Platformance 2: Temple Death was developed by Magiko Games and retails for 80MSP. A copy of the game was provided for retail purposes.

Platforming titles have seen something of an increase in both interest and quantity lately. Fortunately we’ve seen that most are high quality as well. Xbox Live Arcade titles such as Super Meat Boy and Ms. Splosion Man have been getting a lot of attention and rightfully so. But there are many indie titles that are carrying the fire as well and deserve some attention. Platformance 2: Temple Death is one such game. It brings a simple, no nonsense approach to platforming. You jump and swim to avoid insta-death obstacles, and boy is it hard. But the difficulty is the fun in this game, and this game has both in spades.

Here’s what we liked:

Cool look – The visuals are simple and the animations sparse. But there’s something about seeing the whole level moving at once that’s beautiful. One of the coolest features is that the whole game takes place in one continuous level. You can zoom all the way out to see the whole level.  There are three levels of zoom total. Sure, it’s not realistic to actually play while fully zoomed out, but it helps you to know where you are. You can then zoom in to attack the obstacle at hand. Zooming aside, the whole look of the game is colorful and bright. The obstacles are clear and are never confusing.

Solid gameplay – No platformer can be good without great gameplay. What you find in Platformance 2 is as fundamentally solid as it comes. You have the vanilla jump ability to get past any obstacles in front of you. There’s no fancy double jump, and no wall jump either.  You can’t even duck under obstacles. This simplicity of control makes the game immediately accessible despite its difficulty. Level design is excellent as well: short though it may be, each section of the temple feels unique and challenging in its own way. But man, it’s hard. You’ll die hundreds of times. Thankfully there are checkpoints fairly close together and you respawn instantly.

Love the theme – The temple theme is a lot of fun. It hearkens back to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A theme that is too serious or too light hearted can ruin a game. Platformance 2’s hero is completely mute. The story is simply that Grace Belly (the biggest movie star in the world apparently) was kidnapped by natives and taken to the temple. The hero wants to rescue her to get rich and famous. It’s simple, and that’s what’s so inviting.

Rewards – A lot of indie developers are adding their own version of achievements to their indie games. This is a great idea and Magiko takes it one step further. There are the standard rewards for beating the game on the different difficulty levels but there are also Flop awards for making mistakes and otherwise playing terribly. It’s fun and they put it together in a motivating way. The leaderboards are also functional across Xbox Live and will help motivate the more competitive gamers.

Great value – At 80 MSP this game can’t be beat. This is such a solid platformer that at that price everyone should buy. Yes, it only features one level. But with multiple difficulty levels, rewards, and leaderboards there’s still a fair amount of replay value there. There was also an update to the game that effectively doubles the length of it. Now when you get all the way to the end of the game you have to backtrack all the way back to the beginning while carrying Grace. It sounds like a grind, but it’s actually a blast.

Here is what we didn’t like:

We want more – Fans of this game will likely want to check out Platformance: Castle Panic as well. But for people who love this sort of hardcore platforming, too much is never enough. Here’s hoping more episodes are released in the near future.

Platformance 2: Temple Death is a wonderfully crafted platformer that fans of the genre will love. It has rage quit inducing difficulty but is concise enough to be played through in one setting. Everything about it is great, and the rock bottom price makes the purchase that much sweeter. Xbox Live Indie developers often support their hobby with the funds they get. A lot of that money goes into future games. This is a game worth supporting.

Score: Buy It