Disclosure ‐ Thanks to the guys at Neko Entertainment for providing us with a Steam code when asked!
Braid Meets Be Kind Rewind, Meets Pleasentville; A Winning Combination
Replay: VHS Is Not Dead makes your brain hurt… well, it makes my brain hurt. This is a good thing! It reminds me that it’s still up there in my skull. French game developer and publisher, Neko Entertainment (located in Montreuil, France) has brought us this little, retro art-styled, puzzle platformer game, set inside – you guess it – the VHS tapes of your favourite movies! Who could forget Star Trip VII: Wrath of the Glubons or Nevada Johnson and the Trident of Neptune? Please, don’t press eject…
You play as cool guy, Harvey Aychess (Har-VHS… get it? You got it.) who’s favourite movies have been erased by an unfortunate lightning strike and since collecting some sort of awesome power, he’s pulled into the movies where he must recreate the scenes with the characters. Sounds awesome, yes? Yes.
The gameplay is really just… something. And yes, you Braid fans out there can probably tell me it’s been done before but it hasn’t for me! The main point of Replay is to record your character’s movements, rewind and record your next character with your previous character’s movements moving the same as you’ve just recorded… does that make sense? Well, I’ve made a little video to show you because I knew this would be hard to explain. I am prepared!
//VIDEO IS AFK!//
But it’s not just why the gameplay is so good; the puzzles are actually really challenging which, as much as it makes my blood boil, really makes a puzzle game enjoyable. The mechanic of recording your first moves then rewriting over them later on just makes it that much more mind boggling as you have to remember exactly what you did, how fast you did it (make sure you slow it down) and exactly where you stop/stand. It will take you a few tires to get used to it.
The first tape, Corsairs of the Canaries (Pirates of the Caribbean, I had to explain that to you?) just kind of teaches you the basics but it really gets complicated as you move through the different movies and they add more obstacles such as reflective cubes and deadly lasers (very Portal like) and walking on ceilings. Here’s a hint for you: start a level, sit back and survey EVERYTHING. You’ll need it. Plan ahead, trust me. It’ll save you a lot of messing up.
The art-style of this game is also something I was really impressed with. Not only is it the cute, little, retro style that a lot of games are succeeding with at the moment, but I loved the detail put into it regarding being inside a television, from the box around the outside to the lines of the screens and the rewind/fast forward graphics. There’s just so many well done elements throughout that are such small things but they really make the whole product fantastic. The story is also really cute and amusing, with the punny names and clever quips.