The Adventures of Shuggy Review

Don’t you love reviews that inform readers that “if you like this kind of game, you’ll like this game?” Well I assure that I’m not taking that easy out in spite of what things might look like once you move beyond this sentence, but I feel that the audience will be divided on The Adventures of Shuggy and I’ll be doing a service for a good portion of those reading this review by letting them know that they should just cut their losses at this point and consider spending their MS Points elsewhere. The Adventures of Shuggy is one of those simple but oh so challenging old style platformers, and by its very nature will only really appeal to those who enjoy such games. And if you do like those types of games, you’ll probably really like The Adventures of Shuggy. If not, well, you’ll probably quickly grow frustrated, then bored, and then never play the game again.

The Adventures of Shuggy is essentially a large collection of one-screen levels – 150+ of them in total. The goal is always the same in each level, and that simple goal is to collect all of the gems scattered about each level. But there’s a catch – the rules are different on every level. On one the action button will rotate the entire screen in 90 degree increments, on another you’ll constantly move forward and will only be able to control your jumps, and on another you might record your actions for future playback so that your “ghost” can help you complete the level. Of course the challenge isn’t limited to learning to work with the changing gameplay rules; the levels are often filled with enemies and deadly traps. Complete a level and you’ll be scored on the time it took you to complete it. You can then compare your time to others’ on the leaderboards and see how ridiculously slow you really are. You’ll also unlock a couple more levels to try out, which gives you an option if one particular level is giving you fits. There are also co-op levels in the game, with the puzzles specifically designed to be solved through cooperative play.

The controls, so critical in games of this type, are pretty tight, but the slightly floaty jumps will require a little time to get used to. The game can be frustrating at times not because it takes some thought to solve the levels as well as quick reflexes, but because there’s zero margin for error. One slip-up or mistimed enemy encounter and you’re dead, the level resets, and you’re starting from scratch. Again. And then again. Since solving a level invariably involves some experimentation, multiple restarts are pretty much unavoidable. It would have been nice if the game had a mode that gave you three levels of health, and then a separate competitive mode with the one-hit kills for the purpose of leaderboard ranking.

Overall, The Adventures of Shuggy is a pretty decent XBLA offering, but as I stated earlier, you’ve really got to be into this type of game to like it.

Final Rating: 77%. Frustrating as well as fun, and simply for the Super Meat Boy crowd.


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