Awesome Pea review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, Switch, PC, Xbox One
Publisher: Sometimes You
Developer: PigeonDev
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

It?s hard for me to play Awesome Pea and not immediately compare it to Super Life of Pixel. Maybe it shows a lack of imagination on my part when it comes to talking about two retro-infused platformers, but it feels to me like they?re pretty much the same game.

Actually, that?s unfair. It really feels to me like Awesome Pea is the continuation of one part of Super Life of Pixel, stretched out to an entire game. Or, perhaps more accurately, it really feels to me like Awesome Pea is a direct descendent of every green-tinged platformer that graced the original Game Boy — a genre that Super Life of Pixel mined as part of its comprehensive stroll through the history of video games. Add on the fact that, like Super Life of Pixel, Awesome Pea stars a miniature protagonist (the titular pea, rather than an eponymous pixel) and it?s super-hard, and you can see why I?m so ready to declare one a clone of the other and call it a day.

To be fair, Awesome Pea does some things a little differently. For starters, it?s much more challenging than Super Life of Pixel — which is saying a lot, considering that SLoP frequently called on players to make blind leaps of faith. Here the game comes at you hard almost from the very first level, throwing jumps that leave you with no margin for error almost from the get-go.

On top of that, it doesn?t give you the tools you need to succeed. It?s customary for tough-as-nails platformers to even things out by also giving you precise controls. Not Awesome Pea, though. Instead, you get floaty jumps that call to mind Little Big Planet, and you?ll just have to make peace with dying a whole bunch of times.

I?d like to say that there?s some redeeming quality to balance that out, but there?s really not. I mean, on some level, it?s kind of neat to see how well the game mimics the Game Boy platformers to which I devoted countless hours during my youth, but that?s hardly reason to recommend the game. There other games out there that inhabit the exact same space (did I mention Super Life of Pixel enough?), and they do it much better than what you?ll find in Awesome Pea.

Sometimes You provided us with an Awesome Pea PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C-