VVVVVV is a indie game puzzle platformer that released back in 2010, but it has made Nintendo consoles its home since the 3DS. The title is simplistic yet challenging in all of the right ways, and Terry Cavanagh did a masterful job building a huge game with as little memory as possible.
My name is Jason, and this is your Nindie Spotlight for today: VVVVVV!
It’s the game that’ll have you walking on the ceiling and looking up at the floor! VVVVVV is a challenging 2D action/platformer with one deceptively simple gameplay mechanic: Without the ability to jump, Captain Viridian must rely on inverting gravity to advance through hundreds of rooms and solve the puzzles he encounters therein.
This love letter to the days of 8-bit home computer games features amazing retro gameplay, a genuinely classic visual aesthetic, and an earworm chiptune soundtrack created by Swedish musician Magnus Palsson.
VVVVVV is a challenging yet addictive title that will constantly have you saying, “One more try!” It’s one-screen puzzles will challenge your mind and your dexterity as you make your way around the area saving your crewmates and eventually reuniting. So what makes this game so good? Let’s talk about it!
Superb Level Design
Since VVVVVV‘s main mechanic is the inversion of gravity, the puzzles within VVVVVV revolve around the idea of flipping your character up and down within the world. Early on, this can feel overwhelming, as Captain Viridian can flip up and go through numerous screens before landing in an area with no access, but thanks to the amazing yet simple mapping, finding your way around the color-coded world opens up as you progress.
Each area in VVVVVV provides different challenges based on the colored area you enter, and that theme will carry on until you complete the section and save the crew mate that is trapped there. What is fantastic about this type of level design is that the challenge progresses with each passing screen, but there is always an out at some point if you want to try somewhere else.
The simple mechanic, which has yet to be replicated to the expert level here in VVVVVV, provides some of the best platforming for all types of players. The main game can be enjoyed by casuals, but there are extra challenges for higher-level players looking to 100% the game. This type of design and inclusion makes this one of the best indies on the market, and something everyone should try out.
Great video games are often connected heavily to their soundtracks, but when it comes to the indie world, few games have that kind of impact. VVVVVV is absolutely one of the best video game soundtracks out there, and I do not mean within the indie game realm. I mean across the board!
Each area of VVVVVV not only changes in regards to aesthetic and puzzles but also in its music. The way areas merge from one song to the next is done surprisingly well, and the upbeat chiptunes by Magnus Palsson are pure brilliance.
The music in VVVVVV will truly stick with you. I find myself humming some of the tunes out of nowhere, even if I have not played the game in years. I can even recall right now all of the songs and what areas they are associated with. If a game can perfectly blend its level design, gameplay, and soundtrack, you have something truly special, and VVVVVV is absolutely a special game.
Sometimes a video game does not need to wow us with its hyper-realistic graphics or deep storytelling to impact us. Sometimes a game just floors us with perfect gameplay, brilliant level design, and one of the best soundtracks in gaming history, and you know what? That is more than fine.
This is precisely why we do these Nindie Spotlights, because games like VVVVVV are phenomenal, and yet they are often ignored in favor of the next Call of Duty, which is a shame to me. If you are looking to spend $10 USD on the eShop and are wondering if anything at that price is worth your time and money, just know that VVVVVV is that price and is a perfect game.
This is one of those titles that sticks with you, and like me, you may find yourself humming the tunes long after you finish the game. And you know what? You may find yourself going back to VVVVVV for another round, because the experience you will have the first time will leave that much of an impact.
There is your Nindie Spotlight on VVVVVV. Join us next time for another brief look into the Nintendo Switch’s best Nindie titles. What are some of your favorite indie games? Let us know in the comments below! Thank you for visiting Nintendo Link.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.