Peanut — Cute and colourful corgi platformer

Peanut is a 2D retro-style platformer by Team Spikkeee starring Peanut the corgi. The game has been created in a classic 8-bit pixelated style.

You play as Peanut, an anthropomorphic corgi. At the start of the game, Peanut comes home to find that his girlfriend, Bae, has been kidnapped by the evil Veronica Vet. Veronica has left a ransom note, saying she will only return Bae once Peanut has got her artifact from Peru.

The game has a whopping 45 levels — all with different themes. Each has its own unique challenges, background music and colours. It is controlled using the keyboard — WASD to move, space to jump and P to throw a pepper, which is used to attack enemies.

Speaking of colours — the game itself is incredibly bright and colourful. Each of the levels has colourful backgrounds and cheerful music. I liked the aesthetic, though it certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste! At times I found it difficult to distinguish between the background image and the parts of the game in play as the background is so busy.

Gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played Mario Bros in the past. While running around the level, you have to collect gold rings and can kill enemies by either shooting peppers at them or by jumping on them. 

It does put its own twist on the platformer, with a couple of new ideas that I liked. In one of the early levels, there are hexagons that can be pushed around by the player to create platforms to get over a spiked section. They have their own physics and roll around on their own.

However, overall I feel like this game is lacking in polish and needs some more work. 

The camera angle was quite a struggle at times —- it would be too high and I wouldn’t be able to see what was below me. Sometimes I would miss a jump and die because I couldn’t see where I needed to jump down to and would hit spikes.

The game also isn’t always consistent in what is able to kill you. I found that when jumping onto a spike I would die, but I might be able to jump off the spikes and survive. Other times, I would be able to almost hang off a block completely without dying, but getting too close to a spike would kill me.

Peanut the corgi riding on the hexagons in one of the levels
Peanut riding on the hexagons in one of the levels

I found it very frustrating that each time you die you would be forced to restart the entire level. There are no checkpoints on the levels, making you just start from the beginning of the one you are on. Your character has hearts in the top-left corner that represent your health, but these seem to have no real purpose — all enemies are incredibly easy to defeat (they didn’t seem to attack at all) and I didn’t die by an enemy’s hand once. It would be better if a death let you restart where you died, losing a heart.

There are sound effects when collecting rings, but there didn’t seem to be any others throughout the game. I felt that jumping on enemies, shooting peppers or jumping on mushrooms that helps you to jump higher, should have sound effects too.

While I liked the premise of the game and I wanted to find out what happened in the story, it just became too frustrating and I only managed to get up to level six before giving up. I think it would have been better if the creator had focused on creating fewer, more high quality levels than creating lots of lower quality levels — but being able to create 45 unique levels is an incredible achievement!

Peanut is out, available to buy on Steam, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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