With my cat Zuzu purring on my lap, I’m sitting down to review Pixel.lu’s retro-style action-platformer: Sigi: A Fart for Melusina (Steam, $2.99). Do you have fond memories of Ghosts & Goblins but lack the time to play such a challenging game today? Have you been looking for a retro-style game that’s bright and visually appealing, like the games we had during the 8- bit and the 16-bit eras tended to be? Are you looking for a game that’s fun, simple, and relaxing? Do you need a game that you can simply pick up and play without worrying about lengthy tutorials? Then Sigi just might be the game for you! This isn’t going to be a long review, but I have to say that Sigi is a gas to play.
Description. Sigi: A Fart for Melusina is a retro-style action-platformer similar to the classic Ghosts & Goblins. You play as Sigi, the sloppy, weenie-eating, beer-guzzling, flatulent, portly knight who seeks to win the heart of his “true love”, the mermaid Melusina who swims away from him after he farts in response to her song. You chase her through twenty short, fast-paced levels where you leap across platforms (some of which move and/or fall), fight various evil monsters (bats, pooping birds, skeletons, zombies, snakes, spiders, etc.), leap over boulders, and find hidden treasures as you chase after Melusina who, as you will learn later, has been abducted by the evil Ivan Stinkup. Ivan, by the way, looks a lot like a certain hulking 1980’s pro-wrestler, so watch out for his elbow drop, it will kill you in one hit!
Graphics & Gameplay. Sigi is presented in a retro visual style. That said, I’ve often found “retro-style” games to be visually unappealing with images that look bland and boring, as opposed to the bright, clear graphics featured in many of the games I played as a child. Sigi bucks this trend and presents crisp, clear visuals that show the influence of the retro-style as interpreted by contemporary game artistry. The graphics are clear. The colors are bright. Characters pop from the background. It’s easy to tell exactly what things are without having to have in-game text say “This is a beer bottle” or “This is a bat”. The visuals are akin to some of the best 16-bit games in terms of clarity.
The sound design is simple but effective. The music is catchy, but it’s not overly memorable. That said, the sounds that play when Sigi hits an enemy, discovers a secret area, farts, or gains an extra life are clear and distinct. I’ll be honest, the sound that plays when Sigi’s weapons hit an enemy kind of get me excited as I play.
The gameplay is simple and straightforward, which is a hallmark of a good platformer. You don’t need a lot of exposition teaching you how t play the game. There are various weapons that Sigi can acquire, and like its spiritual ancestor Ghosts & Goblins, you should get the knife. Extra lives are fairly plentiful in this game, which, isn’t overly necessary, as the game isn’t terribly difficult. This is a game that can be beaten in under half an hour.
There are only four boss fights, and they provide the real challenge of the game. Each boss is radically different – from a blind goblin to a goblin in a steam engine to a giant box of Chips (French Fries for those of us in the USA) named Kolles Terrol (get it!), and Ivan Stinkup. And compared to the levels preceding them, the boss fights ramp up the challenge level noticeably – until you learn the proper tactic. At that point, the fights become boring and repetitive.
My other real complaint is the farting. Sigi farts a lot. If he eats a weenie, he farts. If he drinks a beer, he farts. I like fart jokes, but I am disappointed that the developers didn’t make use of the fart as an in-game mechanic, something like a dash or a double jump. I think they whiffed on that opportunity to transform a lazy joke in the title something integral to the game itself.
Final Thoughts. Overall, I love this game. I’ve been playing it daily since I discovered it two weeks ago. I played the entire game on Twitch, allowing everyone to see me fail numerous times! The game is fun. It’s a more casual version of Ghosts & Goblins, which is a good thing to say – it reminds me of a classic game I loved as a kid while presenting it in an updated format that makes it accessible to an adult who doesn’t have endless hours to spend playing games but still wants that sense of accomplishment (Currently, my top speed run is #3 in the world!). It’s not a deep, philosophical story by any stretch of the imagination. The story is simple and stupid. But it’s stupidly fun!
I’ll close by saying that Sigi: A Fart for Melusina reminds me of why I started to love video games as a child – they’re a gas to play.
Rating. 3.3 out of 4 (farting) bats.
Thoughts on Sigi? Suggestions of other Steam games you’d like to see me play and review?