Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp
In Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp you play as Johnny Platform, a green stick figure with an orange shirt and red hat. Your goal is to collect all the coffee and kill all enemies within a level in order to open the passage way to the next stage. The controls are simple and responsive, mainly because there are so few of them. You hit A to jump, and move the left analog stick left or right to move, or move the stick down to crouch. You can also hit the B button to restart a level without losing a life in case you get stuck, or mess up a puzzle.
The game features fifty levels of platforming challenges that grow progressively more difficult as you advance. The first twenty-five or so levels aren't really all that difficult, but after that the challenge starts to pick up and advancing will require you to analyze the levels and puzzles a bit more carefully before making your moves. The game will automatically checkpoint and save your progress every five levels, so if you loose your finally life on say level 4, you must start the game again on level 1, which does add some difficulty to the game as well as some frustration too. As of yet I haven’t beat the game, the last five levels are difficult to pass, and messing up is easy, however completing a level feels rewarding and the game is such an overall blast to play you probably won't care how many times you restart a series of levels. The variety among the levels, not only in locations but puzzles, is worth noting. From frozen snow lands with slippery platforms, to bright sunny outdoor levels, to levels that feel like they’ve stepped straight out of candy land, Johnny Platform doesn’t levels don’t disappoint.
The puzzles, although follow a similar goal or pattern in the levels, are diverse due to different types of enemies (although only two types of enemies exist in the game) and features different hazards such as platforms that break after jumping or walking on them once or twice, spike platforms, and environmental hazards like water. The odd thing about the game though, is unlike Super Mario Bros. when you fall off a platform (in certain levels) into what looks like a bottomless pit, you don’t die. Instead you drop in from the top of the screen from a corresponding spot, which adds to the complexity of puzzles. On other levels when you walk all the way to the right of the level, you end up on the left side of the screen and vise versa.
The two types of enemies that exist in the game are both of the robot variation. One type of robot just walks around on platforms, and the other type are stationary but shoot bullets at a fixed time. Like Super Mario Bros. if you touch an enemy or fall into an environmental hazard you lose a life and start from the beginning of the level. No extra life icons or items appear in the game, but by collecting so many cups of coffee you get another life.
Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp features a sound track consisting of one track that loops repeatedly, which unfortunately becomes a tad annoying after lengthy play times. Other sounds in the game include “bloops” when you stomp on enemies, breaking noses when you step on biscuit platforms and banter from Johnny.
The game features simplistic sprite visuals, which please the eye with bright colors, and smooth animation. The main problem I have with the graphics though is the game does not fill up the entire screen, so if you have an High Definition television, you will have boring background being displayed on the sides of the screen. If you can turn your screen ninety degrees though, in the settings you can make it so the game fills up all the space on the screen.
For eighty Microsoft Points (one United States Dollar), Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp is an excellent buy, I purchased the game when it was two-hundred Microsoft Points and it was well worth it. If you are a fan of retro-style games, Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog or even Pitfall you need check this game out, the simplicity, fun, and old-school graphics come together to make a truly excellent platformer.