Liferaft: Zero


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Reader ReviewLiferaft: Zerp[The following is a reader-submitted review written by Juxta.]
"Sort of." When used properly, these are two of the most doubt-inducing words in the English language. "That was a good game... sort of." "You look great today... sort of." "I love you... sort of." These are also the two words I think of when it comes to Liferaft: Zero from Mikengreg, just another one of those precision platforming games... sort of.

You begin as a very small, pixelated girl with a lot of sisters... a lot of sisters, maybe even twins, or perhaps worse... Carrying on in the Portal plotline tradition, you begin in a laboratory with a disembodied voice calling out to you and watching your every move as you proceed through various challenges. This voice actually seems to be helpful, though, in a "Oh, look at my precious experiment-girl!" sort of way. The goal of each level is simply to reach and ring the bell at the end of each level. Easy, right?

Liferaft: Zero is not quite as high a degree of difficulty as, say, Wrath of Anubis, or You Have to Burn the Rope. Still, it definitely prides itself on near pixel-perfect jumps and "ambidextrous keyboard dexterity". Move with the [arrow] keys and jump with your choice of [A], [S], or [X]. Sorry, no [spacebar]. The learning curve is sloped quite nicely as well, almost teasing you, saying, "See, it's not that bad... sort of." Like most other flash-based platformers, you have unlimited lives... sort of. Each time you die, one of your "sisters" takes over at the beginning of the level, so it's a good thing you have a lot of them. Each new "little sister" begins the level sporting a different color, because, how else would you be able to tell them apart?

Another important point is that, as with most platformers, you have unusual jumping abilities. You can hang onto and jump off walls, but you have no double-jump. "What?! No double-jump?!" you say? Not to worry, you do get a grappling hook... sort of. It's more like several strategically placed grappling boxes; they look like red dots on the wall. When you're close enough in midair, press [A]/[S]/[X], and a rope will shoot toward you. You, being you, will grab onto said rope and skillfully swing yourself over, up, down, wherever you need to be.

Liferaft: Zero is one of those frustrating games that you keep going back to. It ramps up the difficulty slowly enough to draw you in and keep you playing. It also has a good replay factor with the bonus "candy" that you can, or can't in my case, go for if you wish. It was enough of a challenge that it kept me interested, but not so difficult that I threw my keyboard through the drywall... again... sort of.

Play Liferaft: Zero

21 Comments

The forced auto-run was a major turnoff for me, to be honest. I would've liked to have been able to slow down some for the smaller platforms in a couple of the later stages.

Even then, however, the wall jumps would've still gotten me. I forget what level I was on when I finally had to ragequit for the sake of my laptop, but the fact that I went from #010 to #038 in the span of 2 minutes just told me "yeah, this ain't the game for me."

If anything positive came out of this...I have the darnedest urge to go play Super Metroid again.

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...

Sorry, but this is bugging me...

Did you just say the you have to burn the rope is a hard game? Have you actually PLAYED it?

That is all.

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Oh, I'll bet Juxta meant to write I Wanna Be the Guy. (Same number of syllables.) ;)

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I wish the mute button really muted it... fun little game though

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Is anyone else finding it completely frustrating that while swining, you can't hold up and either left or right at the same time? I can't get past levels because I can't manage jumps without the velocity of the sidewards swing and the reeling in rope.

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This game is fun...sort of. :)

I'll probably try it again sometime. I got to like Lv3 or 4 before I gave up. Maybe with more sleep.

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You Have To Burn The Rope just had so little instruction. I wasn't sure what to do.... ;}

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Waggles, I haven't had that issue. What browser are you using? Chrome worked for me.

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Another Portal-themed (although there are what look to be actual people in the observation rooms...) sterile lab testing environment with sinister overtones?

Controls are pretty squishy for something that demands excellence in later levels. Also, the addition of the physics used in the grapple-amp-jumps just isn't solid enough. I practiced and practiced, watched the walkthrough...and came to the conclusion that I have no idea how to reliably perform the moves needed. Kudos to those who can figure it out: you're likely to find an enjoyable, if familiar, experience here.

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I agree with thomstel: I could not figure out how to get any significant vertical momentum out of the rope.

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To get more height out of your grappling

Press up at the bottom of your swing and launch upward

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Way to rip off Demetri Martin with the first 5 sentences.

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I'm on Firefox 3.6.8, and I've also tried it on Chrome, and Armor Games's website is causing MASSIVE problems for me, it moves so slow I can't even scroll the screen in real-time, or resize the window without massive lag when it's the primary tab. And forget about playing games on there, I have to search other game websites for ports in order to play them.

Is anyone else having this problem? It's been going on for weeks now, what's going on?

[This is not a known issue, as far as I know or have been informed. Can you provide us with more information, please? Perhaps a screenshot (or screencast) of the issue occurring? Thanks! -Jay]

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The "each life is a different person" theme reminds me of noonat's Queens, which did the same thing (each queen had a different costume and a different name). But somehow, where that was an effective feminist statement, this just makes me sad. Maybe it's that the girls in this don't even have names, or the graphic blood spatters and the dead bodies left around for the next sister. Or maybe it's just that Queens is so short that I actually saw the ending; don't know where this is going.

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Pfff man oh man, trial 20 is really pissing me off!!! But cool game anyhow. I have a thing for small pixel character games.

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StephenM3 Author Profile Page August 24, 2010 2:17 PM

Hmm. I have cookies enabled, but this game doesn't seem to be saving my progress. Grr.

(firefox OSX)

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Apperently, I can't master this rope mechanic. There is a way to

grapple at the right time, then swing and make the rope shorter to fling yourself at the perfect time. The walkthrough shows that the person playing has mastered this, and I simply have not.

It kinda bugs me because the game is kind of based around figuring this mechanic out. *sigh*. I'll keep trying. I want to see what happens in the end. Nice concept, but if I may say so, it's a little bit over used. Like the reivew, though!

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*deep breath*
This game is seriously starting to give me a headache. Trial 21 is going to kill me. How can the person doing the walkthrough go through it with such ease?

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Now, maybe the developers haven't never handled a knife and they should be forgiven, but generally when I touch the flat of the blade my finger stays whole, rather than blowing up in a bloody mess like the game would make to be, as apparently flat sides of spikes are rather deadly...

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I do give props to Demetri Martin for his monologue. Mine came from about seven or eight years ago when my friends and I discovered the same thing. No intentional rip-offs here.

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Well, I eat it. It took forever. While this isn't a bad game, there really... isn't much incentive to keep going on, and the ending is a total anticlimax. :/ I must say I'm disappointed.

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