When I’m playing a game with the intent to review it, I always try and to see the game through the lens of the developer. Developers (I assume) do not make games with the intent that they’ll be bad or that they won’t be fun. It’s also important that if it’s a game that I don’t have the skills or reflexes (and sometimes the patience) to master, I should call that out but not judge the game on those facets.
Reed Remastered by Crescent Moon Studios is a pixelated platformer, and it’s hella tough. Like, I could only get so far before I stalled tough. But that’s me, and while I sometimes fool myself that when I play platformers that I’m perhaps okay at them, when a proper platformer like Reed Remastered shows up I get a dose of reality.
By the way, as an aside, I’ve been an avid gamer for a long time, have every modern console, and played many of the retro systems, but I’ve never heard of the original Reed. I’m pretty sure that if there was enough of a clamor for Reed to be remastered, I would’ve heard of it. I did some research, and because Crescent Moon Studios has a decent catalog of mobile games I figured they might have remastered it from there, but it’s also called Reed Remastered for iOS and Android. Also, there’s a Reed 2.
The game’s genesis and pedigree aside, let me talk a little bit about the actual game. It’s demonic. For the average player, it has a difficulty spike about five or six stages in that “seems” insurmountable (the top achievement is for completing 44 levels). It has moving platforms, bullets to dodge, and obstacles to avoid. I was so happy when through random luck I moved Reed (the cutesy marshmallow-ish avatar) to the opposite side of the stage. I had a big “Whew!” moment followed by “WTF!” a second later, when I discovered I had to repeat those steps in reverse. I tried to clear that stage for a long time before I finally quit.
Is Reed Remastered fun? Yeah, it is, but I think gamer’s that welcome extreme and challenging platformers would have a better time because they would get to see more of the game. It was enjoyable to see how far I could get and even when I stalled I desperately wanted to keep going and see how much harder it would get. Kind of answered my own question there I guess.
For many games it’s about how it looks, the audio, and the story, but Reed Remastered doesn’t need that. The story is forgettable, the graphics are acceptable, and the music is fine. What it has (I’m guessing) are platforming levels designed for gamer’s beyond my skill level. As a benchmark, I would say that I’m kind of average, maybe a little less for games requiring sharp reflexes and hand-eye coordination.
Don’t mistake Reed Remastered for a quick or easy indie title (or achievement grab – I didn’t mention earlier that this game is published by Ratalaika Games) because there is more to it than that. It’s a solid platformer that focuses more on mechanics than aesthetics, and it’s hard enough to challenge any gamer that prides themselves on their reflexes and skills. Reed, the cute character in the promotional material, looks like a cotton ball or a mini-marshmallow but represents something more like the Stay Puft giant from Ghostbusters.