You wouldn’t expect a girl with an eyepatch, a severed arm, a tentacle and ghoulishly pallid skin to be the star of one of the most strikingly attractive platform games we’ve ever downloaded, but that’s exactly what Scarygirl is. Spend a couple of hours scampering around its gorgeously realised world of yetis, trolls and two-fisted rabbits, and you’ll give thanks for the fertile, colourful mind of the character’s creator, graphic novelist Nathan Jurevicius.
Sadly, the gears that grind away at the game’s core are nowhere near as imaginative as its surface. Scarygirl’s world is ostensibly three-dimensional, but she can only run left and right (or jump up and down) on a two-dimensional ‘track’ that weaves in and out of the background, a 2.5D system that’s been knocking around since 1996’s Pandemonium. The gameplay is similarly simplistic, being largely standard platforming, with the minor additions of Scarygirl’s tentacle, which can be used to grab objects and enemies, and a ‘rage meter’ that turns her into a genuine baddie-biting monster.
For the most part, Scarygirl is standard running-jumping-fighting fluff – undeserving of its gorgeous graphics – but it might make a decent purchase for younger kids less savvy in the ways of gaming.
Available on PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade