Congratulations! You have defeated the final enemy and saved the princess from certain doom. Now how did you actually get to this point?
Spoiler Alert is a platformer game played in reverse. You start at the very end with the happily ever after and run the three worlds backwards. If an obstacle, enemy, or coin is transparent, you need to hit it or you create a time paradox and lose. The goal is to reach the very start of your adventure without ripping the threads of space and time apart.
The concept works very well. It is a novel challenge to play an entire game backwards. Other games have allowed you to rewind time or run levels in reverse, but none have run entirely in reverse. Developer MEGAFUZZ fully commits to the conceit. Even the menu items are backwards, such as the standard triangle for play pointing to the left, not the right. The level of detail and planning really makes the experience work.
The transparent versus opaque platforming elements create a great challenge. Most platformer games have multiple paths you can take to beat a particular stage. Spoiler Alert only has one. If your timing is off, you’re repeating the stage. This isn’t like the modern generation of Nintendo Hard indie games (like I Wanna Be the Guy) where you have to just guess which way to go. The glimmer of hope is that you can see what that path is.
Spoiler Alert is a little bit short. Once you get a feel for the length of jumps and the different power-ups, the challenge drops. The variety of gameplay elements will keep your interest, but the core game and bonus world probably won’t take more than an hour for an experienced platformer fan.
That’s where the custom level editor comes in. You can create short, medium, and long stages using any combination of elements you like. This mode makes it clear how much effort went into Spoiler Alert. It’s far too easy to build a stage that cannot be beaten because of the combination of completed versus skipped elements. Even if the interface is not the easiest to understand in the world of custom level builders, you’ll walk away with a newfound appreciation for the actual design of the game.