Great learning curve.
Nice and colourful art style.
Good collectibles and unlockables.
No new ideas, copy and pasted from twenty years ago.
Canyon Capers Review
During the past few years, with the surge of the Indie game, we have seen a great many platform games come onto the market. Some take us back to our beloved retro gaming years, and some leaving us crying out loud that someone has just ripped off a game we spent much too much of our child hood (some more than others) playing in front of the TV on a SNES or Sega Megadrive. Canyon Capers, the platformer made by Indie developers Crazy Moo Games and published by KISS, was recently released and I’ve put in a good number of hours in order to be able give you my honest and informed review, I just wish I could get some of those hours back now.
Canyon Capers is a collection style platformer, where you are given a number of items to collect before you can move onto the next level and continue through the game. The problem with the game is that the level design and gameplay are stuck twenty years in the past. Now, before I go on it is worth mentioning that this is technically a remake from a game brought out in 1992 of the same name, but even with that the creators have not added anything new to the formula bar the standard Steam support that comes with most Steam releases nowadays. That is not to say I haven’t enjoyed my time playing because I have. It’s just if I wanted a trip down memory lane, there are other (and quite frankly more interesting) games I could choose from to do it.
Now what made these retro platformer’s so great was the difficulty curve, and I have to say Canyon Capers does this brilliantly, the game starts off very forgiving with small levels and few collectibles but slowly builds up its level design and size, as well as collection objectives so that it does give you more opportunity to grind your time into collecting gems and treasure. As you progress you unlock more characters to play and more varied caves and canyons to play in giving the game a small bit of variety. The best unlock though is the bomb mode which changes up gameplay slightly adding some additional enjoyment.
The learning curve and controls are also a plus point here as I’ve been playing with both game pad and key board on both my laptop and PC and I haven’t had a problem with either, in fact I picked up the game controls very quickly and easily as did my eight year old daughter.
The art style reminds me of puzzlers like Bejewelled with colourful and well drawn assets and characters on top of genre specific abstract background pictures. Its bright and good looking with the stand out appearances being the player characters themselves. You can unlock different playable characters each with a unique look and you’ll be wanting to grind your time out collecting in order to get the particular one you want, then you’ll move on up till the point where you’ve collected them all! The audio is the flip side of the coin that was less than impressive with boring and generic background music, and sound effects that just sounded completely out of their time. For instance when I stomped a snake I could swear it sounds as if the snake farts before it completes its demise, in fact the only thing about the audio I do like is the coin collection and that’s because it reminds me of a particular Italian plumber…
In closing, Canyon Capers is a mediocre platform game that when up against some of its older competitors (Braid, Super meat boy, Platformies, Terraria) it’s just not up to cutting the mustard. It’s useful for scratching that retro itch if you’re not willing to go the whole nine yards to set up the old Nintendo or Sega or if you want to introduce the younger members of the family to what life was like before the 3D and mobile era. Anyone who is old enough to have played on the older consoles or has a real interest in Indie platformer’s will get bored very fast but if this is you dipping your toe into the genre then it’s a good place to start.
Canyon Capers Review
Crazy Moo Games