There is not much you can buy these days for $2. A sandwich or a drink perhaps, but these fleeting physical pleasures pale in comparison to the hours of experience and memories you will get from purchasing Eron.
It's no secret that I love abusive, rage-inducing platformers. I love platformers that beat you senseless for hours as you try to drag your tired body across the room, only to find that in the next room there is an even more threatening badass who is going to beat you worse. Eron made me understand sadomasochism better when no matter how much it tortured me, I found myself repeating that same mantra "Just one more level."
Eron reminded me a lot of Super Meat Boy and not just because you need a 360 controller in order to tame this beast. The concept is overwhelmingly simple. It's your typical run and jump platformer with a few twists. The first is that you need to change between two opposing realms to make different objects and platforms tangible. Secondly, you have to dispose of all large bombs on each level in order to progress, and finally the last world introduces an upwards air current which requires complete precision in order to master. Pitfalls and bombs are your only enemies, but trust me, Eron doesn't need anything to ramp up the difficulty.
I would say the game could do with being a little more forgiving. Many early levels require boost jumps which can be difficult to master. Levels are planned out so precisely sometimes that only perfection will see you complete them, though this isn't necessarily a bad thing. My biggest quibble with the gameplay is that if you turn in midair you promptly drop out of the sky. When you have been trained by almost every platformer that moving midair is a possibility it's very jarring when you cannot. The realm shifting mechanism sometimes sticks with overuse which in a game requiring this much precision is certainly anger inducing.
What personally elevated this game for me out of the thousands of platformers currently out there on Steam was the music and art style. The music is deadly addictive and will stay in your head. Not only this but it really moves and develops with the stage. It's a pleasure to look and listen to no matter how many times you die.
You will die a lot, but each time with a smile and a sense of progression. Checkpoints are placed at about the right distance meaning that you will never get so far through a level before getting sent back that you want to shut the game off. This sort of pacing is vital in a game of this much strategy. Eron is also an extremely good length for a $2 game. At my count Eron's 16 levels would create a 30 minute playthrough if completed fluently. The trial and error nature of platformers like this probably sees playtime closer to 5 hours which is not to be sniffed at.
What disappointed me is that Eron is a game with so much potential. Had the developer thrown in a few Shovel Knight -esque cut scenes to flesh out the story and character, it could have been something very special. Fans of difficult platformers will still definitely enjoy this delightful title, whereas those afraid of a challenge would do better leaving this bad boy well alone.
Are you a fan of hard platformers?