Steam: A-Men 2
Video: A-Men (Part one)
Back in February, 2014, I had the pleasure of checking out a interesting little indie puzzle/platformer game called A-men. The game had some interesting mechanics that involved puzzle solving all the while sneaking/murdering and platforming. In the game you played five different classes with unique abilites that all had something to help you solve the puzzle of that level. The enemies were simple automatons and the game boasted quite a few levels. Now here in 2015, A-men 2 brings you almost exactly the same thing.
The best part of A-men 2 is that it seems to have trimmed the fat and gotten its core-mechanics front and forward.
The game is simple, kill X number of baddies using traps littered around the level or class abilities in an effort to get the helicopter to come down and pick up your men. Your troops are rather squishy so keen judgement, timing and decent platforming are required. This stands pretty much exactly the way it did in the first game. (Video included btw.) The difference being that you have access to the other classes immediately and get into the nitty gritty of things rather quickly. The controls have been tightened up a bit and everything seems to flow a bit better in this game.
The graphics also haven't really changed that much either, the tone, abilities, soundtrack, and menus, it all more or less is the same. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it should be noted that for a sequel there really isn't much as far as new features go. Oddly enough though, it does look like they threw any semblance of story away in this game. A-men 2 mostly feels like an expansion instead of sequel, however if you were a fan of the first one this is a great thing. You've got even more levels, shopping, and medals to collect.
More Stuff? Great! This is all well and good but some of the same problems that A-men had transfer over from the first. Mostly the game is rather monotone. The game is slow paced as you must plan every move very delicately. It also sadly doesn't really excite me as a game but then again it is a puzzle game, thinking is more important then anything flashy. A-men also boasts being a very extremely difficult game, while this may frustrate some, other may enjoy this. One thing stands true, you are going to repeat content quite a bit. There are in game save booths around some levels that decrease this, but at a penalty of score. So if you want to get the best score you can, you have to do it from beginning to end in one shot. This can be slightly frustrating, but not game breaking, as this is a more challenge you put on yourself. That being said, you will die constantly, even from slightly brushing the enemy.
That isn't to say A-men 2 cheats you. Most of the time if you die, it was you who screwed up. The levels designs are done quite cleverly, as you turn the traps and area against the enemy. From buzzsaws, boulders, and good ol' grenades, there are many destructive options. Aside from the base missions you also have quite a few mini-objectives that can keep you entertained and add an extra level of challenge and plenty of replay value.
At the end of the day, there isn't anything really all that wrong with A-men 2, it's a unique take on the puzzle platformer and things have gotten more smooth as far as the gameplay goes. The only thing I really wanted to see was something new. A new class or, hell, even splitscreen would've made this worth calling a sequel. But as it stands, this is just a very nice expansion to the first game. Which if you are a fan, you will enjoy. At a buck cheaper then the first, you might enjoy this a bit more. If you are sitting on the fence, I would suggest probably watching videos on the first game and making a decision from there.