May 13, 2013 7:05 PM | Paul Hack
Stockholm is an elegant platformer that breathes new life into the Super Meat Boy-like subgenre. The art design is striking and every level resembles a pixelated minimalist painting. White spaces are used in an interesting way: as platforms instead of as empty space, like the viewer's eye would generally expect. This game would have made an excellent entry in the minimalism-themed Ludum Dare 26 competition, but it's had a lot more than 48 hours of work put into it.
In his email to us, developer Evan Zenker called his game a "labor of love", and it shows in the intricate and creative level design. Each of the 50+ levels is a single screen made up of platforms and deathtraps in various careful arrangements and strewn with spinning gold cubes. Using the arrow keys to run and jump, you must navigate your black cube to collect all the gold ones and avoid the red ones.
The controls feel really good in this game. Wall jumping is clumsy in too many games that use it, and I'm not particularly good at it even in the best circumstances, but in Stockholm I was ascending vertical surfaces with ease. Perhaps this is because wall jumping here doesn't rely on ping-ponging back and forth between two parallel surfaces. In any case, speed and ease of movement are key, because shortly after you begin a level, ghostly red clones of yourself will begin to appear and retrace your steps. If you should collide with any of these mindless hunters, you'll have to restart the level from scratch.
One of the most impressive things about Stockholm is that it's the debut release from a designer who's still in high-school. I can't wait to see what other surprises Mr. Zenker has to offer us in the coming years!
Stockholm is playable in your browser on Zenker's own gaming portal, Epic Lemming.