Look! Up in the sky! Is it a puzzle? Is it a platformer?... no! It's both! It's Bango! Isn't it majestic? Isn't it glorious? Just don't stare up at it too much. You might be smashed in the face by a falling block, and then boy will your face be... uh, well, not red so much as... broken.
Created by RJGames (Nitro Platform 2), Bango! is an exercise of not only skill but patience. Using the [arrow] keys to move left and right, and tapping the [space] bar to jump, you play a tiny little stick figure with admirably sparkly feet who dashes about the screen on top of brown blocks. Once you've touched a block, beware; as soon as you step or jump off one, it falls. The goal is to clear the screen of all of them, and some genuinely fiendish block placement in later levels makes that much harder than it sounds.
In fact, some levels are so hard we really felt for the nameless, faceless little protagonist. Who put him there? Do the blocks fall because of the curious sparkles that trail his every move, making it both blessing and curse? What is his motivation? Is there some sparkly little love interest waiting just off screen? Oh! That must be it. How romantic! Keep running, little hero! We believe in you!
While Bango! has been on the casual gameplay scene for a while now, we held off featuring it initially due to several bugs that made the game more frustrating than fun to play. Although most of these have been ironed out, one of the bigger ones persists. If you happen to brush against the side of a block while attempting to jump up onto it, the block will vanish as though you already stepped off of it. You'll wind up having to carefully judge even the smallest jumps, since a wrong foot in this game means having to restart the entire level. You could argue that this makes the game even more challenging, but having the careful planning you put into navigating later levels be undone by a collision detection issue is frustrating to say the least.
Still, there's a lot to like about Bango! The simple, bright graphics. The ultra peppy soundtrack. The ability to take your time and think your way through the levels. If puzzles are your thing, then Bango! is here to be your new best friend. Get ready to run and jump your way to victory and high scores! Just remember to always watch your step.