Awesome Pea Review

Awesome Pea was acquired for free as part of the #IndieSelect initiative.
Awesome Pea marks my second time covering a title for the #IndieSelect initiative. It’s not a title that I was familiar with before yesterday, and I’m not sure it would have been a game that I bought on my own accord. However, I’ve now spent a couple of hours playing through the game, so I am here writing this review. Awesome Pea is jumping on the challenging platformer bandwagon, and at first glance, it actually looks like a decent title. However, after spending too much time with the game, I can safely say that the cons outweigh the joys this time around.

Pretty Basic Gameplay

Awesome Pea doesn’t break any new ground in the platforming genre. The gameplay here is about as simple as it gets for a platformer. You play as a sentient pea named Greedy Pea and must avoid obstacles and enemies by jumping over them, while attempting to reach the level’s exit. Greedy Pea does control well enough, so there are no complaints there. However, pretty much all he does is move and jump. The main issue is that you encounter the same platforming challenges throughout the entire game. The level layouts are fine, but the gameplay gets old when nothing new really ever gets introduced as you play through the game. There are 30 levels, so you’d expect a new gimmick to be introduced at some point. There is something that does get introduced in the last set of levels, but it’s functionally the same as another obstacle.


The game attempts to be interesting by adding coins and gems to collect, however, they are not really challenging to collect, and can pretty much be grabbed as you’re completing the level. If you die when collecting these items, the level resets and you need to grab everything again. I was pretty annoyed by this as it amounted to chore-like gameplay. Because of this, I never felt compelled to collect everything and just focused on reaching the level’s exit.

Has a Variety of Noticeable Issues

Awesome Pea has a variety of issues that hinder the overall experience. The big issue is the collision detection. You have to be extra precise with your platforming as Greedy Pea’s collision mask is bigger than I believe it should be. This makes the game challenging in a way that punishes the player for not playing around its flaws. A game’s challenge should be in the player’s error and not because the collision masks are overstated. Platforming veterans will still be able to work around this by being extra cautious.

Another issue that frustrated me was getting killed by obstacles that I couldn’t even see. There are certain platforms with spikes on the side, and none on top, but when you jump on top of the platform you die. There are similar platforms in the game where this doesn’t happen, but the difference is those platforms aren’t hanging from the ceiling. For whatever reason, those hanging from a ceiling will kill you despite being nearly identical platforms. Maybe there is something there that I’m not seeing. Speaking of issues with obstacles unfairly killing the player, there are incidents with buzz-saws that kill you if you’re standing above them, when they clearly shouldn’t affect the player.

The last issue is having a level reset button mapped to X, one of the controllers face buttons. Having a level reset button is a good idea, however, mapping it to X caused me to press it by accident more times than I want to admit. Oh, and pause is mapped to B, meaning I also accidentally paused the game a bunch.

At Least the Graphics and Music Are Decent

I’ll be ending this review on a positive note as I thought the game’s graphics and music were actually decent. Awesome Pea looks like a Game Boy title and I’m always impressed when an artist can create detailed sprites with a limited palette. Even though the game looks good, it only does so after removing some questionable filters. Not sure why the developer felt compelled to include crt and tube filters for a game that utilizes a Game Boy aesthetic. Lastly, the music is fine and serves its job well. It does get repetitive like many of the game’s other elements, but it doesn’t wear out its welcome because the game is over much too quick for that.

Conclusion

Awesome Pea would have been a better game in the hands of a more experienced developer. It never does anything too interesting and playing it feels more like a chore. I can’t recommend Awesome Pea to my readers, however, there is a demo available if you’d like to check out the game for yourself.

Final Score: -1

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