December 13, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins

Lasting First Impressions of Party of Sin

Developed by Crankshaft Games

Party of Sin boxart» Party of Sin, from independent developer, and fellow Canadians, Crankshaft Games, joins a plethora of Indie games that have been making a big splash in the last couple years.  It seems that Indie developers are becoming more and more creative while they strive to compete with large AAA titles as evidenced by Thatgamecompany’s Journey being nominated at the Grammy Awards in the category of “Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media”. With Party of Sin, Crankshaft Games was motivated by a great idea and is yet another developer attempting to stand out in respect to Indie Games.

Party of Sin is an action side-scroller with a solid cartoon design and fantastic characters that fit well within the game’s world but also contrast each other enough to stand out individually. The game’s graphics are fairly high end for an indie title but the introductory still-image slide show would have benefited from more attention to detail. The game resembles the design choices of titles such as Diablo III, with its slightly cell-shaded features. Overall, it is a great choice of colours and character design for this genre of game.

Party of Sin screen 1

The story in Party of Sin begins with the angels waging war against the demons and locking up the Seven Deadly Sins in a prison deep in Hell.  Players begin their adventure as Wrath, the first of the seven sins, and quickly make their way through several dungeons, all the while learning new skills in order to progress through the many doors blocking the path. As players meander along through the dungeons, enemies are encountered that seem to be well balanced enough that the gameplay does not become frustrating with constant death in a game that requires puzzle solving skills.

Continuing through the story, players will begin to encounter new Sins, each with their own unique skills, such as Greed who uses grapple hooks that let him reach higher places and unlock specific doors. I enjoyed using the combination of skills from each character to solve each of the puzzles. For example, one particular puzzle required  swallowing a block with Gluttony in order to place it on a button and then unlocking the door by using Greed’s grapple hook.

Party of Sin screen 3

As I progressed through the game, the puzzles became more challenging as more Sins were unlocked. My run through the levels were not as quick as they were at the beginning and I really delved deep into the game when I combined character skills to allow me to cross into new rooms. After two levels of gameplay, I managed to receive all the characters and the puzzles reflected this and became much more challenging. I am amazed at how easy it was to switch between Sins, use their skills, and then switch to another Sin. I managed to learn all the characters fairly quickly due to the interactive tutorial that was embedded within the game.

Each character has various skills that can be upgraded, which will be essential to defeat more difficult enemies later on. This great mechanic made Party of Sin feel more like an RPG and made the game worthy of exploring the levels more deeply to find the hidden green apples used to purchase character upgrades.

Party of Sin is a fairly simplistic side-scroller, but the inclusion of multiple characters adds some wonderful complexity to the design and reminds me of a great deal of the Trine series which is another game I really enjoyed.

Crankshaft Games, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Diana is an Apple Administrator and a Post Sound Assistant at a major Canadian television company whose love of gaming first began with such classics as Doom, Duke Nukem and the King's Quest Series. A previous job at EB Games has caused her collection of both console and PC games to grow to epic proportions. Her preferred genre is Sci-fi and her favourite titles are Mass Effect, Deus Ex and Dead Space. In any video game, however, what really matters to Diana, is a good story. Diana can be found on Xbox Live and on PSN as Limesplash.



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