The game still exists in its Alpha stage, so there is a long way to go yet but plenty of promising signs. A spattering of new and interesting gameplay mechanics on top of the tried-and-true platformer foundation make this game one to keep an eye out for when its gets its full release.
While attending last year’s EGX in Birmingham, I stumbled across a few games that really blew me away for their originality and just the sheer passion displayed by the developers creating them. Super Mixtape was one of those games.
Super Mixtape is a rhythm-based puzzle platformer from developer Polygrammatic in which you control a cassette as it glides and hops its way through various levels. The twist is that in order to progress you must switch between its A-Side and B-Side changing the landscape of the world. I played a short demo of Super Mixtape at EGX last September and was impressed with its unique gameplay hook and encapsulation of 80s nostalgia.
We spent a few minutes messing around with an odd little platformer called Super Mixtape. This is the first game from a UK-based studio called Polygrammatic, and was a very interesting game to try out. It ‘s a rhythm-based platformer, where you control a cassette tape that can move (through rotating the tape to drag yourself along the ground) and jump, springing upwards from the left or right corners. The level itself is built based on the beat that’s currently playing, and has two parts (the A-side and the B-side, of course) which can be changed by flipping the tape! And, as is to be expected, the B-side plays backwards. It’s the little touches, y’know?
Platformer. To jump on the green platforms, be playing the A-side of the mixtape. To jump on the Orange platforms, be playing the B-side of the mixtape. Flipping the mix flips the entire level, including the controls. Good luck. You’ll need it.
Another game that takes an interesting approach to audio is Super Mixtape. It is described as a 2D retro-fuelled, rhythm-based platformer with a fully reversible world. You play as a cassette tape who can flip and tumble its way around this strange world. The D-Pad gives you options to switch between layers of the current track that’s playing. Doing so alters the music as well as the environment, certain coloured platforms are only activated when a certain type of music is playing. It’s a curious way to usCPla_neUkAAjCZi.png-largee music as a game mechanic to alter the environment and is very effective once you get a hang of the movement/tumble controls. Another one to watch for the future!
…it would be remiss of us not to flag your attention towards some of the other AMAZING and passionate dev teams we’ve been surrounded by for the past few days. As such, we can assure you that a quick browse of any of the following would be more than worth your while: Theo and Lizzy, Super Mixtape, Fire Fu, Just Shapes and Beats, The Masterplan, Iron Fish and Riot: Civil Unrest.
Just as in your demo, if your stand offers something visually distinctive it will make people pay attention. For instance, at EGX the stand showing Super Mixtape was kitted out with Commodore 64 ‘demo consoles’, complete with tape decks. This inspired detail alone stopped people in their tracks to take a closer look before they’d even noticed the game itself.
The C64 theme on the Super Mixtape stand echoed the visual style of the game, making for a really memorable booth.
I’ll begin with one of the more unusual games I played this year. Super Mixtape is a 2D side-scrolling platformer with a twist, you play as an analogue tape who must navigate a neon landscape to reach a boom box. What made Super Mixtape so unusual was its control scheme. I played on a PS4 pad and while the left stick moves the tape left and right, the right stick rotates it whenever you’re in the air. The left and right triggers activate a jump from the left and right sides of the tape respectively. It’s very difficult to describe in words and if it sounds confusing, that’s because it is. I found it very disorientating at first, but soon picked it up and by the end of the level I was moving with ease, which in my opinion is the sign of a well-designed control scheme.
I had a chance to chat with the game’s designer, Christo of indie studio ‘Polygrammatic’ and he explained to me that the control scheme went through multiple iterations before he settled on the current one, stating that early tests of the game proved confusing for some players, in his own words “people were switching the beat to jump and pressing ‘x’ so I deliberately assigned ‘x’ to nothing.”
This leads me quite nicely into the other unique mechanic of the game, namely switching sides and switching beats. At any point you can hit the square button to flip the tape onto its B side and back again. This not only flips the orientation of the game from left to right and vice versa, but it also flips the game World from foreground to background, changing all of the platforms and making new areas accessible. Hitting the directional buttons changes the beat, activating moving platforms and generally manipulating the World to your needs. All of this is synced up with a variety of different tracks which Christo has sourced from indie musicians. He’s quick to point out how important it is for artists of different disciplines to help each other out, saying “I’m indie just like they’re indie, we’re just in different industries.” This focus on collaboration made for a truly enjoyable experience, particularly in how well the music synergised with the game.