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The Messenger

You don’t need to be a fan of 90s action games to enjoy The Messenger. The fast-paced 2D side-scrolling action is easy to understand. However, fans of 90s 2D gaming are going to enjoy the nostalgia this platformer brings. Today, most games try to create complex genre-blending experiences. The Messenger is an intuitive action game, but it’s fun regardless.

A Hardcore Challenge

You’re going to need your reflexes to play The Messenger. Like most 90s action platformers, you’re going to face enemies that move quickly around the screen. The tight controls help you keep a grip on the action, and the difficulty keeps you on your toes. Early on, the game gives you enemies with short patterns. These attack patterns become more complex and variable over the course of the game. The platforming moments will test your reflexes as well, and you can expect to make awe-inspiring jumps often.

A Style With Substance

The art style gives you a sense of something familiar, but it’s more sophisticated than 90s era graphics. At first, the graphics stay loyal to the 8-bit games that inspired The Messenger. Throughout the game, the graphics become more detailed with each level. Halfway through the quest, you’ll notice a sharper aesthetic takes over. The new style goes beyond classic 2D graphics, but this is part of the presentation. Shifting between 8-bit action and 16-bit platforming feels like taking a history lesson. The Messenger is trying to teach the early history of action games in its own way.

The Atmosphere Keeps You In

In our world of epic HD worlds, it’s hard to understand how a 2D game can have an atmosphere this strong. The Messenger succeeds in invoking emotions through its music. The developers have provided two tracks for each level. The music helps convey the feeling of a 90s classic. When you’re in an 8-bit level, you’ll hear simple and catchy tunes. If you switch to 16-bit levels, you’ll experience a different sound. Indie games try to capture the aesthetics of the 90s, but few pull it off like The Messenger.

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Summary
Indie games often appeal to nostalgic fans of extinct genres, but The Messenger has more to offer than memories. The distinct blend of 8-bit and 16-bit graphics gives the game a special feel. The Messenger is like a documentary about 90s side-scrollers, but it feels comfortably modern. The action can give you a challenge, but the learning curve isn't too steep
Good
  • Energetic pace
  • Nostalgia for hours
  • The bosses are magnificent
Bad
  • Art style sometimes causes confuses
  • Simple story
  • Difficulty spikes in the last minute
7
Good

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