Earth as we know it is gone. Monsters and demons have overrun the earth’s surface destroying everything in their path. What survivors remain live by hiding in bunkers, eking out meager existences devoid of hope. Yet, this is all set to change thanks to one absent-minded inventor, three friends, and one dog in battle armor. For these brave few have developed a way to travel through dimensions to find the source of this horrible plague and destroy it once and for all. Unfortunately, like most of the early arcade games, WarpThrough has a far darker backstory than it’s gameplay would suggest. Nonetheless, that doesn’t stop it from being a fast-paced and provocative experience.
Like most old-school arcade games, WarpThrough uses simple mechanics to make a challenging experience. Players progress through a series of wrap-around stages with one goal. Jump through a floating “gate” while dodging or destroying monsters in that same level. While simple sounding, the varying placement of the gate and the increasing number of monsters quickly show how challenging it can be. The main problem with this setup is that it becomes repetitive and purposeless. The developer has added a short story mode, four different playable characters, multiplayer options, as well as leaderboard challenges. However, with the core challenge never changing, it doesn’t adequately address the repetition issue.
WarpThrough has a style all of its own. Combing old-school arcade physics with graphics that could be easily found on the back of a high school notebook, it still manages to have a unique sense of charm. While unlikely to win any awards, it’s apparent that the graphics are not meant to. Instead, they invoke a sense of humor that elevates gameplay rather than distracting from it. The soundtrack also follows this design path. Simple techno rhythms keep pace with the ever-growing intensity of each successful level yet never leave the background. It would have been nice to see a more emotional soundtrack during story-mode, but that’s more of a critique on story-telling than music.
WarpThrough is a fun and simple game. Unfortunately, that simplicity is its downfall as it’s repetitive nature is never addressed, and satisfaction suffers from diminishing returns. Fans of arcade-style platformers may find enjoyment. However, casual gamers are likely to find it more of a temporary diversion.
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