Spoiler Alert Review

Over before it has begun.

A game based on a single gimmick can remain entertaining for only so long. Spoiler Alert, a 2D platformer from indie developer Megafuzz Games, flips the usual script by running each of its 100 levels filled with patterned enemies and scalable cliffs in reverse. The hand-drawn hero shuffles his feet backward as he un-jumps on enemies, sucks fireballs back into his gullet, and coughs up the coins collected when the level was originally conquered. It's a clever twist on a genre everyone is familiar with, but unfortunately, Spoiler Alert shows off its best and only trick almost immediately, and fails to introduce anything beyond it.

For reasons beyond understanding, you play as a spicy chili pepper who uses his stubby legs to moonwalk all the way to the "start" of the game. Since he has already conquered each level, the character simply walks backward as you control when and where he jumps. You revive crumpled enemies by reenacting well-timed jumps, while power-ups that give you the ability to breathe fire or throw hammers have to be collected and returned to their original positions before a world can be considered complete. The actions in which the character originally collected coins, dealt with enemies, and scaled obstacles must be re-created, giving you little wiggle room from level to level.

Character design is about as wacky as it gets.

The timing of it all can be frustrating early on: anticipating the arc of your jump to land on the lifeless body of a colorful gnome takes a few tries to get right. However, after you catch your groove, you can rush through an entire world packed with 30 unique stages in 10 to 15 minutes. Besting screen after screen of challenges is rewarding, but once you understand the mechanics and see the clear patterns, the one-note design becomes apparent and the flow continues uninterrupted. Spoiler Alert concludes not long after you defeat the first--or technically final--boss. You'd expect 100 levels to lead to hours of action, but since the majority of stages might last fewer than 10 seconds, you can easily see all of the provided content in under an hour's time. There's a certain satisfaction to mastering the game's timing and besting level after level without a hitch, but there's not enough content to back up the design. Spoiler Alert feels less like a full release and more like a paid trial. There's a speed run feature where you're asked to un-play the entire game from finish to start, but after you've un-beaten the game once, it's difficult to find motivation to trudge your way through it all again.

Take away the feature attraction of undoing stage after stage of activities, and you're left with a colorful yet monotonous runner devoid of challenge and inspiration in which the only substantial change between locations is the scenery. If you're unsatisfied with the suite of content provided, there's a level editor included with the Steam-exclusive Collector's Edition that allows you to flex the muscles of your imagination. All of the in-game assets are easily dragged and dropped into your own unique levels, and the simplicity and scope of Spoiler Alert's stages make creating your own reverse runner more straightforward and appealing than the typical suite of such tools.

This is the type of scenery you'd expect when the hero is a chili pepper.

The accessible creation options notwithstanding, the glitz covering this stunted platformer isn't enough to glamorize its one-note concept. Spoiler Alert fails to remain interesting over the course of its brief runtime, and while I found myself interested in seeing what would be thrown my way early on, a lack of imagination keeps the entire package from feeling complete. A unique concept needs a supporting cast of good ideas to flourish, and Spoiler Alert's lone conceit doesn't have the charms to carry the weight of an entire game on its shoulders.

The Good
Fun hand-drawn art
Initially satisfying pace
The Bad
Uninspired levels
Reverse gimmick gets old fast
Little content
4
Poor
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Josiah Renaudin has been jumping from platform to platform since the early days of the original Nintendo, with Super Mario World standing as one of his all-time favorite platformers. For the purpose of this review, Josiah completed all 100 levels and created a few stages of his own.

Discussion

27 comments
Soundaholic92
Soundaholic92

I hope games like this make indie worshippers realise that not all indie games are gems, or even flawed gems

ecurl143
ecurl143

I applaud indie developers - they usually bring something fresh to the proceedings but jesus christ Megafuzz, is this the best you can do?

Seriously, if you want to make a name for yourself, you'll have to do better than this I'm afraid.

ortzinator
ortzinator

There's a neat joke in the system requirements on Steam. At least I hope it's a joke...

xantufrog
xantufrog

Spoiler alert: this game is bad

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

A jump mechanic in a backwards platformer that doesn't make sense.

In normal platformers like Mario or Sonic, when you hit enemies from above, you hop up afterwards. In this - a game that is essentially going backwards and nothing else, you would essentially be starting off with the hop after you down an enemy. That makes no sense...

If the hop was at jumping height, that would be OK and would possibly correct a loophole in the game's design. But it doesn't matter, because the game isn't really worth the asking price.

ShepardCommandr
ShepardCommandr

another trash hipster indie garbage with nes graphics

Wake me up when Dragon Age,Witcher 3 and Batman AK are out

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

don't worry, it will soon be on PS4…. after all it's an indie game..

ahpuck
ahpuck

PC Master Race! oh, wait.

jerusaelem
jerusaelem

@Soundaholic92 If your list of hopes includes a random vomit of unprovoked schadenfreude towards a small contingent of PC gamers that in all likelihood doesn’t even exist, you’re a pretty sad little guy : )

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

@xantufrog They were going to call the game that, but that would be spoilers

shakensparco
shakensparco

@ahpuck Oh I forgot, because PC is the Master Race, every game must be good.

Soundaholic92
Soundaholic92

@jerusaelem except I know a bunch of them in real life because some of them are my friends from school ._., and yes believe it or not, corporations-hating gamers who swear by indie games do exist

Lhomity
Lhomity

@phbz @ahpuck (Off-topic) Knack was pretty decent for a console launch title. Kids love it. Still, I found it rather shallow, personally.

Acillatem1993
Acillatem1993

@Lhomity Pretty decent? Sorry but I played Knack and...its anything but decent. I mean sure kids love it, kids arent erally that picky when it comes to games, but otherwise that game was just bad.

Spoiler Alert More Info

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  • First Released
    • iPhone/iPod
    • Macintosh
    • + 2 more
    • PC
    • Unix/Linux
    2.5
    Average Rating2 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    MEGAFUZZ
    Published by:
    tinyBuild
    Genre(s):
    Action