After years of neglect and self-hatred, Mavis Beacon of typist teaching fame decided to grow a mohawk, dye it green and donned her studded leather jacket. She stole the Doc Brown’s Delorian before the 90’s ended, went through dimensions to a time where the 80’s were the space-age and began her conquest. Now she has returned to wreak havoc on mousepads worldwide, and the effect is devastating. Ok, so that’s not the story behind this game, but with all the anger and rage it created, you would think I was playing Dark Souls or something. You can visit the Point Perfect website here. By the way, young’n’s: the device stealing that child’s youth in the picture is a CRT monitor circa 1998.
This is not a game for the feint of heart. It is the most challenging thing I have played yet this year. Simple enough idea with some goofy pixel art to provide a story. There is a world of people that use mouse cursors to fly through space. They are attacked by aliens and space invaders, zooming into action. You are this world’s elite pilot and you must rise to the occasion or retire your peripherals.
From the very start, you get the feeling this isn’t going to be an easy ride. You have to choose between an increasing number of trophies, but the first three are a wider targeting range, increased points and three lives. THREE FUCKING LIVES! You have to choose between a buff or the basic 3 lives! Needless to say, I always chose the three lives because I knew I would never make it without the extra lives. And there aren’t even any extra life pick-ups (that I’ve encountered) in the entire game!
So you are the cursor. You have to move the mouse to dodge enemies. In order to do battle, you have to click and drag to ‘target’ foes. When enemies enter the green field, you release to destroy them. Sounds easy, but fucking try it. To start, you have a smaller targeting field range, but as you get ‘P’ pick-ups your range will increase, opening the opportunity to create larger and larger kill-combos. Your power-ups will show up in the lower left corner, and if you die, they shoot out of you in a demeaning, Sonic the Hedgehog kind of way. If you drag more than your range, your targeting field goes red and no kills are made. All of this has to be done while dodging projectiles and enemies.
In the lower right hand corner you’ll see a weapon box. As you fight your way through the alien armada, you will collect various weapons that help tremendously. My favorite was the shield, which deflects weaker enemy fire – the yellow balls. It won’t block other colors, but that is something. There are all kinds of other weapons that increase points from combos, add points to your overall score and other fun things.
Of course, with all the challenge this game provides, victory is a sweet, sweet bitch to get. Usually you just manage to kill some enemies, but successfully giving it to bosses must be amazing. I haven’t beaten any yet, but I have come SOOOO close that it was infuriating. This game keeps giving and giving with numerous levels beyond just this starry background. With no introductory info, though, this game is a pain in the ass to grasp. I had it for a month and managed to figure out that I could kill enemies. Yea, I am not a moron, but it just didn’t register to me.
Fighting enemies isn’t the only thing to do in this either, Point Perfect also has a wide array of little skill games and challenges that provide a welcome respite from the chaotically cluttered masses of foes. Retro graphics and an old school feel are a few more of this title’s strong points, but every element of this game’s design is created to unforgivingly teach players precision and timing. You cannot fullscreen it. So what, you say? This makes it easy to drag off the screen, click other programs and push the game to the background. It is an insane carnival ride of unremitting terrors, but it is the most fun I have ever had cursing relentlessly at my mouse. I almost launched the little fucker undeservingly out the window… I will be waking up in a cold sweat dreaming about this game for weeks to come. I only pity the fool who tries to play this on a track pad. Poor, ignorant bastard. Available on steam for only 4.99$, this game is well worth it, if you think you have the balls. If you think you are man enough, woman enough… Gamer enough.