If the princess is rescued, then the game must be over, right? Not if you're Enemy 585, the "hero" of Nitrome's latest arcade platformer with a twist. Enemy 585 is just a low level baddie like hundreds of others who happens to get passed over by a familiar looking hero who goes on to stomp on Enemy 585's boss. Seven years down the road and Enemy 585 is still hanging around; turns out that he's a fairly simple creature, and with nobody to tell him what to do, he... well, hasn't done anything.
Fortunately, you've come along to help, and you just happen to be a mobile platform that takes pity on him. After all, he may not be the brightest bulb around, but it's hard not to feel sorry for someone who's spent the better part of a decade walking back and forth in a space the size of a coffin. In each level, the goal is to protect Enemy 585, who keeps moving in a straight line until he meets and obstacle and turns around. That's where you come in, since being a platform means you can plug or bridge gaps, or provide a helpful step up. (Enemy 585 will only climb over one-block height obstacles.) You've also got Manuel on your side (a helpful signpost) who appears periodically to offer up information.
Control is pretty simple, since being a platform doesn't come with a whole lot of bells and whistles. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move around, and the [spacebar] to rotate. The only real catch is that you can't rotate without the space to do so, or move when Enemy 585 is standing on you. (He's not fat! He's... no, wait, he is kinda fat.) You have a different shape in each level, and you'll have to think fast in order to figure out how to best use yourself when danger appears since Enemy 585 has no sense of self preservation and blunder straight off cliffs or into spikes and other enemies, who will spell certain doom for your little purple pal. But try not to hold it against them. After all, they're only doing their job, just like Enemy 585. If he gets hit, he'll have to restart the level, but you can hold down [F] to make everything move faster if you get impatient. You can worry about the time and collecting all the coins if you like, but the only real impact they have is on your final score for each level.
Analysis: No prizes for guessing the influences at work here. But rather than make another standard platformer about a chubby plumber chasing after an air-headed princess, Nitrome has shaken things up again and added their trademark twist to the genre. The concept behind it is great, and it's hard not to feel bad for 585. The whole thing is bright, colourful, cheerful, and wonderfully silly. Although... if 585 is working his way back from the final boss lair... shouldn't the levels be getting easier rather than harder the further you go? Hmmm. Nerd logic!
Of course, Enemy 585 isn't without his faults. The one-hit K-O is a bit of a drag, and potentially extremely frustrating. Since you can't scroll through levels, you can't see what's coming up, and you'll often only have a few seconds to react. Being able to speed up 585's movements helps, but it's little consolation for the repetition. Some levels can be downright nerve-wracking, with enemies and all sorts of obstacles that have to be taken into consideration if you want your little buddy to reach the end unscathed. It's incredibly frustrating to bump into walls and other terrain trying to rush to 585's rescue and frantically orient yourself in time, especially since some levels have pretty tight quarters and might take you more than a few tries to figure out.
Like a lot of Nitrome games, Enemy 585 winds up being one of those games where you say, "It's great, but... " With quicker and more forgiving gameplay, Enemy 585 would be a real champion. Still, it has a great concept, a fantastic design, and even though some might find its gameplay too frustrating, it's still easily worth a look. The next time you play a platformer, maybe you'll spare a little thought for the hordes of enemies stuck in their ruts and put them out of the misery. Or at least give them a subscription to Netflix or something.
UPDATE: As of November 12th, 2010, Nitrome has taken your comments and feedback into consideration and added checkpoints to all levels!
Another Nitrome miss for me, this part of the review nails it:
"The one-hit K-O is a bit of a drag, and potentially extremely frustrating. Since you can't scroll through levels, you can't see what's coming up, and you'll often only have a few seconds to react."
Best... Analysis... Ever! I completely agree with everything said! (:
Still 5/5 though because I ♥ Nitrome!
I wish at the start when it said "game complete 99%"
the Mario-esque person would come back. and gasp. Then the whole game was henchmen 585 trying to escape nitromario. but alas. this is not the case.
nitrome has been not doing to good latley for me. But i hope that stratergy game they previewed will be awesome
I love the idea behind this, and it's all really cute and clever, but I CANNOT STAND how frustrating it all is! Neat idea, but I won't be able to play it through.
It's too bad the difficulty level wasn't honed a little better, because this is amazingly clever some of the time. The levels where your platform is partly made up of special blocks, like trampolines or switch blocks, are genius. The levels where you have to magically guess how to maneuver 585 between moving barrels, not so much.
Excellent review! The last sentence really had me laughing. I agree too, I absolutely adore the concept but the gameplay is a little frustrating.
Checkpoints! That's what this game needs. If I just got to start a couple of seconds before I died each time, I would enjoy this so much more. The drag of going through the entire level nine times trying to solve the tough bit at the end; that's what really gets you.
Oh look, I made another small mistake and have to replay the last 10 minutes of this slow, plodding level for the sixth time.
keith, in case you missed it, there is a speed up button. That might make it a little less tedious. If you already knew that, well, this game definitely isn't for you.
Anyway, I'm at the 8th level and I think this is a good game, and I'm enjoying it. It is pretty hard, but it's so well designed and so inventive that the faults aren't enough to ruin the experience for me.
I just got through the whole thing. My patience knows no bounds, it seems.
