Please Remain Calm

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Rating: 3.6/5 (31 votes)
Comments (5) | Views (1,106)

Please Remain Calm

JoelyBeanPlease Remain Calm. So sayeth developer Colin Tincknell, whose part platformer, part shooter is nothing to worry about. I mean, yeah, there are a multitude of dangerous and unpredictable creatures surrounding you, but you can avoid them with the [WASD] keys. It's true that you're just a miniscule blue figure in an enormous, harsh maze where death lurks around every corner, but at least you can collect golden coins and shoot them at enemies with the [arrow] keys. You can even propel yourself further upwards by shooting the coins below you. Things really aren't that bad after all, y'know? As long as you're careful and take your time, how can you lose? You're alert, collected, ready for anything. Until you look up and see the vast, rapidly expanding ball of black nothingness which threatens to engulf you, inching ever closer with no goal other than to consume, devour, destroy. Yeah, guess you forgot about that.

Please Remain CalmYou feel helpless as the game begins, with a tiny character who can barely jump and is reliant on collectibles to defend itself. This gives a revered, almost holy quality to upgrades, which you can claim every two levels if you've collected enough coins. Ranging from wall jumping and health upgrades to strategically-minded abilities such as shooting through walls, the variety of upgrades, combined with the randomized level design, makes every playthrough feel fresh. The one-hit kill nature of the final boss will frustrate some, though the game's short length makes it easy to pick up and try again. Additionally, anyone without 20/20 vision will likely find the game's small, pixel-perfect design to be wearisome to the eyes, though the ability to zoom in and out with [shift] should alleviate this a bit. With only ten levels, one wouldn't expect a game like this to ooze such colour and originality, but Please Remain Calm does an excellent job of building off of platforming predecessors like Super Mario Bros. and Cave Story while also asserting its individuality. Above all, the fast-moving game will test your reflexes and decision-making skills. Should you go for those last few coins before exiting the level? Being a daredevil just feels so good...

Play Please Remain Calm


ChaoSpectre April 13, 2014 12:44 PM

The controls are responsive enough to eliminate most frustration. The mechanics of resource conservation to save for upgrades vs. extra mobility -or- threat elimination can really define how you approach each level. The midway change in objective direction is also a neat way to change the movement priorities. On these points alone, I can say this is a healthy, competent title.

The zoom feature can be helpful, but I played the whole thing zoomed out, because long-range awareness and path selection is vital to the conservative play-style I ended up embracing.

My biggest complaint, however, is with the title of the game itself. A few different enemies and hazards are introduced over the course of the ten levels, with healthy variety. However, the enemies are too few and the hazards too basic to warrant the warning "Please Remain Calm."

Perhaps if the controls weren't as responsive, I might begin to worry, although that'd be artificial difficulty. Maybe if the threats and hazards were more numerous or unpredictable, the game might live up to its name; except, given the procedural generation of the levels, it may be possible to confront the player with insurmountable odds depending on his coin management.

Perhaps if the level layouts were more dynamic somehow. Tropes like shifting gravity, rotating the maze, different terrain (affecting movement speed, destructibles, moving platforms), lock and key maze fixtures, and others could be well at home in a game like this with this presentation. As the game stands, it's a functional quasi-roguelike that becomes rather easy if you pay attention and move well.

Reply April 14, 2014 11:04 AM

WASD AND arrows?

Just NO.

As for needing to press S to exit (especially when everythign is chasing you) is especially annoying.

Not a bad idea, just AWFULLY implemented.


Hey, I made this game! Thanks for doing the mini review, and I'm glad you enjoyed the game! As ChaoSpectre pointed out, the game may be a bit too easy to earn the name Please Remain Calm. Because I was designing it for a Flash game audience, I wanted it to be a bit more casual than other roguelike games. That being said, I have a lot of ideas for expanding this game, and I will definitely be upping the difficulty in several ways that should unnerve players if I make a sequel/remake.

As for the person saying WASD and Arrow Keys is bad... I'm not sure what the alternative is when you want movement and 4 way shooting. It's the same control scheme as any twin-stick shooter (also the Binding of Isaac).


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