Review: Spoiler Alert (Steam)
Another non-PSN game, Spoiler Alert is a frustratingly enjoyable speedrunning game in which you play it backwards. Yes, backwards. Your character, a clever little red chili pepper, runs from right to left in reverse. That’s kind of the “thing” about this game. You un-beat it. You start in the last world of the game, on the last level, at the final boss. And then, you un-defeat him, and start cruising backwards.
Here is where I will start to criticize the game a bit, and perhaps it’s because I’m just not into speedrunner-esque games. You can’t control how fast your character moves. You are traveling at the same constant speed backwards and all you have for an ability is to jump. You can’t stop or slow your speed backwards, which can make certain levels incredibly frustrating. It also does make the game kind of fun. There is a huge element of failure built into this, and not being aware of what is coming next, because you can’t slow down to avoid an enemy so you’ve gotta get the timing right on everything. There are however, some power-ups you have to grab through the level. Theres a hammer, fire, and roll powerups, that are needed to go back through the game. Instead of throwing fire, you catch it. Same goes for hammers. The roll powerup allows you to roll to get under obstacles, but also pick up a bit more speed for longer jumps.
Spoiler Alert is very much like the impossible game, but actually possible. There are three worlds to un-beat and within them over 100 individual levels to complete. Then there are bonus levels and the speedrun challenge. The bonus levels are neat, but I won’t go into them cause it’ll be more fun for you if you experience it on your own. The speedrun challenge is basically exactly what it sounds like. Speedrun through the entire game, with no progress reports as you complete each level and world. You can fail, but you’ll just restart at whichever portion you’re at and then keep going. I managed to speedrun it in less than 24 minutes, and currently the high score on it is around 18 minutes, so I’m actually not too far off the mark. Their is a custom world editor and custom levels, but I didn’t get too much into it as that portion is still being fine tuned and I’d rather not experience the potential bugs and have a sour opinion on it.
So what do I think? If you’re into speedrunners or just find the concept of un-beating a game and playing it backwards from end to beginning, then definitely look into Spoiler Alert. At $7.99, it’s inexpensive and if you’re into getting perfects across the board, the game will provide you with at least 10 hours of solid content. I managed to get through the game, bonus levels, and speedrun challenge in a little under 2 hours, but I did not spend anytime going back to perfect each level. There is also the custom level portion which has a lot of potential once more users get their hands on it. In a community update, one of the guys at MEGAFUZZ, the team behind Spoiler Alert did announce that future levels/worlds would be available for free in later updates, but obviously timetables are not definitive.
I give Spoiler Alert a 6/10 because it’s fun, it’s different, and it’s got some good music to go along with it. Hopefully they add some additional tracks for the level editor, or allow for custom music to be added in, which I think would be a cool feature. Once the level editor is fully enabled I’m sure the game will be much better, but for now I’d say if you might be better off to wait a bit. You can get it on steam for $7.99.