Hello, this review will be slightly different from what I usually publish on this site. I am going to be doing coverage of two budget indie games from the same developer, discussing them and showcasing what these titles have to offer. This is going to be a double feature, with all of the usual details for both of the games in a condensed format, giving the basic outline of the games and some thoughts on them both at the end. So with that being said, let’s get into it.
Overview – developed by Siactro and published/ported by Diplodocus games, we have Macbat 64, a low-poly style adventure where players complete puzzles to clear each micro world. We also have Beeny, a vertical 2D platformer with a 90’s style pre-rendered background in the style of Donkey Kong Country. Both of these titles are available on the Nintendo Switch, with a link to both of them at the bottom of this special review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Siactro for providing the software that was used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the reviews. I will be giving brief summaries of the games, but I will be omitting the story details as I only want to highlight the game experience. Starting off with Macbat 64.
Macbat 64 sets itself up as a low poly 3d platformer, where the core objective is to just clear the objectives of each stage with platform action. With the player needing to complete platforming challenges, puzzles and talk to NPC characters to get clues on how to proceed. However, as the game progresses more gameplay styles are introduced, including a kart racing stage, 2D side-scrolling platforming and more.
The move list for Macbat is rather simple, with movement of the character and camera, as well as being able to jump. This is as simple as you can get and it works well with this release, as it makes the game easy to pick up and play. This isn’t the most challenging of games with a rather brisk 10 stages, but there is a lot of fun that can be had in those stages. Alongside extra content that can be unlocked post completion and secret hidden collectibles.
The controls for the game handle really well, without any issues when it comes to movement or input lag during play. The inputs feel comfortable with both a Joy-Con and a pro controller, with snappy and intuitive button inputs for the platforming and other actions. The simplistic controls, easy to understand gameplay and overall experience make this a charming love letter to early 3D games.
The visual style does pull from the inspirations behind it, providing graphics and sprite work that is close to the Ultra 64 look. The music has a jaunty charm to it, with music that has a good sound to it and fits each of the themed zones that the game is made up of. There is also some voice over work in this title, with a cameo from a well-known figure within the N64 and 3D platformer community.
Overall, this is a fun and charming experience that offers a lot of fun for the very low price asked. Now, let’s get to the other title in this double feature.
Beeny is a simple 2D vertical platformer that has a very simple premise, get from the bottom of the stage to the goal at the top. The player is able to move left, right and jump controlling their momentum in the air. There are platforms that are positioned in challenging formations through the stage, with additional hazards and gimmicks that are added as the game progresses. The stages also have a variety of themes, from different seasons to weather and even a spooky haunted forest.
This is a relatively short title with only 10 stages to challenge, but there is also a time challenge that is unlocked when clearing the game. This adds a little more play time at the base level, but it also allows players to challenge themselves to beat stages as fast as possible in a speedrunning capacity. There is also a special teaser for the game Super Kiwi 64 included, giving players a small 3D platform area to explore.
The game controls are easy to use with very simple inputs that anyone can pick up and play. The movement and jumping is reactive, with little if any input lag. This game can be played comfortably with both the Joy-Cons and pro controller, with the thumbstick and D-pad/direction buttons working very well during play. The single button controls, easy to understand mechanics and limited failure states make this a fun little game that everyone can enjoy.
The visual style for this release is reminiscent of the old pre-rendered sprites of games like Donkey Kong Country, using sprite work that gives the game an old school vibe. The environments and everything is designed well with this design philosophy in mind. The music is also influenced by the classics, with music that fits each stage it is used on. The overall presentation combines together well, making for a retro styled title that evokes a sense of nostalgia.
With both games covered, I will now give my final thoughts about these two games.
Final Thoughts – I enjoyed both of these games and I am happy to have been able to experience them courtesy of Siactro. These two games have their distinct gameplay styles which all hit different markets. The 3D platforming of Macbat is there for fans of collectathon games, and Beeny for those who want a simple pick up and play title. The price point for both of these titles is very low and I would call them “pocket money games”, but that isn’t a negative as there is a lot of fun to be had with them.
I can easily recommend these titles for everyone, they are cheap and cheerful, with the only negative that I could find being the game length. However, that doesn’t detract from the overall quality and hard work that the development/porting team has put into bringing these games to the switch. With fun games that are perfect for anyone to pick up and play with ease. These are both passion projects and it can be seen in the references to older games, the visual design and the gameplay style.
In the end, I think that both Macbat 64 and Beeny are very fun little games that have a very low barrier of entry. You can get both of them for less than a cup of coffee, and while they are relatively short experiences, there is a lot on offer in these titles. If you want to check these out for yourself, a link to each game will be below.
Link to Macbat 64 (HERE)
Link to Beeny (HERE)