Quick Thoughts On: Spoiler Alert
Spoiler Alert manages to cram more tedium and stress into 30 minutes than most games tens of times longer. Looking over the concept it seems solid enough: beginning at the end, Spoiler Alert plays in reverse as you run backwards attempting to recreate your past movements as you go. It’s not all the different from what the excellent Retro/Grade was doing a few years ago, but where that game used time reversal as an interesting hook to wrap a rhythm game around, Spoiler Alert betrays its concept immediately and seems to really just want to watch you fail while wagging a metaphorical finger in your face.
It traps you into an auto running cage and then expects you to somehow predict when you need to jump (your only means of interactivity), which is easier said than done when your character moves like a blob of jello, your window of opportunity is seconds small, and hit boxes are all over the place. The simplicity of level designs and how they get more difficult the closer they are to the start of the game also helps to destroy the impression that you’re playing through a game backwards instead of just a really boring runner that decided to be edgy and go left. No game would ever design levels like this, but somehow Spoiler Alert seemed to forget its most fundamental concept in every way that actually matters.
I legitimately burst out laughing when I exited the game to find I had spent only half an hour clearing every level in the game, as I could have sworn I had been stuck in Spoiler Alert for days cursing its cheap kills and Casiotone Christmas themed mariachi soundtrack (which is every bit as horrifying as it sounds). If Spoiler Alert is a joke it’s one nobody is laughing at, not even the game itself. If anything it felt like Spoiler Alert had come preloaded with its own self contempt, begrudgingly going through the motions as quickly as possible so I’d leave it alone and we could both get on to better things.
"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.