The ending was... well, let's just say I was expecting something a lot more depressing. And nothing like what I did get.
how to do level 6-2 plz?
I'm not sure I can play this (though SonicLover's comment is intriguing), but I really liked the opening cutscene. Enemy 585's thoughts as he goes back and forth remind me of Bogey from Kid Radd.
This would be so much more fun if it didn't throw my block across the screen when I press up once :C Looking at the exit, when the block decides to go up again, but 585 still climbs it, floats through the air, falls and turns around falling into a lava pit...
Any clues for level 3-4? It seems impossible!
Although the slowness of the character, the one hit KO and the fact that there are no checkpoints in a level, really add something to the story of the game, it just ruins the gameplay. They made the wrong choice by going for the story here... with just a few adjustments they could make the, in my opinion, worst nitrome game ever, a great game. But I guess they won't... the concept is great, a shame :3
When I first saw the picture (not the preview clip on their site) I thought it was going to be a really creative and fast paced platformer. But NO! it was a puzzle game :C
I can't help liking this game, even if the game is tremendously slow. I love puzzles when you suddenly realise the answer and go Ahh... GOT IT!
But this isn't happenging with world 4-1. I'm stuck please help.
Wow, probably the worst nitrome game (for me) to date. I sure do wish they would make a Mutiny 2..
This just changes the way we see mario, everything is now a wasteland of dead enemies. Hard to win mario, hard to win this.
Is the ending worth the whole run, SonicLover?
Wow, a lot of people feel this is the downhill trend of Nitrome, but I actually felt like this game put it back on top for me! I had been getting bored with a lot of their stuff and this one just really caught me... the overall spoof of platformers in general and one in specific, the focus on the nameless drone... I'm always a big fan of the "You don't actually control this person, you have to manipulate them" kind of game... I still remember OneKey as a big one for me, and there's a few other puzzley ones they made like that. In any case, along with the unique gameplay, the music, style and theme all sucked me right in as well, and no matter how many times number 585 loses his hat, I just cannot get frustrated by it. One of my favorites!
Huh, a full day after release and it looks like I'm still the only person on the score board who played the game through in one sitting. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'm pretty sure it says something about the game. I really felt like the whole second half of the game was just nitrome giving me the finger.
What's sad is that this was great concept with nice graphics and good controls, but somehow still a terrible game. Too many bugs, too much frustration. What a waste!
I agree with will.
I played it and thought it was a nice concept, but WAY TOO SLOW (even with the fast-forward button).
Not exactly rage-quit, more like "I'm so bored"-quit.
I kind of like this one. It is kind of slow and plodding, but I think Nitrome does its puzzle games well. 4/5 mushrooms. Anyway, I'm only on the fourth level, at the first spring, and I'm stuck. Any help?
It's great, -but-.... yeah. I never got past the first level.. after the first few times of having to start all the way back at the beginning, I got bored. D: It is a good concept, however.
I'm stuck on level 6-1
i can find any way 2 get past the part where on top it has a 3 block high wall and on the bottom its got a 2 block high wall just after the drop with 4 coins
I love the idea here, so I keep coming back to this game.
But every time I die in the second half of the level, I quit because I'm unable to motivate myself to try again right away.
This is a puzzle game, and there's no satisfaction in acting out of a puzzle you've already solved several times before. When I make a mistake and finally figure out the solution to the latest puzzle, I want to try it out right away, not go back and redo twelve other puzzles first.
Well, I've finally beaten the game. Easily the 4th hardest Nitrome game in my opinion. The ending is worth it, so I encourage everyone to play til the end. I agree that the on hit KO and there being no checkpoints made the game very frustrating.
Hey to all our fans at jayisgames. Following your review and general comments we have now added restart points to all the levels of Enemy 585!
We hope this will add to your enjoyment of the game. We are happy we were able to listen to comments and make these changes and we feel it has made for an even better experience!
I've already beaten the game, but I went and replayed one level just to see the new checkpoints.
...I can't help but wonder if Nitrome got their game series a bit tangled.
Hey SonicLover....I know they are influenced by sonic than mario but if you look about there are other references to other games too like the palm trees being like sonic or the style of death being like bubble bobble. The intention was to be inspired by lots of classic platformers rather than just one but obvioulsy the main influence was always going to be Mario as it is the most established platform series. We thought they were probably the most memorable restart points we could think of and quite unusual so we thought it would be more fun referencing them :)
I made it further than usual thanks to the checkpoints, but I'm still stuck thanks to the extreme difficulty, don't think the ending is worth it.
I heard that some people like Sonic because it's easier than winning Mario.
I beat it before the checkpoints were released. I wish you didn't release them because the difficulty of the game reminded me of the older games, and how difficult they were. All in all, most of the people will appreciate this addition.
Best Nitrome game since the Icebreaker games...Very engaging.
correction to the info above: you CAN move the platform while enemy 585 is standing on top of it, it just takes a second or two for the platform to muster up the strength. try holding a side-arrow while 585 is on top of the platform.
checkpoints make this game 100,000x better.
Excellent addition of the Checkpoints. That's all this game was missing. I love it :)
Dora, I have an answer for your "nerd logic" dilemma. It's true, levels generally are easier for the *hero* when farther from the final boss castle... but not for enemies. You see, that's why there are always fewer enemies the farther you are from the boss showdown! ;-P