Sunday, September 11, 2016

Review: Safety First

Safety First
Developer: JCO
Publisher: Headup Games

I guess you could you say that I came at Safety First with a bit of cynicism. At first glance one will think this is just YouTuber bait, QWOP style game that is more about pee jokes and arms being ripped off more then about a fun game. For the most part my cynicism was not incorrectly misplaced, it is all those things but despite that this game still actually manages to be kind of addicting, fun, and rather challenging in clever ways. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself not just chuckling at my "Magical Yellow Repair Liquid, (MYRL)" but also some clever level design and moments where I felt like I had actually accomplished something.

To be clear, the game itself graphically, sound, extras etc, are all almost equivalent to a flash/java game but at a whooping 2 bucks, I can't really fault it there. So whats the basic gist? You control your feet, and that's it. The game prompts and suggests you to use a controller and make it easier on yourself but I found this to be very deceptive. The game actually is easier to play with the keyboard especially during the space levels, more on that later. Where games like QWOP are about terrible controls, Safety First actually follows your exact commands to a fault. If you move your leg to far to the right, it rips off, you need to be consciously aware of what the other foot is doing and make sure it matches suit. Easier said then done, trust me.

You will need to use your limited supply of MYRL to fix circuits and move about a wide variety of physics based challenges, ranging from stairs to riding on the roof a car. The game does rather a good job of teaching you as you move along in the levels. Not once did I ever feel like the level was too hard or that I didn't know what to do. So after playing a couple of levels, I found myself wanting to beat the next puzzle and so on and so forth until I suddenly found myself beating the whole game. What surprised me is that underneath the potty humor and German foul language mode there was a very balanced, well thought out puzzle game.

Could the game be flashier or more aesthetically pleasing? Yes, again though the game is $2 bucks. I wish there was more levels and maybe a couple of more physics mechanics thrown in but you pay for what you get. Now the game does have one major thing that drove me almost to insanity, my STUPID ARMS rip off like paper. Seriously, I hate those arms, they almost feel like the game is cheating you at times as you have no control over them and if one goes flying off, game over. This is most apparent in the later space levels where if your arm flies over your head for some reason it just decides to detach and give you the bird while it does. Ultimately, that is part of the challenge and charm of the game, keeping track of your entire body but there was times where they just came off for no reason.

So like I said before, as someone  who came at this expecting a rage game I was happy to be proven wrong. You will have fun and you will rage but its cause the levels can be challenging. You will become so focused on your feet that everything else disappears. Just don't forget your arms or head and enjoy.

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