Inspired by Super Mario Bros. 2, the small dev team at Horberg Productions released Onion Assault, a pick-up-and-throw side-scrolling platformer. The super smooth framerate, animations, and character design that pleased fans in Gunman Clive, Mechstermination Force, and Super Punch Patrol make a welcomed return. In other words, this looks and plays exactly how you’d expect a Horberg game to be.
The focus this time is all about plucking stuff from underneath you and throwing these items as a form of attack and traversal. Like Mario 2, the faceless (literally) character pulls assorted veggies, mostly onions, from the ground and whips them at enemies. Alternatively, the playable character can stand on baddies, pick them up, and throw them. Unless they hit another enemy or fall down a hole, they will get back up and continue their movement pattern. Point being, stomping on enemies to defeat them doesn’t apply here and the player basically has access to the entire repertoire of moves right from the start.
I must admit, it is unexpectedly fun to pick up a thing that is 4x your size and toss it around. See that tank? Well jump on its cannon blast and toss it back like Birdo’s egg. See those pacing soldiers moving back and forth? Either jump on/over them or throw them at one another. Despite the linear design, there is often freedom on how to approach most situations.
Make no mistake, this game provides a stiff challenge throughout the few hour campaign. There are health restoring items but they are few and far between and there are insta-death pits all over the place. A decent checkpoint system is available but there were more than a few times that I had to put the game down due to rage quitting levels of difficulty, only to come back the next day to make progress. Dying is rarely the game’s fault though thanks to the accurate control. It just makes you work for it. Unfortunately, replay value is on the limited side. Without secrets to find, things to collect, abilities to upgrade, or times to trial, there isn’t much to call you back.
Like other Horberg games, the animation and framerate is a true wonder. The silky smooth presentation is something that needs to be seen and played for yourself to fully understand. Triple A dev teams very rarely reach this level of fluidity so it is always an amazing treat to witness a game that plays this cleanly especially coming from a small developer. It makes it easy to see each game is a passion project and always makes me wonder what will come next.
Released during a time when pretty much every new game is some type of rogue-lite, it is such a relief to play a game that was actually designed by hand and not some random die-and-try again mumbo jumbo. Although there are a few blemishes, this is an accessible, albeit challenging, comedic platformer that is creative and oh so pleasantly smooth.
Also Play: Mechstermination Force
Don’t Forget About: the Gunman Clive games
Be Sure To Enjoy: Super Punch Patrol
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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