Skinny

The Metroidvania branch of platformers is probably one of my favorite genres. The gradual release of abilities and new areas combined with constant exploration really grabs me in a way few games do. Skinny is a compelling entry into the genre, simple in gameplay but with a story slowly revealed over the course of the game.

In Skinny you play as a tall, lanky robot who gets roused from his dream by a overseer robot called Mama. Revealing anything more would really spoil the story, it’s a story that’s hinted at and slowly revealed through dialogue and interactions with various characters in the world. It’s compelling and kept me going throughout, though I was let down by the ending.

The gameplay is very simple platforming with a few special abilities given to you by Mama over time, walljumping and grappling hooks are among your arsenal. There’s some complex jumping puzzles towards the end of the journey but nothing too complicated.

While each of the components of this game on it’s own are pretty good, it combines into a oddly compelling mixture of story, art and gameplay that is more than the sum of it’s parts. Like the author’s previous game, Coma, there’s something underlying that kept me going even when the jumping puzzles got frustrating or I got stuck finding the last piece of the puzzle.

Talking Points: Would this game’s story be compelling if told all at once? What about if it was an on-rails shooter like Call of Duty? Do the exploration or the puzzles add to the feel of the world?

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Comments

Could you give a estimate of time of completion for these games. Sometimes I go in to hopping that it ends in 5- 10 min and them it goes for a while making have to quit midway and forgetting to come back. If I know in advance it takes a while I would save for a more free time slot.

pyjamarama wrote:

Could you give a estimate of time of completion for these games. Sometimes I go in to hopping that it ends in 5- 10 min and them it goes for a while making have to quit midway and forgetting to come back. If I know in advance it takes a while I would save for a more free time slot.

This one is about 30min to 1hr, I'll start putting that in from now on.

Thanks. I feel that these games are usually a lot better experienced in one go. Saving in flash games can be a hit or miss most of the times.

Not sure I've played a game in a long time (if ever) that just abruptly ends, out of nowhere, like this one does. Is this meant to be a demo/trial for an eventual release of the full game?

And I'm stuck. Five minutes in and I can't reach a platform. It looks nice though. And I would love to know some more about the story.

Great atmosphere and design. However, playing this I remember just how bad I am at Metroidvania-style platforming. Or just platforming in general.

I liked the build up of the story through the game, and liked feeling that I was figuring it out. Because of that, however, I was expecting a pay-off at the end, and there just wasn't one for me.

I think the story wouldn't have been compelling if told all at once, but if you create a story that's incrementally discoverable, I feel like you gotta have a pay-off at the end. Totally just my taste, though.

Spoiler:

I thought it was going to have a health care theme at the end, like all the sick dudes were ones that trusted in medicine (and the fear that media etc. creates about health issues) and ended up losing their freedom. The religious imagery at the end was a surprise, but an acceptable one, and I was looking forward to seeing if I was right or if I just had a totally different take on it, but then... nothing.

I really liked the art, animation, and sound. The floatiness of the player character and the jittery animations of the sick people really made it for me. The platforming was just tricky enough to be interesting but not too difficult that I ever got stuck.

That really hit the spot and induced a donation from me.

I also thought the story finished rather abruptly, but it kinda fits if seen from the perspective of the avatar.

Thanks for sharing, Pyroman!