I’m not a fan of super hard platformers. They’re hard for one. Plus all the twitchy controls start to frustrate me so I tend not to play them. Games that claim to be possessed by evil spirits though? They tend to get my attention.
I like games that subvert your expectations – I may have mentioned that a few times before. There’s just something about a game that claims to be something and then slowly messes with those expectations that intrigues me. I like to find out how much the developer has thought of, what surprises might crop up, and if there’s a deeper mystery to uncover. Having said that, it does help if it’s actually a good game.
Recently I found Dere Evil.Exe for free on the iPhone App Store which happens to be the sequel to a game I watched a Let’s Play of on YouTube recently called Dere.Exe. Both games are very similar, so I’ll stick to talking about the newest version, although some knowledge of the previous game does help when it comes to the play (there is enough information to give you a decent idea in game though). There won’t be spoilers here, so read with that knowledge safely within your brain!
We begin with the dev introducing use to A.I.D.E, an AI that will be our companion in this platformer. She tells us the controls, warns us not to collect coins, and generally hints at how we should progress. The first stage is fairly tricky in places but isn’t too bad. As the game progresses, things start to get a little bit weird, with other characters talking to you and messing with the game. Without spoiling it’s hard to explain what happens, but suffice to say it gets pretty odd as hints of malevolent spirits taking control of the game begin to pop up, and the developer competes with them to ensure you can continue on your journey. It gets incredibly difficult towards the end, verging on “rage game” territory.
The controls are…fiddly. This is a mobile game with on screen controls. with left and right on the left side, jump on the right. For the most part this is fine, but on occasion I did find myself pressing the wrong direction, and on several occasions the player character was running right where my thumb was, obscuring them from view. This was obviously quite frustrating and lead to more than a couple of deaths. It was only occasionally, but it does seem like an odd oversight for the developer. For the most part though, the controls were sharp enough for most of the platforming challenges.
Visually, the platforming sections look pretty good, with some nice pixel art and cool looking backgrounds. Some of the characters you’ll see in cutscenes have that horror/anime vibe to them, but they do seem a little at odds with the game sections, especially when they turn up within them. The sound is very good, particularly the music, which becomes delightfully twisted during the later sections. It’s a good thing too being as you’ll be hearing a lot of it as you die so many times in each stage.
Now, Dere Evil.Exe is a free mobile game, which means monetisation is a concern. Thankfully it isn’t too egregious, being solely based around adverts. Every five-or-so deaths you’ll get an advert pop up before you can have another try. Obviously a lot of deaths means a lot of adverts, but it has to make money somehow. You can pay 99p to remove the adverts entirely, and that’s it! No annoying “energy bars”, or premium currencies, just adverts. In fact, the game uses adverts as a way of messing with you part way through, which is a delightful trick to play!
Dere Evil.Exe was developed and published by AppSir. I played the game on iPhone, and would recommend it as something a little different when it comes to platformers. I’ve never been a big fan of tough platformers, but if you give them an interesting enough hook, then I’ll happily bite. For the low, low cost of nothing, you could do a lot worse.