hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: Antipole

2:00 PM on 08.03.2011 // Tony Ponce

It might come as a surprise to some, but DSiWare is still a thing. I know, right? So much attention has been placed on Nintendo's plans -- whatever they may be -- for the 3DS eShop that the few games that are released on the service's predecessor aren't even given a second thought. That's not cool, man!

Something nifty pops up in the store every once in a while, and it would be a shame to let good software go unplayed. Such is the case with Antipole, a gravity-manipulation platformer that taps the same pool as simple yet challenging indies like N, VVVVVV, and similar Flash time-wasters around the Web. If you are willing to brave the murky Nintendo download portal, you ought to give this game a go!

Antipole (DSiWare [Reviewed], PC, Xbox Live Indie Games)
Developer: Saturnine Games
Publisher: Saturnine Games
Released: July 21, 2011 (DSiWare) / June 27, 2011 (PC) / January 21, 2011 (XBLIG)
MSRP: 500 Nintendo DSi Points / $4.99 / 400 Microsoft Points

Antipole values function over form, and for that reason, it is neither the prettiest nor the best sounding game around. However, this no-frills approach actually helps train your focus on the action with minimal distraction. All that you need to worry about are Johnny Hurricane, the sharp-suited mercenary with a totally '80s action hero moniker, your gun, and the swarms of mechanized miscreants blocking your path to the goal.

Though you can run, jump, and shoot, you'll be spending most of your time tooling around with the Gravity Manipulator. By pressing the R button, you can flip gravity for a short duration, and by defeating one of the game's bosses, you can extend that duration. At the outset, you'll use this ability to cross long stretches lined with spikes and to reach platforms out of jumping distance. By the end of the game, you'll be navigating winding spiked halls via short gravity bursts, monitoring your remaining reserves.

The challenge scales smoothly from one level to the next, and each stage introduces some new obstacle. Reaching the goal may sound straightforward, but there is a list of factors that grows as the game progress and must be carefully considered. Chiefly, it's not only Johnny who flips towards the ceiling but also every baddie that happens to be caught in his gravitational field. Avoiding enemies is therefore a bit trickier than merely passing overhead.

The nastiest challenges arrive in the final batch of levels. You'll find robotic spiders that possess a gravitational field of their own, which will in turn reverse your own technique. You'll also come across instant-kill acid pools that are affected by changes in gravity. Should you enter a room with both hazards, prepare to replay that section over and over again.

Despite all that, the game is quite fair and accessible. You possess infinite lives, and dying will merely send you back to a nearby checkpoint. Aside from the acid, every enemy and hazard, including spikes, consumes just a single heart from your life meter. If you wish to throw caution to the wind and burn through the game with little regard to safety, you'll have no problem clearing the game in a couple of hours.

Of course, the completionist will want to locate all the Challenge Medals and earn all the Gold Medals. The medals, three per non-boss level, are used to unlock bonus challenge missions outside of the main game -- essentially mini levels with more heavily concentrated difficulty. Gold Medals, on the other hand, are acquired by clearing a level within a specified limit. Because the clock doesn't roll back whenever you die and respawn, though, a no-death run is almost always demanded. When you play the game in this fashion, you'll find yourself restarting entire levels in an attempt to find that balance between speed and measured risks.

I appreciate how you can essentially adjust the game's difficulty outside of selecting "normal" or "hard" mode (though that option is still available). You can take the no-stress route and just enjoy the clever platforming, or you can go for the gold and strive for perfection. If you want to extend your playtime, though, you'll want to take the latter path.

With only 16 levels plus four boss rooms, the game is over fairly quickly, but at least there's plenty of variety packed in that space. In addition to the bonus missions, you can replay the game in unlimited gravity mode or go for achievements, which include avoiding confrontation with a particular enemy or beating a boss without firing your gun. Also, if you happen to have Saturnine Games' previous DSiWare title Cosmos X2 on your machine, you'll be able to replace your weak pulse gun with a variety of weapons from the other game -- a nice plus!

As stated before, Antipole reminds me in many ways of N and VVVVVV -- indie games that simplify gameplay down to its purest essence yet are still able to provide a hearty challenge. Making the game any longer would have run the risk of spreading the gravity gimmick or level variety thin, so I'm happy to say that it struck the right balance. There's nothing like solid platforming action to make those stale Nintendo Points useful again!



Antipole - Reviewed by Tony Ponce
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Tony Ponce, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure megaStryke Tips
(Decommissioned) Super Fighting Robot more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
My heart will always be yours, Papyrus #2spoopy4me
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I recently beat Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow again, but this time I played on Hard mode from scratch. Outside of dying a few times due to me being an idiot, and enemies hitting harder, it was actually easy. Like really easy.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Today I replated bacteria that I made take up a plamid hopefully stitched onto the genes generatlight. Taken from other dead bacteria and put into a non glowing species, to make it glow. Fucking microbiology is the best.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
It seems fairy farts are a fragrance, a soap, incense, a vaping liquid and a kind of nail polish. I'm clearly in the wrong line of work and need to eat more chili.
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
"You gave the Lost Soul a big smile, like you remember she likes to do... For some reason she sort of wants to smile back..." I'm not crying. Not one bit.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just tried 'The Last Of Us' on PSNow Trial, only to be told... 'Something went wrong. Try again.' Game-appropriate error message or quickie plot-summary?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I hate when people say crap like "I admit that [thing] in games is problematic, but I still enjoy it" because it's an underhanded way of contradicting your own views while convincing yourself that you aren't a hypocrite.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Well shit. I knew I was more than likely going to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront (cause you know, giant Star Wars nerd and all) but holy cow, the beta is fucking great! I need the full game like, now.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -