Over the last year, Twisted Pixel Games has certainly made a name for itself. The studios first two independent games, The Maw and last summer’s darling ‘Splosion Man, displayed the studio’s creativity, ingenuity, and understanding of just what makes a game fun. Their upcoming third title, Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley, looks to maintain TPG’s winning streak.
In Comic Jumper, players will take on the role of Captain Smiley, your stereotypical comic book hero. Smiley exemplifies truth, justice, courage….and a big ego. Alongside Captain Smiley is Star, the star symbol on his chest. Star’s got a bit of an attitude and can best be described as the Max to Smiley’s Sam.
The level we saw last weekend showed off the intro to the game: Smiley doesn’t like the comic book he’s in. It has lame villains (Dr. Winklemeyer who hates….bank fees) and is riddled with cliches (helicopter fights and sliding down buildings aplenty). Plus, the comic has his arch-nemesis, the super-cool-even-has-a-theme-song Brad. Everyone wants to be Brad, hang out with Brad, give Brad their number…Brad even has his own army of Bradbots and a Bradcopter. Throughout Comic Jumper, Captain Smiley will visit four distinct comic books, each with their own styles and corny jokes, and each with their own version of Brad.
At the start of the demo, the gameplay looked like your standard brawler – Smiley would advance through the level by moving left and could beat the hell out of Winklemeyer’s baddies with melee attacks (the A and X buttons). After Brad’s first appearance, Smiley was able to use his guns to take out enemies. By holding down the right-trigger and aiming with the right directional stick, Smiley was able to take out enemies from a distance, while still having access to his melee attacks. The demo then advanced to show off a sliding sequence requiring some quick shooting at incoming Bradbots, and even had a couple quick-time events where Smiley had to break through doors. The end boss was the intentionally cliché Bradcopter, which was taken down by….well, shooting.
The gameplay is comparable to something like Contra or Gunstar Heroes, and contains that Twisted Pixel humor we’ve come to know and love from their previous titles. There were multiple times during the presentation where the crowd would erupt in laughter, and with this being TPG’s first game with real dialogue, it’s safe to say that Comic Jumper will keep you entertained ’til the end.
Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley will be out later this year for Xbox Live Arcade.