Thanks For Playing
So, in conclusion, Thanks For Playing is a wonderful bit of high-concept fun that all platform fans should enjoy backing through... Oh wait, I think I just started with the ending there. Well, it should be no surprise, since I just made it to the beginning of Thanks For Playing, an interesting little puzzle platformer developed by Alkemi Games at the Utopialis 2012 Game Jam. It starts with you arriving just a second too late from preventing a mad scientist from perfecting his time reversal device. Now, with the flow of reality well and truly in reverse, the only thing you can hope for it to keep yourself alive by untracing your steps into his laboratory and avoiding trapping yourself in a paradox. Saying any more would spoil the beginning.
Move and jump with the [arrow] keys. However, since time is going backwards, you must clear each screen using typical platform mechanics that would occur if the clock was ticking the right way. You'll be able to leap up huge heights (since before it would be a fall), but dropping too far will short out the time stream (since before, you could never jump that high!) Your score starts at 2030, and you lose points for every monster you resurrect and coin you disperse. It becomes important to look for the visual cues of your surroundings: the streak of sparkles that indicate a place where you collected a coin, the bits of crumpled scenery where a collapsible platform once hung above. Make it back to the start and, well, you'll get to see actual name of the game on the title screen! Other games have used this kind of gimmick as a central conceit, but not quite to this extent. The thing that comes closest is Mushroom Engine. Still, Thanks For Playing's utilization of the reversal theme in both story and directly in gameplay makes for a unique kind of storytelling fusion. Taking about ten minutes to play through, it is a work that manages that proper balance of exploring a clever concept without belaboring the point. So, once again, in conclusion, Thanks For Playing is a wonderful bit of high-concept fun that all platform fans should enjoy backing through.