2D pixel art platform games are where it all started for me. Mario on the NES /SNES/Gameboy, Sonic on the MegaDrive – timeless classics that I still return to and that countless game developers have been inspired by. Go! Go! PogoGirl is a love letter to the beloved retro platformers of the 90’s.
Retro Rebound – Go! Go! PogoGirl
Developed by solo indie developer Ohsat Games, the game is inspired by games the German creator played in the 90’s such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Castle of Illusion and Rocket Knight Adventures.
Played over 4 seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter Go! Go! PogoGirl has 20 levels to get through with 5 levels in each season. The aim of the game is to bounce your way to the end as fast as possible while also collecting all of the green and pink gems throughout each stage.
Killing enemies is done by jumping on their head or with a spin attack similar to how Mario does in the Tanooki suit.
Just like any good platformer, plenty of secret areas are littered around the levels. Some of these come with some challenging traversal to reach. Even the layout of some areas I found screamed Mario warp pipe areas I remember. It unashamedly plucks at those nostalgic heartstrings at every turn. Even a cheat code entry sound test area is included tipping the hat to our favourite speedy blue hedgehog.
Where the gameplay could be improved is by adding lives to the game. Having no incentive to collect gems other than your own challenge to yourself doesn’t make for an addictive hook. If gems added lives then I would care more about collecting them all.
Graphics & Audio
The visuals and animations are excellent, a clear indication that this dev has poured a lot of hard work and effort into getting this right. There’s an option in the settings to enable a CRT mode which further enhances the nostalgic vibes.
The character designs look great and the parallax background adds some nice depth to the world.
The biggest issue for me with this game is the soundtrack. It’s not that it sounds bad it’s just that each season uses a track for all of its 5 levels so the audio becomes very repetitive to the point where it’s distracting. It was such a relief to get to the first boss and finally hear some fresh music.
A cool little audio element is the music being dulled out as you submerge underwater.
The game can be completed in less than 2 hours. There are challenges to complete which can be viewed in the main menu, some of which are tied to trophies/achievements.
Speaking of trophies there are 2 silver, 11 gold, and a platinum. The platinum isn’t hard to achieve and I managed to pop it in less than an hour. It could probably be achieved much quicker if you just focus on the trophies alone.
Where the game is lacking is any kind of online leaderboard to track speedruns and challenge friends. There’s not much to draw you back once you beat the game and bagged all the trophies.
Go! Go! PogoGirl shines in its control. A platformer like this requires precise control over the character and this game feels great to play.
There’s a clear talent here and I look forward to seeing what Ohsat Games dishes up in the future. This one bounces its way to the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.