[The following is a reader-submitted review written by Juxta.] "Sort of." When used properly, these are two of the most doubt-inducing words in the English language. "That was a good game... sort of." "You look great today... sort of." "I love you... sort of." These are also the two words I think of when it comes to Liferaft: Zero from Mikengreg, just another one of those precision platforming games... sort of.
You begin as a very small, pixelated girl with a lot of sisters... a lot of sisters, maybe even twins, or perhaps worse... Carrying on in the Portal plotline tradition, you begin in a laboratory with a disembodied voice calling out to you and watching your every move as you proceed through various challenges. This voice actually seems to be helpful, though, in a "Oh, look at my precious experiment-girl!" sort of way. The goal of each level is simply to reach and ring the bell at the end of each level. Easy, right?
Liferaft: Zero is not quite as high a degree of difficulty as, say, Wrath of Anubis, or You Have to Burn the Rope. Still, it definitely prides itself on near pixel-perfect jumps and "ambidextrous keyboard dexterity". Move with the [arrow] keys and jump with your choice of [A], [S], or [X]. Sorry, no [spacebar]. The learning curve is sloped quite nicely as well, almost teasing you, saying, "See, it's not that bad... sort of." Like most other flash-based platformers, you have unlimited lives... sort of. Each time you die, one of your "sisters" takes over at the beginning of the level, so it's a good thing you have a lot of them. Each new "little sister" begins the level sporting a different color, because, how else would you be able to tell them apart?
Another important point is that, as with most platformers, you have unusual jumping abilities. You can hang onto and jump off walls, but you have no double-jump. "What?! No double-jump?!" you say? Not to worry, you do get a grappling hook... sort of. It's more like several strategically placed grappling boxes; they look like red dots on the wall. When you're close enough in midair, press [A]/[S]/[X], and a rope will shoot toward you. You, being you, will grab onto said rope and skillfully swing yourself over, up, down, wherever you need to be.
Liferaft: Zero is one of those frustrating games that you keep going back to. It ramps up the difficulty slowly enough to draw you in and keep you playing. It also has a good replay factor with the bonus "candy" that you can, or can't in my case, go for if you wish. It was enough of a challenge that it kept me interested, but not so difficult that I threw my keyboard through the drywall... again... sort of.