Fish and chips. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. What do they all have in common? Aside from being better when served with a small amount of hot sauce, all of these things are pairs that are great together. VillaVanilla brings us another kuh-lassic example of things that go well together in the clever action game A Trashy Love Story, in which a garbage bag longs to be reunited with its garbage can lover. You know, that old story.
Much like a real plastic bag on a windy day, the garbage bag in our fairy tale can float around each level by using the [left] and [right] arrow keys, get a little lift by pressing either key repeatedly, or fly upwards by tapping both keys alternately. Each level is a maze of earth and pipes that can be safely touched, but keep an eye out for wicked waterfalls, burning wires, and penetrating spikes that can puncture a bag's dreams. If you can reunite the bag with the bin, you'll secure the win, but grabbing the music note hidden in each level can help you unlock some extra-tricky bonus levels.
Sure, it's an odd gimmick to have such an odd pairing of characters looking for love, but somehow, the mechanic of tapping the arrow keys to get the bag airborne feels right, as though you're fanning the bag yourself (perhaps with an old pizza box). The difficulty picks up at a very comfortable rate throughout the game, and you can always skip ahead to another level when you get stuck. The timing mechanism in this game isn't exactly logical, especially after the checkpoint dandelions come into play (deaths before dandelions reset the timer, but deaths after hitting a dandelion start you off with an increasing penalty each time you die), but the times only serve as a personal achievement, so they can be safely ignored. Sometimes love means doing whatever it takes for whomever you love, sometimes it means extra hot sauce. If you're ready for a charming love story between companions you've always ignored, give this game a shot. Then, recycle it and show it to a friend.