Insidia, the new Metroidvania-styled platform game from Woblyware, revels in its simplicity, not only concerning its graphics, but also is its plot and gameplay. In fact, I think that I can give you the gist in fifteen words: Crashed Spaceship. Alien World. Explore Caverns. Find Repair Kits. Collect Upgrades. Avoid Baddies. Quite Fun.
Using the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and jump, guide your little orange traveler around the desolate alien world looking for the ten kits you need to repair your ship. In addition to the repair kits, there are a few upgrades to be found (double-jumps, wall clinging and the like) that will help you explore new areas. You can keep track of where you've been with the map screen brought up with the [M] key, and can instantly teleport back to your ship with the [T] key. Be on the look out for red dots in the wall: these signify a secret passage, usually leading to one of ten switches. Activate all of them and you'll get a
less depressing alternate ending. The information signs scattered around give additional information (along with one that gives the sponsor plug. Having to use the mouse to close it in what was previously a solely keyboard game is jarring.) Save points are available throughout, and should you take a flying leap into a saw blade or end up chomped upon by a baddie, you'll instantly revive at the last one. Expect to have to be revived quite a bit.
Insidia has a very cool visual style: simple, but not-quite pixellated, and very evocative in its snowy darkness. That, along with the similar thatched overlay, reminded me of the winter level of Small Worlds: a place where something terrible happened sometime in the recent past and that you are driven to leave as quick as possible. The fact that Isidia adds a touch of the eldritch to its technological creepiness makes it all the better: the enemies are few, but well seriously eerie.
If Insidia suffers by anything, it's comparison: with K.O.L.M., endeavor, and the Robot Wants series leading the way, there's been kind of a glut of these sort of casual exploration-fests as of late, and the planet of Insidia may seem lacking when compared to its denser cousins. However, taken on its own merits, fans of the genre should find Insidia a more than satisfactory way to spend twenty minutes.