Spinch is a technicolor platformer by Canadian devs Queen Bee Games about a mysterious little creature out to rescue its offspring. The game begins with the Spinch’s babies being abducted by one of the game’s main villains: creatures comprised of color beams.
Gameplay consists of fast-paced platforming and the evasion of enemy attacks. The Spinch has access to a dash, which doubles as an air dash, and both a regular jump and a wall jump. Combining these abilities and using them at the right times is essential to survival. The game has a multitude of collectables, incentivizing replays. Not only that, but some collectables lead to bonus levels, ensuring plenty of content for the platforming completionists out there. Stages even include the fastest time it took to complete it, so one-upping friends and family are encouraged. The game uses a health-based system with 3 hearts by default, but no lives, and the player can find health-pickups during the level. Whenever a player loses all of their hearts, they simply respawn at the nearest checkpoint. The cubes scattered throughout the level give the player a brief moment of invincibility once 50 are collected. This little perk is greatly appreciated during more challenging sequences.
Of course, the game’s most distinct trait is the visuals on display. The style is gorgeous, if a bit hard on the eyes. The way color moves in this game is entrancing, and it feels like something I saw on adult swim when I was 9 and staying up way past my bedtime. The enemy design fits this label as well, and I can never manage to take my eyes off of the colorful creatures coming to splat my Spinch.
The game performs shockingly well for something so vivid, however, even after a patch issued by the devs, the game still has odd glitches that rear their ugly heads every so often. For example, when fighting the rainbow worm boss pictured above, during one of my attempts, my Spinch teleported beneath a platform and was killed. The final world has an odd glitch where the Spinch will run into invisible walls and you must jump to escape. This got me killed a handful of times but wasn’t enough to make the experience much more difficult, it was just a mild annoyance. During missions in world 3, the game started having noticeable problems with lag, which could be a bit distracting. These issues are few and far between, but they’re still frequent enough to note.
Boss battles in Spinch require the player to jump between the right and left sides of the screen to shoot and reload respectively. All ammunition used in these fights are the collectable babies scattered throughout levels. On top of that, the reward for properly completing bonus stages is a bomb, and these bombs can be used to deal extra damage to the boss. These fights are great because they’re not only challenging tests of patience and pattern memorization, but they go by easier to reward players who go off the beaten path and take risks to increase their completion percentage.
Spinch has loads of content that would keep a completionist busy for a long while, but if you simply want to beat the game, it’ll only take a day or two. Though with my skill level, it took about a week to reach the final boss. Some sections can be brutal, and though I’m no platforming expert, I found myself hitting walls in the later levels quite frequently. The game only has 6 worlds, comprised of about 5 levels each. It’s a short journey, but it’s certainly tricky. This certainly isn’t a title for the weak of heart and platforming skill. But if you’re a glutton for punishment and love challenging 2D platformers, this is the game for you. The game’s problems such as the framerate and bugs are few and far between, and the visual style is in a league of its own. I highly recommend Spinch and give it a 75/100.