Good evening, students. Are you enjoying your classes at Nitrome's University of Archery, Mountain-Climbing, Home-Building, Ice Chiseling, Ninjutsu, Cable Car Engineering, Underwater Exploration, Etc., Etc.? Today we add a new title to that prestigious list of things we teach: witchcraft. Welcome to our new program, Mirror Image 101.
My assistant is passing out the scepters right now. Please try to ignore the fact that the scepters all look exactly like mouse cursors; I don't argue with what the higher-ups decide. We're going to start with the most basic of teleportation spells, the Mirror Jump. Everyone spread out, please. It's a very simple spell to use. Just stand up and use your scepter to draw a straight line perpendicular to your line of vision in the direction you want to warp, and at half the distance. Poof! You'll warp to the other side of that line!
Just be careful with this maneuver. You can't warp through solid objects, so it's not all-inclusive. Later in this course we'll learn about using mirrors and magic teleporters to get to other places with your Mirror Jump, as well as using the Magic Mirror pick-up to leave duplicates of yourself behind when you warp.
...Josephine, Carl, what happened to the two of you? Maybe it wasn't a good idea for everyone to try that at once.
Anyways, now for a little historical background. This spell was pioneered by a warlock who used it to save a ruined village that had been overrun by demons. Because he was physically handicapped and could not move his legs, this was the only way he could get from place to place through the village's 36 levels. Not that moving by foot would have helped much because the magic of the demonic vortex had created giant gaps in the streets that the warlock had to Mirror-Jump over.
To make things more complicated, the warlock had to find keys to unlock various gates that the villagers had locked, as well as step on pressure pads to make spikes retract. Not only that, but he had to contend with moving platforms and various demons that barred his path and behaved in various ways. Fortunately he could take his time, as his magic always made time stand still except when he warped.
Analysis: I think Nitrome could have thought of a better name for this game than Mirror Image, but names don't mean everything. No matter what you call it, it's a very addictive game; I had a hard time pulling myself away from it so I could write this review!
Mirror Image has all the qualities of a good Nitrome game: a fully exploited gimmick, stunning pixel graphics, and an enjoyable music track, all sewn together into a very playable package.
Unfortunately the accessibility is a bit weak. It may be difficult for anyone who doesn't have at least a basic knowledge of geometry to get very far in this game. I not very good at visualizing angles easily, so I spent a lot of time checking my jumps with a straight-edge, and later with a ruler. It helped a lot, trust me.
The control system has its flaws, too. I found it a bit frustrating not having any easy way to "cancel" a line and redraw it from another point when my measurements proved to be a bit off, and that can often be the difference between life and death. I've lost more than one game to accidentally warping the warlock to his doom with a bad cancel. Also, for some reason I felt it a bit unintuitive that his jumps were measured from the bottom-middle of his sprite, and I would have liked to "skip" turns on occasion.
So why did I keep playing? Because it's Nitrome, of course. Nitrome always adds just the right amount of charm to their games to make them enjoyable. The demons look so evil, and yet so cute. The warlock lets out that delightful little cackle when he reaches the end of each stage. Those little details are always the redeemer of any Nitrome game.
Overall, Mirror Image is a very entertaining puzzler whose good points ultimately outweigh the bad.
Practice that Mirror Jump at home, everyone! But don't lose those scepters, they're school property and they weren't cheap! Class dismissed!
Thanks to everyone: Aethey, Achalei, Ivan, Tobie, Maqrkk, Ashish, Sam, and Curtis for sending this one in!