Last Legacy: Null Space
The hero of Robert and Stephen Hewitt's ambitious action-packed platformer Last Legacy: Null Space was just minding their own business, defeating an unspeakable cosmic evil, when they suddenly found themselves sucked into another universe by a wormhole. And it couldn't be the Red Pepper Hummus Universe, or the Psych Was Never Cancelled Universe, oh no. It has to be the Everything From Ghosts and Crabs to Fire-Flinging Mages Wants to Turn You Into a Smear on the Ground Universe. To find a way home, you'll need to battle your way through hordes of nasties, unlock new powers and find beefy new equipment, and master a strange power that will let you alter the landscape around you. And I'm not just talking about the robust level editor either. See, pressing [shift] will activate your Delta Powers, which lets you place up to three blocks anywhere within range of the blue orbs, as well as remove up to three squares of natural terrain. Red orbs, however, will prevent any block manipulation around them, and figuring out how to work around them, or even just manipulate the blue orbs so you can get their sphere or influence where you want it, becomes the real challenge of the game.
The default controls are [WASD] for movement and [spacebar] to jump and double-jump, but happily if you open the options menu with [ESC], you'll find they're fully customiseable to whatever suits your needs. Your goal is to make it through each stage intact, collecting golden triangles along the way to spend on equipment and upgrades between levels, and doing so usually involves kicking, stabbing, or magick-ing your way through enemies in your path. Finding your way to the portal at the end of the level is usually easy... it's figuring out how to reach all the treasure that takes some work. If you die, you'll be sent back to your last respawn point, and it's not just enemies that can do you in... falling into the nothingness between land and platforms is an instant KO. The game's downside, however, is that movement just doesn't feel quite as responsive as you might like sometimes, which is a big deal considering how much platforming there is, and how much of it consists of tiny platforms floating over bottomless voids.
That being said, Last Legacy: Null Space has a lot of good ideas, and the sheer amount of effort put into creating every pixel shines. Considering the team's long history with level editing following the release of the fan-made Super Mario 63, whose level editor portal is hosted on their site, it's unsurprising that they decided to make a game with level editing as both a function and a main gameplay mechanic. For the most part, this works very well, forcing you to think carefully about how to use your limited abilities to make your way around each area to every bit of treasure and upgrade tokens scattered around. The level editor itself provides a lot of options to craft your own creative stages, feels intuitive and simple to use, and sharing what you make is as simple as copy-pasting the code you generate. Most of the emphasis feels like it comes down to more on action than puzzle-solving, especially given how crazy some of the levels get, with moving terrain, switches, launch pads, and various flavours of ghosts. Though slow to start, there's a lot of variety the more you play, and it's a clear love letter to classic platformers that fans will recognize and appreciate.