Oh wow, this game is so cool. I don’t mean cool because it’s a scrolling platformer influenced by Flashback and Another World, although everyone loves those again since Shadow Complex re-invented the genre. I mean cool because it has such a chic, knowing look, operating somewhere between the Madmen intro sequence and all that faceless business people clip art you used to get with early versions of Word.
In The Button Affair, you play Enzo Gabriel, a super suave jewel thief who wants to get his well-manicured fingers on the famed Button diamond. But just as he steals it, one of his girlfriends accidentally shoots him and he winds up in prison. Each level is effectively a chase scene through some sparse sleekly rendered, building, leaping over chasms, rolling under lasers and diving out of the way of bullets. The jump is a teeny bit shorter than I expected so I ended up falling down a lot of holes, and it’s not quite clear yet when the armed henchmen are going to fire at you, so getting shot is quite common. The four-person development team (who don’t have a studio name, the crazy hipsters) is still tweaking everything though, so it should be sorted for the expected December release on Mac and PC.
I just love the look of the game – I love the stylish cut-scenes at the end of each mission, where the posing, faceless characters strut and pose their way through heist movie cliches. The last level of this sequence is a typical chase along the top of a moving train, referencing all those super spy movies from the fifties and sixties.
If this three-stage instalment goes well, the devs will produce another set of levels. I hope it does and I hope they do, because like this team’s first game The Cat That Got The Cream, this just exudes confidence and style. (Oh and it should be coming to smartphones early next year.)