I am now pushing the underside of forty years old. That’s right, ‘40% of a century’ years old. So, you can imagine I have seen a crap load of change in computer games. From the introduction of saves to virtual reality. There are some types of games that have that special place in my nostalgic-ridden heart. Platforms games are one on them. I’ve played classics such as Mario and Sonic, through to modern platformers such as Yooka Laylee. So, when I was told about a new Indie platformer called Magical Stars Pillars, I had to jump straight in, download the game and take a good look around.
Firstly, let’s have a gander at the story.
There are four pillars that keep the world going. That is until mankind decided it would be a great idea to try to harness the power. Combining the power of the pillars with their technology seriously depleted their power. If the pillars aren’t powered then the world and everyone who likes to call it home will die. Bummer eh? Before the pillars completely died, they spread out portions of their power, in the form of Star Seeds over four islands. Now it’s up to a small girl called Till, and her companions to collect these Star Seeds, save the magical pillars and ultimately the world itself.
It’s worth noting, and you’ve probably noticed at this point, that the graphics are pretty basic. In a kind of ‘I did these in Microsoft Paint in my lunch-hour’ kind of way. Don’t let the graphical simplicity spoil your enjoyment of the game. Magical Stars Pillars is a game that has enough gameplay behind it, to allow you to completely overlook its graphical shortcomings.
The basic premise of the game has your standard platformer tropes in there. Your character can jump, or double-jump. There’s moving platforms, large drops, pointy spikes, pushy boxes and lethal enemies. Your first few levels introduce you to these basics. After that point you can navigate between the four islands, where you can put all these skills to the test. There are a few puzzles that Till won’t be able to do alone. She’ll need the help of her friends. Who, rather unfortunately, have been kidnapped, and are held in cages and need to be rescued before they can be of any help.
Once she has rescued her friends a whole host of new skills become available, wall climbing, gliding, wall smashing and lighting up dark places. You’ll need them all if you’re to gather all the stars and to stop the destruction of the world.
Magical Stars Pillars has 100 levels to get through, with over 40 being in the demo version. The first few levels are fairly quick and simple tutorials but as you move on to the other islands the puzzles become tougher and the levels become longer. The general difficulty balance was good. Tying that line between too easy and making me throw my computer into a wall in frustration.