This is yet another treasure from the Bitmap Brothers. You recognize them on the palette. Our hero will travel through lots of levels, whilst killing off evil monsters (whenever do I get to be evil and kill good monsters, or is there no such thing as a good monster?). In return for this, the Gods will grant him eternal life. The setting is old mythological Greece.
The graphics are the usual sweet Bitmap Brothers style, the palette is the usual combination of steel shades and brown-yellow, and I even recognize the fireball sprite from Xenon 2 (or perhaps it’s the other way around). OK, they change palette between games, but some games share the same palette and the later Bitmap Brothers games have similar palettes.
Clear sprites and backgrounds, never any doubt what is what and what isn’t. All buttons and levers hidden over the place are no problem to see (I really should start paying attention to what I type). Scrolling and animations are smooth.
The sound is very atmospheric; the gentle tink tink of objects bouncing on the ground before settling, your weapons swooshing as they make their way to targets and so on. There is no in-game music, but the title music more than makes up for it. The title music isn’t chip music like most other games, but is an actual so called mod file that sounds terrific.
Gods is a platform game, you jump, throw lots of different weapons, and kill the wicked. This, however, is not a game in the Sonic/Mario/Zool/Bubsy kind of sense. Our hero moves somewhat slow, not that the response from the joystick is poor, far from it: he is just slow.
When you jump for example, you don’t fly sky high and instantly kill everything you land on. No, on the contrary, you make a grunting noise, and leap forward a bit, anything you hit will make you wish you hadn’t jumped in the first place. The poor fellow even turns slow, so you’ll have to stay focused.
All this makes for a game that relies more on your ability to analyze the situation and act accordingly, rather than having lightning fast reflexes. Some areas have cost me a life when I was rushing, but the second time around, I’m more patient and prepared and lost almost no health at all. The only bad thing about the controls are the sensitivity on ladders: more than one time I’ve fond myself falling to a premature death because the hero decided to jump off the ladder rather than climb up on it.
There is much more to Gods than action. There are also lots of puzzles. Some need to be solved in order to beat the level, and some are there to provide the extra cash, health and lives.
Puzzles are either lever dependent or equipment dependent, or both. The dude has the capacity to carry up to three objects. The inventory is accessed through crouching and pressing the fire button. In the early stages of my playing this made me furiously access my inventory in critical situations.
Sometimes your objective is to find an object and return it to a place, sometimes you pull levers in order to accomplish things. You will often find yourself teleported and sometimes a bit lost.
Still, the puzzles very seldom get boring or stupid. I’m usually against running around pulling levers, but with just a few exceptions, I never felt bugged by the level design. Someone did a great job on this one.
Like any good game, there are bosses. Since there are four worlds, there are four big evil monsters waiting to finish you off. These fights are also more think and analyze rather than “look, I can push the fire button faster than the frame rate of the game”.
This game is fantastic! Very good atmosphere, excellently designed levels and lots of weapons to choose from. You also have health as well as lives, which always looks good in my book. Only bad thing is the frustration when the hero suddenly decides to take a giant leap forward instead of just moving an inch closer to the edge. People who want fast, pumping action may be a bit disappointed at first, but stay with the game and you’ll get to like it.
Graphics : 9
Sound : 9
Gameplay : 9
Overall : 9