Every game needs a hero, a simple fact that is hard to get around. Wether its a partially blank husk, with just hands for you to see and the rest to fill in with your own imagination, or a fully fleshed out anti hero with a dark past, angry streak and a serious headache.
Of all the stereotypes though, who better to back than a humble Marshmallow.
No, I haven’t suddenly lost the plot all together nor am I sitting alone in a dark room dribbling into oblivion. Well, not all of that statement is true anyway.
I'm in fact talking about games designers choosing to throw in a hunk of matter that can't be labelled as anything other than that blob thing at the back of your fridge or a Marshmallow.
Resident Evil 2 used this concept to great effect, I personally loved all the mercenary missions playing as the beret wearing, pile of sweat and nutrition that was Tofu, so why not the much sweeter and perhaps less nutritious cousin?
This time, it’s the ingenious minds behind Avalanche who I'm lauding for the decision to take everyones favourite treat and turn it into the hero of the hour, with a fantastic moustache if you so choose (as well as creating an amazingly addictive gaming experience).
Although Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche is a sequel, some of you may not be familiar with the first instalment which was in fact a hugely popular flash based game (which is still available to play for free all over the web) thrown into the squishy and oh so bouncy shoes of a Marshmallow, the world around you is filling with lava and its your job to survive, so you do the only thing you can.
You bounce your way higher and higher, utilising an array of falling blocks as a means of doing so, but care is needed as those same hocks which are key to your freedom can also squash you into the not so sweet oblivion.
Think Tetris but instead of controlling the blocks in the hopes of a perfect line, you’ll be laughing as the gaps appear, and bouncing higher and higher to sweet freedom!
Sure, the premise is simple but that is what makes it so fantastically addictive! Each time you burst into flames of failure, you’ll be shown exactly how high you managed to get, being almost mocked, with your failure up in flashing neon lights you’ll want to go again. And again. Oh and again!
Avalanche 2 takes everything that made its sibling great and stacks a ton more features on top to make it a simply joyous experience for any gamer. Not content with pitting you against the dangers of rising lava and falling cubes, Avalanche 2 throws in a vast array of monsters to hinder your progress, from flying pig and overly aggressive birds to giant orange spheres that will follow you for as long as possible (the prisoner anyone?) and if you are lucky enough to make it quite some distance into the safety of the sky, you’ll be treated to a boss fight!
During my time with the game, I was only ever skilled enough to reach the first boss, but what a fight it was. Face to face with a giant bird and a few of her young, I tried my best to spring myself up onto her cranium but ultimately failed, doomed to start all over again.
Normally, I might feel angry at the game for cheating me out of a win due to sticky controls or some kind of unfair advantage, but the greatest thing about Avalanche 2 is its ability to crush you completely while keeping you smiling and ready to go again, always aware that it was only your own lack of skill or miss step that caused your downfall.
The odds aren't totally against you however, as on your way upwards you’ll come across chests containing a multitude of power ups to aid you on your way. Jetpacks will allow you to boost upwards for a short period of time, while a superhero cape will allow you to quickly dash to one side at the peak of your jump and a whole host more besides.
You’ll also come across coins in some chests, which you can also earn as a reward for each play through or passing certain challenges. These can either be spent at the shops which will occasionally come crashing down towards you or banked for later in (yep you guessed it) the bank when it comes tumbling down.
All in all, Avalanche 2: Super Avalanche is an addictive experience, one that is a lot deeper than it may first appear and with the added bonus of competitive co-op along with the ability to customise your Marshmallow hero (I dressed mine in a wig and moustache, keeping it classy!) then its truly a game for everyone.
Currently in its BETA stage, you can purchase the latest build now for half the final price with a promise of regular updates until your build is final with Steam keys coming later in the year.
Check out the screenshots and trailer below and head on over to the official site for more info!