When I talk about indie games being creative and willing to take a chance Super Daryl Deluxe is a prime example of what I am talking about. It doesn’t care if you think this isn’t going to work, they implemented it into the game anyways. That is what makes this game so much fun to play. From the dialogue to the cartoonish visuals to the characters, the developers took some fun risks with this game.
The game begins with a classic dream sequence with the title character trying to rescue his damsel from the Trenchcoat Kid. In his mind he is THE kick ass detective and apparently the only one who can save her before the jig is up. Sorry, the dialogue is heavy with that word in the beginning. After you whoop up on his henchmen the story shifts and I admit I didn’t know exactly what was going on. Are we having a flashback now? Was this a flash forward? All I knew was that my smile went from ear to ear. The goofy dialogue had sucked me in and I was ready to put in some serious hours on this one.
Who are you really? Well I will tell you. You are Daryl Whitelaw the coolest most electrifying kid in school. Okay, perhaps not. Let’s say your character is somewhat the silent type. However, he still knows how to get the job done and on his first day at Water Falls High School Daryl is introduced to his two new best buddies Paul and Alan by Vice Principal Mr. Robatto. These two are absolutely hilarious as they send you on your first mission to get flowers for a fellow student named Tim. Of course there is always a motive behind the missions in this game so I won’t ruin the surprise. One thing you learn quickly is that you better get ready to read. While there is some voice over work in the game, most of the dialogue you will be reading. It isn’t the worst thing ever because it is comical in most situations, there is just a ton of it.
Once you go through a bunch of tutorial stuff that teaches you about how to use items, skills, maps and mission tracking, you get into the heart of the game. Here we have a metroidvania style map as once you unlock an area you can go back and visit it anytime during the game. What is awesome about this though is that each area is amazingly done with super cool detail. Take for example the science room. You might think you are about to enter your everyday normal room with maybe some beakers and chemicals but that is not the case. Something mysterious and bizarre is happening at this school and each room will take you into another dimension. Here you will come across beakers but all they want to do is kick your ass. This area looks like something out of a Tron movie and the music fits the setting perfectly. In all honesty this was one of my favorite areas to visit.
It doesn’t end there though, the history room, the music hall and so many others give you a new experience with each one. In the Vienna area the entire back drop looks like it was hand drawn with a pencil and it just works so well. I felt like every new area I discovered I was unlocking a new episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and it even caused me to miss things because I wanted to see what else they had in store.
Okay so Daryl is kind of the nerdy quiet type, right? Yes. So does he have weapons and items to use in the game? You bet your sweet ass he does. Here at Water Falls High School the cool students seem to be locked into a battle in a role playing game called Dwarves and Druids. These are the kids that help you with your weapons and armor which of course are silly items. For example your first weapon you receive is a marker that basically does no help at all. This is no joke, one thing about this game is that if you venture to far ahead you will be overwhelmed by tougher enemies. The gear you get is great and you will have a lot of fun looking at some of the items. I even got a vampire cape that was sweet for defense but I was unable to go into sunlight. Yes you heard me, if I even so much as stepped in front of a window with the light shining through I would start to lose health. Absolutely genius how small things like that work in this game.
Daryl is also fitted with skills which are basically his attacks and you have to unlock these by gathering books. This was a tad annoying as I was leveling up but couldn’t get any good skills because I hadn’t gathered enough books yet. It’s not a terrible mechanic just irritating at times.
That takes us to the combat and Daryl’s strongest asset because…he kicks butt remember. Even though Daryl looks like a Napoleon Dynamite character he at least has the skills to whoop up on bad guys. The fighting is done with five different attacks and you will have to learn how to utilize each one in order to be effective. Why? Because each attack has a cool down period and this keeps you from button mashing your way to victory. In order for me to defeat this one boss I had to strategize which attacks I wanted to use and in which order. That is the key to survival. I was at first very worried that I would die a lot because of this fighting system but after I got the hang of it I enjoyed it tremendously. It keeps the fighting fun instead of hitting the same button over and over again with the same result. You won’t get that here, things change in this game.
That leads me to one very important tip for the game. Go to the bathroom! Wait…why do you care about me going to the bathroom? You some kind of weirdo? Nope. That is how you save the game and trust me you want to save the game often. There will be times when you stumble into an area you have no business being in and die. That’s not so bad, right? Well not if you just saved the game but if you haven’t saved in a while you just lost all of that progress. Yep, all of your progress is lost from your last save point so SAVE the damn game.
Well what about the characters in the game? Great question. Aside from your two best buds that only want to help you become the coolest kid in school, you will meet a plethora of other characters and enemies. Another fantastic aspect of this game is not only do you get to meet students that may or may not have a hair eating problem but you also get to meet historical figures such as Beethoven and Mozart. I don’t want to give away too much because meeting these characters is part of the fun in this game. You might want to stay away from Tim from now on though, thanks Paul and Alan.
If the characters are top notch wait till you fight the enemies. From spinach eating glass beakers to knife wielding rats there is something for everyone. Most of them don’t pose much of a threat so long as you know when you are capable of taking them on. Again, I cannot stress this enough, save the game.
This type of creative game from an indie developer is a lot of fun to play. The game flows at a good pace and the mechanics work surprisingly well. The way the developer used the fighting so you wouldn’t button mash all the time is a well thought out design. The areas or levels in the game are a ton of fun to visit and you will be revisiting them throughout your play. I enjoyed meeting new characters and facing a variety of pesky enemies. The boss battles are hilarious and have enough difficulty that you will have to strategize for them. Art work and music for the game is a plus as you can see the imagination of the developer shine through. If there was any complaint it would have to be the long drawn out dialogue at times. It slowed the game down and I found myself wanting to skip some parts. The menu and the locker can seem like a burden to use at times. I didn’t like the way it was setup and the fact you couldn’t use a skill without finding books added to my frustration. Do not let that stop you from playing this game though. With a $19.99 price tag it is well worth the purchase. I am not putting a score on this game as this was done to help people discover this indie gem. Buckle up because this isn’t a short ride.
A copy of the game was provided by Dan and Gary Games and Indie Gamer Chick, thank you.