Cheap and Dirty Gamer: Qoosh is a Smart 2D Portal Homage
When I first started playing Qoosh, the similarities to the Portal series were quite apparent, to an almost obnoxious level. You’re a test subject with the power to teleport yourself from place to place and must use this power to avoid obstacles while a snarky, omnipresent voice goads you deeper into a lab of some kind. Had I been the type to take light infringement of source material to heart, I would have missed out on a smart little puzzle platformer with well designed levels and extremely tight controls.
Playing as the little green character (who I assumed is named Qoosh although I didn’t really take the time to confirm story beats), you navigate levels full of spikes, acid and other dangerous obstacles while attempting to make it to the stage’s exit. You do this by controlling your character with the arrow keys or AWSD and aiming your teleport ability with the mouse. There’s a limit to the range of your teleportation ability, which means you’ll have to be smart when attempting to move to higher ground or through walls. One unique aspect of the game is that by holding down the mouse button you slow time, which is a skill that becomes very important in later levels where timing is key.
As you progress, things become a bit complicted as you’re tasked with activating complex mechanisms and your teleport ability can be stopped altogether by purple beams of light. That being said, I didn’t really see any sort of difficulty spike as the challenge curved upward quite gently between levels. This coupled with a fair checkpoint system makes Qoosh the type of game that can push the limits of your problem solving skills without pushing the limits of your sanity.
Perhaps Qoosh does tread a bit too close to Portal at times, but unless you’re a hipster you’ll be able to see it as a well made homage as opposed to a rip-off.
Cheap and Dirty Gamer – Being cheap used to be an insult, but with the economy in the dumps it’s now a survival skill. Being dirty also used to be an insult, but that changed after Christina Aguilera’s song came out. Not all gamers have the funds to play full priced games, but that doesn’t mean that gaming quality has to suffer. There are good free and cheap games everywhere, games specifically made for the sexy survivors among us.