Forza Polpo (Early Access Preview PC)

Remember Jumping Flash! on the PlayStation 1? Developer Monte Gallo certainly does and has created a homage in the form of Forza Polpo. Worth jumping out of your seat for? Read on.

The world has suffered a catastrophic event and seems frozen in time due to Dr. Prometheus and his discovery of “Pink Energy”. 

It’s up to YOU to find out what’s gone on, hopefully, fix it and become the hero you are so destined to be. Naturally, this is a hefty task and you are able to pilot the small Polpo unit to achieve it. 

Polpo is like a small, jumpy mech who just so happens to run on the Pink Energy that has caused this issue, it’s a funny old world isn’t it.

Visually Forza Polpo goes for a minimalistic colourful style fused with 90s anime as proudly touted on the Steam page for the title. It looks fantastic and its “real” world settings are an absolute joy to explore and have you wondering where you’re going to be cruising through next.

If you aren’t familiar with Jumping Flash! Then you may wonder what type of game that was and how it reflects on this title, well JF and this are First Person Shooter slash Platforming titles with collectathon aspects, a bit of a mouthful but that’s what they are and they are refreshingly unique.

Naturally with the first-person camera view comes issues of being able to gauge how far to jump, fortunately, you can not only glide to help nail those tricky sections but you’ll always look down after a jump so you have the best idea of where your feet are going to touch.

The music and sound design in Forza Polpo is charming and fun, initially in level 1 it seems quite quiet and almost eerie, this is broken up by finding a jukebox that plays cutesy music which really leans into the art direction of the game.

There is no voice acting to speak of but there are “grunts” and mechanical noises and beeps, again it just works well for this title as a homage and doesn’t detract from the experience at all, at the end of the day you’re controlling the delivery unit so it just helps with that atmosphere.

The combat is rather basic involving you just aiming and shooting lasers at enemies that wouldn’t have gone amiss in MegaMan Legends, while not a focal point of the game it’s done well enough that it’s not a hindrance. 

Every single action you make in Forza Polpo consumes Pink Energy so it’s down to you to figure out the best way to spend the least energy while collecting the 3 Code Cubes per level to help you progress. This creates a wonderful game of balancing energy to achieve your goal, don’t worry though as there is plenty of pink energy to be found in the brilliantly designed and fun levels.

Once you complete a stage you have a scoreboard to show you how well you did and if you’re anything like me you’ll be chasing that Hi-Score throughout the game, it’s wonderfully addictive and for a solely single-player experience it gives it that much-needed return visit incentive.  

The game currently features 8 levels with I believe 16 in total to finish it off, recently the first few levels saw tweaks and improvements and as the game is in early access there is the odd glitch or bug here and there but for the most part, it’s rather stable. 

The game has a brilliant tutorial section at the start of the game, it’s been a while since I’ve played a game like this and within minutes I was platforming, fighting and exploring with ease thanks to the simple control system. It’s fast where it needs to be and allows some quite intricate platforming sections when you get used to the perspective.

Obviously being in Early Access it’s hard to say how the final product is going to turn out but currently, Forza Polpo is a unique first-person platformer with a heart full of nostalgia and an addictive gameplay loop, the future is bright, the future is pink!.

While it’s difficult to score Early Access titles due to the nature of the scheme in its current state I would give Forza Polpo a 4* rating. It’s a brilliantly charming title that just drips fun from its art style, basic combat, and charming level design. It’s a really unique title that we haven’t seen the likes of in far too long and if you want something different to cleanse your pallet I heartily suggest getting in on this title early doors!.

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