Review based on PC version.
|Publisher: tinyBuild Games
Release Date: June 30th, 2014
Spoiler Alert tells the tale of a red chilli pepper who on a quest to reach a princess, whisks her away, and then is forced to go through the events in reverse. Every move must be done moderately close to the original, or else he will wind up a in a time paradox and have to redo that section until he gets it right. The tale is divided into three worlds that clock in at ninety stages total (with a bonus world that offers ten more, a speed run of the entire game, as well as a level editor to design your own stages).
Like many casual games, this is based on a one to three star rating system. Each of the ninety levels and ten bonus base this on your skill, which is basically how often you trigger a time paradox. This leaves you grabbing and avoiding coins originally missed, collecting the ones that were picked up, and jumping on defeated enemies to bring them back to life. The placement of a lot of these, other than the mushrooms you bounce off of and certain platforms, are incredibly random and often illogical, making you feel like you’re backtracking a new gamer’s save and not one from a competent player.
While Spoiler Alert sounds like a fun idea with plenty of potential in theory, it actually ends up a wasted opportunity overall. Nearly all the stages are two to three seconds long, maybe five to six maximum, and most have the same general outline as well. An obstacle is introduced and plays a role in a few levels until something new is brought in like a power-up you need to impale yourself on spikes to obtain once more. Your character also moves on its own, so all you’re really doing is timing your jumps, which gets tediously boring after five minutes of gameplay at the most.
The music doesn’t really help much either, being corny performances that are fun for about the same amount of time, if not less. The sound effects being in reverse is a nice touch, but the voice over when you create a time paradox (i.e. fail miserably) is annoying after the first few times you hear it. The graphics are nice for the most part, having an upbeat hand drawn touch that those who played Super Mario Bros. games could kind of appreciate. The characters themselves look like they stepped out of a children’s book, while the backgrounds look like something out of any Nintendo or Super Nintendo title of that franchise complete with smiling trees and three hidden treasure boxes you open by jumping up and hitting them with your head.
Even with the bonus modes and additional level editor, Spoiler Alert can become rather tedious after a brief while. It took me a little less than two hours of playing everything the game has to offer, obtaining three star ranks on all one hundred stages, doing a single speed run that clocked in at about thirty minutes, as well as unlocking all the achievements the Steam version comes with. Others who played this title claim to have done all this in about an hour, which does seem possible to accomplish with how easy the game actually is. While the concept of Spoiler Alert, a game played in reverse, has plenty of potential, it’s squandered for the sake of an incredibly short and basic title. While this “standard edition” isn’t bad, really only being worth a shot if you get this on sale at the cost of mere pocket change or or even in a Steam bundle somewhere, its still not that memorable, or even entirely enjoyable experience.