I cannot count the times I have seen or heard someone say that real gamers do not play casual games. Yet, here I am, playing POOSH XL, a casual game. Yes, I am as surprised as you and everyone else who did not expect to hear me call myself a real gamer during their lifetime. But here I am, calling myself a real gamer, with no proof to back that statement up.
That is not entirely true. I actually have screenshots from seven out of twelve available levels that show I have made some kind progress. I even have the in-game rankings and pucks to prove it. The problem is that said screenshots do not show what level each highscore goes to. So there is no point in me adding to our or your bandwidth with, in this context, meaningless images.
Players and levels
Now, what I call pucks are called players in the game. And with each level you complete in challenge mode, you get a new player you can use in survival mode. My impression is that each player has their positives and negatives. But I cannot say for sure as nothing is said about it on the player selection screen. So for all I know it could be purely cosmetic as well.
While on the subject of guessing. This game is very much built on the idea that you have to learn the levels to be able to beat them. And from the perspective of a score chaser who finds joy in optimizing his routes, I have no issues with this way of doing things. Still, I think a minimap that highlights upcoming obstacles would be a nice accessibility feature for others who might find this more of a nuisance.
One button and a pendulum
I might need some accessibility features myself. But not for the reasons you would think. See, there is an achievement called, terrible start. The only way to get this achievement is if you can manage to lose the round in survival mode before hitting a distance of five. That is right, I am so bad at this game I cannot even get the worst of achievements … OK, I take that back. I just got said achievement!
The reason for why this achievement and navigating the game might be harder than it seems has to do with your pucks pendulum, which constantly swings from left to right on a 180 degree axis. This axis starts in a front-facing position. But as soon as you propel, your axis will adjust to your pendulums last known position. This makes it so your axis could end up in a 30, 60, or 120 degree position and take you one step closer to your demise.
Static and moving obstacles
Let me guess. You thought it would be as easy as just pressing a button and calling it a day, right? Yeah, about that. Take a look at the image above. You have seven enemy objects in that image alone. One static triangle, one vortex, two rotating sticks, one conveyor belt, and two walls. Can you guess which enemy object I dislike the most? The first one who gives me the correct answer in the comments below will get a POOSH XL Steam key.
Giveaways and enemy objects in all its glory, but there is one more thing you need to take into consideration, and that is your pendulums power-up bar. Yes, you read that right. Not only do you have to keep track of your pendulum and axis position, you also have to synchronize both with your power-up bar. If not, you might propel too far and most likely into an enemy object like I did.
Go out with a bang
I am sure this will change as soon as POOSH XL goes live on Steam. But right now I am ranked as number six on the survival ladder and 3022 points away from rank two. How many points I need to reach rank one remains to be seen. But my guess is I have to climb one more rank before I can see that information. Whatever the case may be, my goal is to reach top five before Adamvision Studios, the developer, opens the floodgates and puts me on my ass.
With all this said. Do I think you should join the other score chasers in their quest to surpass me in the ladders? It depends. POOSH XL is what I consider a no-frills game. So it all comes down to price and what you consider to be a good deal. But I can say this. I really like the pendulum and axis setup. And my ten hours in the game has been as flawless as can be. No stuttering and no crashes. The only issue I ran into was me, the mediocre gamer.
Disclaimer: POOSH XL was provided to me by Adamvision Studios for review.
- Genre: Arcade
- Developer: Adamvision Studios
- Publisher: Adamvision Studios
- Release Date: May 8, 2023
- Platform: Steam, Epic Games, Switch, App Store
- Price: $4.99 USD
- Reviewed on: PC
This sounds annoying just by the sounds of it so “two rotating sticks”
Now that we got that out of the way, this game sounds great and annoying and solid and frustrating all in one. My kinda game ahaha.