Soosiz makes me smile. And turns my coffee cold.
My first experience with the game was supposed to be brief; a quick play while sat in a coffee shop during an afternoon lull.
Half an hour later, I still hadn't put it down. I was chuckling away while playing through level after level, my stupidly expensive latte congealed at the top of the mug.
It was coffee worth wasting though. Soosiz manages to capture almost everything that was great about platformers from years gone by, as well as spinning the genre on its head – quite literally.
Soosiz is all about jumping between mini-worlds, each a mass floating in the sky for you to walk on. And you can walk entirely around too, as the 2D levels are able to spin a full 360-degrees.
This provides a sense of symmetry to the whole affair, the game displaying an obsession with circles that extends right down to its lead character – effectively a cute little lump with two smaller lumps for feet.
Said lump's goal is to chase away an ancient evil that has possessed seven different worlds. Each level is a case of navigating the rocks to pick up little mini-lumps that tag on behind you before you make your way to the exit.
Each stage comes decorated with fairly standard furniture: coins that make you invincible for a short period when you collect 100 of them, and spiky mushroom-like baddies easily dispatched by jumping on their heads.
Soosiz isn't ashamed of its roots – almost everything here reflects something that has gone before, from the Mario-style enemies down to the Flicky-style gameplay.
But there are three things Soosiz does well enough to excuse it of any copycat claims.
First, its take on gravity. As you plod along, the ground beneath your feet rotates as you walk - the world turning around you rather than you turning around it. Gravity is fixed to you as well, meaning what's directly below you is where you fall if you lose your grip.
At times this can be handy, letting you land on far off rocks you wouldn't make merely by jumping. In other situations it's puzzling - keeping abreast of where you are when the world is spinning around you is a rather tricky thing.
Second, the controls are superb. With simple left and right buttons in the bottom left of the screen and a jump button over on the right, it's a breeze to play. The buttons sit in just the right spot to give you full control without impeding your view too.
Finally, the presentation is of an equally high standard. Though its spherical love affair is far from original, Soosiz looks and feels like a game of quality. The level design reflects this style, each world adding new elements to play and generally keeping you on your toes.
Your initial three lives are easily lost by running into foes or falling off the edge into oblivion, but continuous restarts ensure you can soldier on without much penalty. It make the game hard to put down, each hazard gently overcome by replay after replay.
It's all especially sweet for those returning to the platforming fold.Soosiz is a veritable smorgasbord of how to make a great platformer, cherry-picking the best of all that's gone before to serve up a superb spin-dizzying adventure that's definitely worthy of turning your world upside down.