Nefarious is a wonderful retro-style platformer that attempts to flip the genre on its head. Gone are the days of being the hero and saving the princess. Now you are the villain and your goal is to kidnap every princess in the world. If not how are you gonna get your death ray to work?
Tired of playing the hero? Nefarious is a 2D action platformer where you get to be the villain! Step into the wily shoes of Crow, an evil genius on an epic quest to steal princesses for his royalty-powered death ray – the world-conquering Doom Howitzer. Wreak havoc across five different kingdoms! Stomp on heroes in iconic battles recreated with you as the boss! Unleash your inner megalomaniac!
Nefarious actually plays really really well. Everything in the game is well crafted and balanced. Controls are nice and simple. The artwork fits the genre perfectly. While the music sets the scene and tempo of each level.
Each level has 4 collectables to find. 3 crowns and 1 vinyl record. The vinyl record will actually provide the jukebox back at base with the soundtrack for that level.
The subversive humour in Nefarious is well placed. Corny but not too thick. It sort of makes you chuckle and groan at the same time. The premise of the game is ridiculous and fun. Whilst Nefarious never seems to take itself too seriously there is a great game beneath the self-depreciating surface.
Probably the biggest highlight of Nefarious is the reverse boss battles. Anyone who has played an old-school platformer will know the spiel. Villian in a big overpowered contraption of some sort. The hero armed with just a view moves and little health.
Well in Nefarious it is exactly the same except now you play the villain in the oversized contraption. It ain’t as easy as you think. Limited by movement or move set the boss battles soon become a real challenge. This is a fantastic addition and really helps Nefarious in succeeding to flip the genre on its head.
In a genre that has been swamped in recent years, Nefarious really stands out on its own. The attempt to subvert the genre is successful. The humour in the game is well thought out and placed just right. Every character from the princesses to the minions are well constructed and written.
Nefarious is a wonderful game for children and veteran gamers alike. It encapsulates the rise of neo-retro gaming extremley well. And let us be honest, we all like to play as the bad guy!
Overall Score – 7/10