Stinkoman 20X6, an old Videlectrix classic, follows the saga of the titular Stinkoman, an egocentric super-boxer who lives on Planet K and can never seem to keep his priorities straight. Even when his old friend, the rotund panda Pan Pan, is kidnapped, all he cares about is playing video games, eating chicken broth, and the occasional challenge. On most levels, you control Stinkoman with the [arrow] keys, moving [left] and [right] and climbing [up] and [down] ladders. Jump with [A], punch with [S] to send off enemy-killing shockwaves. You've got four energy bars to live your life on, which you can refill by collecting red pills.
Not all the levels are the same, however. There are various twists slipped into the formula here and there, including vertically scrolling collect-the-doodads action sequences, a horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up, and one of those infamous love-'em-or-hate-'em escort missions.
Stinkoman is a little hard to get into. Platforming veterans may be frustrated by the titular character's lack of jump height and speed. The fact that enemies blink invulnerably after each hit, a trait usually reserved for player characters, can also put off players who aren't used to it. None of that is wrong per se, just different from the norm.
So if it's so hard to get into the flow, why bother? Because once you're in, you'll never want out. The gameplay, while slightly unorthodox, is very entertaining; the levels are well designed, and so are the bosses. The retro 8-bit graphics are a charm, and the matching music is mad catchy. Plus, the variety of levels keeps the game interesting, especially for an all-around gamer like myself. You can even skip levels that are particularly frustrating if you so desire.
The only real complaint I have is the lack of a real ending. Apparently the tenth and presumably last area won't be out for a long time to come. Still, give Stinkoman a chance. Maybe even a chance and a half. You won't regret it. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CHALLENGE? Well, you've got one.