Irish developer Terry Cavanagh developed VVVVVV in Adobe Flash and publisher Nicalis picked it up for a 2010 release. This makes VVVVVV one of the leaders in the indie scene which emerged at the time, although many will think of it as a new game due to its recent ports over to consoles such as the Nintendo Switch.
Inspired to create games by titles such as Final Fantasy VII (Cavanagh’s favourite game), the graphical style of the game is taken from the Commodore 64 with the central premise of the title involving a gravity swapping jump, high difficulty level, and a pounding boopy, boppy soundtrack. Huzzah!
What has helped the game stand out is its emotional depth, as there is a story in amongst the continuous “jumping”. You star as Captain Viridian – at the start, the Cap and his crew are on a spaceship, which must be evacuated after a peculiar incident. He must then reassemble his crew across a variety of strange environments.
Now we did the annoying “jumping” thing as you can’t jump in this 2D platformer, which is very odd, but you can reverse the direction of gravity to head the other way. This is where the notorious difficulty kicks in, as you have to be inch perfect with jumps, but even this won’t account for what’s ahead. You’ll be playing a memory game here to master certain sections, but your skill has to be matched with bravery.
The game is short, which means it’s incredibly cheap to pick up (we got it on Steam for 99p – that’s less than a dollar, other people of other nations), but the difficulty is there to test everyone’s patience. Many gamers will “rage quit” (doing that a lot today, aren’t we!?) – which means lose their temper and punch the computer, or whatever – but for the discerning, patient gamer you’ll find here a deceptively simple indie game which will test your skills to the limit. Indeed.