Speedrun Squad Review
Fueling gamers’ ever-so-important need for speed, WaffleWorks targets the speedrunning community with their new title Speedrun Squad. Featuring a motley crew of friends and 30 levels to rush through, should you start the clock on this challenge?
Speedrun Squad Review
There’s not much context or story to go off of in this title. After choosing from a crew of eight different characters, players are tasked with getting to the door at the end of each level. A single screen setup is used, with players able to see everything in a single glance. At its most basic level, players are given a jump that can double as an attack.
What you see is what you get in this title. The genre is boiled down to its absolute basic elements, and though some might appreciate this brass tacks approach to play, it is far too bland. The platforming, enemy bopping, and switch flipping has been done since the days of the original Nintendo Entertainment System in the 1980s, and this title does not make a single effort to stand out.
If anything, what is here is a regression. Titles like Super Mario Bros and Ninja Gaiden had perilous platforming and looming threats, but Speedrun Squad has none of that. Fighting a screen-filling snowman or a teddy bear with a lollipop is cliche enough as it is, but easily telegraphed attacks and lazy aesthetics make this rare battles a bore. When these bouts are considered the climax of the title, you just know that you have a problem. The same goes with its bland aesthetics – the basic colors and lack of detail feels like a poorly designed Master System title, rather than a new release for gamers in 2019.
Though each character has a special ability in Speedrun Squad to spice things up, this backfires in a majestic fashion. Basic abilities like a double jump or dash take the edge off, but the inclusion of jetpacks and grappling hooks breaks the title in a horrible fashion. The title simply wasn’t designed for these hijinks, and it can often be a fast way to kill oneself without too much effort. If anything, don’t go for the chap that can reverse gravity – a single use of his ability is a guaranteed death wish.
Unless one wishes to become the top Speedrun Squad champions of all time, don’t expect to play this one for too long. The 30 levels can be polished off in around a half-hour, and there are no achievements to speak of. Though there is a practice mode that gives players the chance to dive into individual levels, there are no achievements or anything else to keep players coming back in the long term.
A very select few might appreciate the back to basics platforming found in Speedrun Squad, but most people will be turned off by its simplicity and lack of effort put in its design.
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