Little Space Duo
Little Space Duo is a platform puzzle game that puts you in control of two unique characters — the young girl Lucy, and a floating robot named Sunny. Similar to the classic The Lost Vikings in many ways, you switch between character to use their unique abilities to make it through each level. The animation is soft and fluid, the pacing is slow and thoughtful, and the puzzles are challenging even from early in the game.
Lucy awakens to find herself on a strange space craft with a golden orb-like robot hovering in front of her. As it turns out, the ship she's on is an intergalactic cargo vessel, and something's gone wrong with the AI. Lucy was mistakenly picked up, and now, in order to escape and fix the ship, she and Sunny will need to work together
Each character in Little Space Duo has unique abilities you'll need to use to solve the game's puzzles. Sunny, for example, can hover freely in the air and can fit through small ducts in the ship's walls. Lucy is the only one who can use certain switches and elevators, largely due to the fact that she has hands. You'll have to control each character individually to open the right passageways so both Lucy and Sunny can reach the exit door together.
Analysis: First thought when loading Little Space Duo: wow this game looks good. The color palette fills each scene with a soft, warm appearance, even though you're on a cold robot cargo ship. The animations are very smooth and lifelike, especially for Lucy, and it's a treat to watch even the smallest button presses play out in full view on your screen.
Little Space Duo tugs at your emotions, too, even though the game isn't story-driven. Taking the role of a young girl lost on a spaceship will make you go "awww", and seeing her innocence play out in her interactions with Sunny (who, by the way, is called that because she said he's yellow and shaped like the sun) is actually quite touching. Invoking the almighty emotion card was a great move on developer Jugilus' part to make you care about the game enough to see it through to the end.
The biggest stand-out feature of Little Space Duo is its difficulty. This game is tough. Not tough as in "you have to keep doing this until you master it", but tough as in "you have to think about this to figure it out". Puzzles aren't your simple "press this switch to win!" kind of thing, they make you plan ahead, observe, and execute your strategy. Fortunately they usually don't rely on fast reflexes, so you can pretty much take your time to get things done. You'll hit many of those "ohhhh" moments when you suddenly realize how things fit together and can solve a tricky puzzle. Checkpoints are generous enough to keep you from getting frustrated, but don't be surprised if you get stumped a dozen levels into the game.
Little Space Duo may look like a fuzzy and warm puzzle game you can breeze through in an hour, but the challenge here is significant and extremely rewarding when you make it to the other side. Soak in the excellent presentation and try not to break your keyboard when you get stuck.