Freshly revamped by indie developer Notion Games, Super Ubie Island REMIX is an awesomely optimistic arcade game that’s brought back the best parts of our favourite retro platformers.
Using spiffy cartoon stills that are full of character, the game charmingly introduces you to Ubie and his plight. He’s a zany little alien who has just crash-landed on Earth. His ship is destroyed and he’s miles from home. It’s up to you to repair his ship, defeat enemies (both big and small) and uncover as many secret levels, characters and items as you can along the way.
With clear influences from Super Mario, Super Ubie Island REMIX challenges you to hop, jump and bounce your way though a series of colourful levels. It’s up to you to collect worker bees, grab coins and glide through the skies via a red balloon to unlock the next series of levels and trials.
There are four worlds in total to explore, each as beautiful and engaging as the next. Throughout the levels, you’re introduced to a variety of enemies and traps, including blue blobs, TNT boxes and awesome bosses.
Whether your weapon of choice is a keyboard or controller, the game handles superbly well with both. The controls are super intuitive, making the game easily accessible to first time gamers and seasoned addicts alike. You move Ubie using the up, down, left and right buttons, selecting down to interact with objects and up to jump, double-jump and glide.
With upbeat 8-bit enthused music, gorgeous colours and an insanely cute protagonist, everything about Super Ubie Island REMIX is just so… happy. And not annoyingly so, you’ll be glad to hear. This game could easily have become too cutesy, to the point of being sickening, but Notion Games have expertly toed the line on all fronts to remain on the right side of adorable.
Although it’s not the longest of games (but with over 20 levels, you can’t really complain), you can end up spending a vast amount of time attempting to complete the game if you’re talented at losing lives. Sure, if you accidentally run into an enemy, you lose a heart and have another chance before you’re propelled back to the main screen. However, if you misjudge a jump and fall into water, or worse, the unknown abyss just beyond your screen, you’re done for.
This whole song and dance can become rather frustrating if you’re as outstanding at dying as I am. It would be nice to have checkpoints at least once during each stage so you don’t have to restart the entire level when you fail.
Then again, there is something so satisfying about FINALLY overcoming a level after struggling for so long. There were a few moments when I actually had to take a little celebration break after falling at the last hurdle so many times. It filled me with nostalgia and took me back to when I used to struggle, but ultimately end up triumphant, on classics like Sonic, which was just awesome.
One of the best aspects of Super Ubie Island REMIX by far is the music. Although it’s perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, this unique, joyful and generally jolly soundtrack compliments the aesthetics of the game perfectly. It’s rare for me to enjoy a game’s soundtrack this much; it’s full of character and is just really fun to listen to. (When I’ve finished writing this review, I’m going to find out if I can download it. These chirpy tunes would be a great way to brighten up my morning commute when I’m on the way to work, wishing that I was at home with a controller in my hands instead.)
To sum this all up, Super Ubie Island REMIX is just… super fun. This is definitely a game that you need on your to-do list if you’re looking to relive the glory days of all the great platformers of times gone by. With it’s cheerful 2D animation, charming storyline and excellent music, Super Ubie Island REMIX is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.