Noitu Love Review: Finally, A Game That Doesn’t Make Sense Again!
Back in the glory days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the early start of the Super Nintendo, game developers didn’t care how crazy a platformer’s plot was; all you needed was a character shooting, fighting or jumping on his or her enemies on their way to a goal. That was the end of all the muss and fuss, and the games would become popular because they kept people interested. The only plot you needed was in the instruction manual, or the opening title sequence, and there were usually enough holes and crazy developments in a single plot that you’d need a pincushion to stick a needle in them all. After all, who in their right mind would send a single man with a robotic, swinging hand to defeat the Nazis (”Bionic Commando”), or have a blue-collar worker from Brooklyn enter a pipe bigger than most taxis and go to a world with mushrooms that make you grow to save a princess that has been captured by a large, spiked turtle. Those games are still great, and, nowadays, developers only do so much to keep the insanity in a “good” game.
That’s why independent developers have to do it, especially Joakim Sandberg in his game, “Noitu Love & The Army of the Grinning Darns.” You play the titular character, Noitu Love, a young boy with a handler, Lori, who must defeat the armies of professor Darnacus Damnation and his sinister creations, eventually squaring off against the doctor himself.
It’s set in the future (2188 to be exact), and this game is crazy. Your first level involves the doctor’s armies crashing into your home with a school-bus like vehicle, which you trash with your fists…. and, to top that off, you can change form. The game never says why, you just do, so the obvious answer is generally “MAD SCIENCE(tm).” The game allows you to turn into a variety of different things, such as; a monkey, a psychic brainiac with a circular blast, a bird, and normal Noitu riding a missile of another flying machine while deflecting missiles. Like I said, this is the kind of madness the gaming world has missed for some time now. While the transformation does wholly change the abilities the player has access to, you only really use the powers for specific progress through stages, and to exploit the occasional boss’s weakness, but all of the fighter-equse combat and major exploration is done in Noitu’s primary form.
The graphics and sounds ooze sprites and synth all over, within the old-school damper which will excite almost all fans of retro games. Combined all that with a simple style of gameplay, and the player is in for a wild ride of strange bosses, even stranger massive devices, and a world that needs a young man’s help, and you have a good platformer, in both word and deed.
“Noitu Love & The Army of the Grinning Darns” is an independent PC game that was released by Joakim Sandberg. You can download a version of it here.