabric of their games, and I’ve had a blast playing all of them.

It’s that time again! – The Interstellar DATING GAME!

Krang Games is owned and operated by developer Nick Yonge, and I have to say his games have definitely helped inspire me to try my hand at flash game development. Now, why am I in a retro mood this morning? Well it’s because Yonge [ and the rest of Krang Games ] have come out with the newest game in their vintage flash line: The Man Who Sold The World. It’s a interactive narrative/platforming game that was inspired by David Bowie’s music. How cool is that? The game is rather short [ 4 levels ] but the platforming can be challenging, so don’t take this simplistic design lightly. The object seems to be to collect as many of the glowing orbs in the levels as you can find. How did this play out? Well let’s get to the accessibility shall we?

If the world was in the palm of your hand – what would you choose?

Pros:

  • Few controls – makes for simplistic gameplay and easy functionality.
  • All dialog is text-based, which is perfect for deaf gamers.
  • Soundtrack is ambient and unique, though can be a bit repetitive.
  • A & D keys and Arrow keys are both available for users, allowing for one-handed players to play [ left or right handed ]
  • Game has decent pacing, making this game a labor of love, rather than a laborious struggle for gamers. 
  • Game has no penalty system, so if you make mistakes it’s easy to continue and try again.
  • The narrative plot is strong, intriguing, and fun. It will keep you guessing as you go forth.

In The Jungle, the mighty Jungle, The Man He Sleeps Tonight!

Cons:

  • Game almost requires two hands, due to requirement of Spacebar for jump action. [ One-handed is possible, though harder. ]
  • The games color scheme is, for the most part, accessible. Some sections and colors, however, may be troublesome for colorblind.
  • Precision gaming is pretty key to succeed, due some difficult platform sections.
  • Game has a chapter function on Main Menu, but no way to jump to new chapters unless you earn them.
  • I wish there was Skip function. I failed certain sections quite a few times due to jump spacing.

Overall, the game was a joy to play. There may have been moments of frustration due to difficulty with the keyboard based controls, but I enjoyed my time with Krang Games new sci-fi retro narrative. It’s definitely one of those few delights I get from the vast array of internet gaming fodder. If you’d like to play it as well, you can jump into the sci-fi fun over on Kongregate.

The game hasn’t been played much, which is why I’m happy to be reviewing it. Give it some love, maybe some stardust, you know – whatever you feel like! I hope this game keeps you searching through the stars and soaring into the realm of 8-bit retro games!

In closing though, I’ll leave you with two things to Bowie this post up a bit:

and for a little light humor on the subject, one of my favorite beloved comedy bands:

The Flight of the Conchords

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