The small indie team of Dymtro Derybas are releasing Shmubedi Boo October 7th, a single screen platformer game much like Super Meat Boy and Celeste. It is a hardcore platformer where you might throw your controller or worse, your switch in frustration. Shmubedi Boo’s cute aesthetic is charming but with challenging platformer gameplay that may just test your patience.
Work your way through 120 screens of hardcore platforming with five bosses included in the levels. The game runs on a life system which you can renew by purchasing more at the markets that are sparingly placed. Shmubedi Boo has two main controls: the move control attached to the joystick and the jump action which is tied to the X button. Having the jump button on X really takes a bit to get used to due to the history of jump usually being on the A or B buttons.
The core gameplay is to reach the door at the end of the stage by running and jumping your way past deadly obstacles and lethal foes. The platforming challenge gets harder and harder as the levels go on, with fast swinging spike balls or saw blades that provide little-to-no gap to jump past.
The first boss fight is really difficult and punishing if you don’t know what to do, to the point that some people might just quit the game right there. The way the fight works is that you have to jump on the boss’s head five times however if the boss hits you, he heals one damage. This is fair due to the game running on a life system however where it becomes punishing is due to the fact that the boss can gain up to a total of 10 health from killing you.
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The game does include a local multiplayer option of up to 4 players. I did not get to try this feature out but I feel like it would make the game a bit less frustrating, at least when it comes to the boss battles.
One core aspect that a single screen platformer has to get correct is the level design. It has to blend the line between challenging and rewarding and Shmubedi Boo does a decent enough job at this task with some platforming challenges feeling really rewarding when completed. On the other side though, sometimes the challenges are just frustrating, requiring very precise button presses to clear the level and a small misstep can lead to a very frustrated spiral of death if you don’t stay calm.
The only other aspect of this game’s level design that causes issues is the spike’s hit box detection. There are times where you just barely clear the spikes of the spike trap however as the hit box is basically a rectangle starting from the base of the spike and doesn’t align with the physical spike itself, you will die regardless. A similar thing happens with enemies, if you do not hit them squarely on the top you will most likely die as it will count as being hit by the enemy.
Story / Personality
The story behind Shmubedi Boo is very simple. A rabbit has stolen all the Apples from the town of Shmubedi Boo and it is your job to recover them and defeat the Rabbit. Unlike other games in this genre, the story doesn’t make you want to force your way through the challenges. While the personality of the game is pretty cute, this is more due to the aesthetics and art design.
Graphics / Art Direction
A cute and cartoony aesthetic captures the game through and through. The level artistic design reminds me of the classic Super Mario Bros. levels with that simplistic but appealing charm to it. The playable characters have a nice range from a Karate Frog, to an Astronaut, as well as an unlockable duck. You can also use the collectible currency of apples to customise your character to have a wizard hat or a rainbow mohawk to bring more wackiness to the fun.
Music / Sound Design
Unfortunately the sound design behind this game is not the easiest to listen to. This is due to the songs being a very short tune on repeat and each character only having one sound clip that plays whenever the jump button is pressed. They’re not bad sound clips, it is just very tiring having to listen to the same sounds constantly over and over, which essentially doesn’t stop in a game focused on jumping platforming.
Final Score: 51%
Shmubedi Boo is a good game to pick up if you really enjoy the genre of single screen platformers, however I can’t recommend it if that isn’t one you enjoy. A lack of story driving you forward, repetitive music and what feels like unfair levels can leave a bad taste in your mouth after playing this game.
Thank you for checking out our Shmubedi Boo Switch review, thank you to Julia Vasina for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
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