GotM Feb ’12 – Dustforce

Having looked back on previous “Game of the Month” articles, I’ve noticed they all have one thing in common… They’re a huge wall of text, which never seems so bulky when I’m typing. So, I’m heading in a bold new direction this month…

Dust or... be... dusted?

 

Name: Dustforce
Genres: Platform/Puzzle/Action
Developer: Hitbox
Available on: Steam

The tidiest ninjas your ever likely to meet

 

 

Dustforce is the epic battle between order and chaos… Kind of. You play as a street cleaner with ninja-like prowess, running and jumping your way through levels and making everything squeaky-clean.

Obviously, it’s a lot more complex than that, with pitfall, spikes and enemies trying to break your precious dust-busting combo, but like all good janitorial people, you can run up walls, cling onto ceilings, and use your trusty broom (or leaf blower) to whack the dirt-possessed raccoons (or scientists, or butlers; depends on the level) back to their original form.
A large part of this game is making it though each level as fast and perfectly as you can, and then doing it better. You can view a replay of anyone on the leaderboard, to see where you slipped up, or watch your friend’s replays and think “Pah. I could do it way faster.”

Feel my broom, evil leaf creatures!

 

 

For a start, it plays completely unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. That alone makes it at least worth a look. And while you’re “just looking”, check out the graphics. The whole game feels like a comic book in a way, with attacks and dashes leaving trails, and executing the final, hyper-charged attack, where your character jumps invisibly between enemies before making them explode, is as satisfying as it sounds.

The ever present challenge of your own best time is what drives you to just have “one more go at this level”, and if you beat the rest of the world while you do it, even better! … Although, good luck with that. The level designs are often a test of brains as much as reaction times. They force you to learn every motion to the split-second, and perfect your techniques, just to make it through the level with a “SS” rank.

Leaf-girl here is about to have a BRUSH with death... Oh man...
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