2D platformer fans looking for an indie developer’s take on this tried and true genre need look no further — BGG Games has just released Chester for Xbox Live Indie Games. This game, which is a little bit like Mario with a twist of Alien Hominid and Invader Zim, would be the perfect thing to satiate your ravenous stamp collecting appetite while you’re waiting for your latest eBay order of vintage postage to arrive.
Imagine Tim Burton fell asleep and dreamed of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, then mix it up with a 2D shooter, and that’s the sort of game you’ll be playing when you fire up Chester. You will lead the titular character through each level by jumping, double jumping, shooting, and collecting slews of postage stamps. Collecting enough stamps will make a new version of Chester available for use, and each version has a different set of abilities and a unique type of projectile. For example, the first “Chesternate” (as I like to call them) you will unlock is a sort of noisy, mutated bumblebee Chester which has the ability to fly for a very short period of time and hurls very low-laying projectiles at enemies. There is also a Mario-esque Chester which throws bouncy fireballs, and an English gentleman Chester which has an umbrella to allow it to glide across gaps. You can switch to these characters on the fly so their special abilities can be put to use in a tough situation. It was fun to play with these new Chesters as they unlocked, but none of them felt especially necessary and I found myself reverting back to the default Chester for most of the game.
The sound in Chester is decent, but sometimes fringes toward annoying. For example, the aforementioned bumblebee Chester constantly makes noises that sound like vocalizations the Golem in Lord of the Rings would make while masturbating. Where this game really shines though, is the several visual styles and the ability to switch between them at will. There is a wide variety to choose from, such as the default Tim Burton-ish look, and more obscure ones like a blueprint theme. Overall, the default theme was easiest to look at so I kept it on that for a majority of my playthrough.
If assuming the mantle of a demented green philatelist as he searches for more collectible stamps and magical cupcakes sounds like fun to you, then Chester could be your ideal game. The visual theme changing mechanic is clever, and most of the available art styles are well-done. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of depth to be had, but if your lifestyle is anything like mine then a short game may be just what the doctor ordered.
|Neat cartoony visual themes that can be changed whenever you want, solid 2D platformer/hybrid gameplay||May be a little 'more of the same', not a lot of content|
|Verdict||Chester is a well-made indie platformer with a few never-before seen tricks up its sleeve.|