Anna Anthropy continues her degradation into commercial work --which began with the tightly-crafted squealer When Pigs Fly -- and I couldn't be happier. With her latest release she moves away from the masochism she's infamous for and instead weaves a tale of a lone space traveler. It's, dare I say it, actually pretty charming. While the lack of bondage is suprising her knack for marvelous game design (which is apparent in her earlier games and level design lessons) is still intact. Selling out hasn't been this well-crafted or fun.
Anthropy has a fine sense for graphical composition; her pixel art has an elegantly clean style to it. The music by Amon26 (of Au Sable and All Our Friends are Dead fame) is also top notch -- I'm actually listening to it as I type. The game's minimalist story echoes Knytt by establishing that the protagonist has lost roughly two dozen gems and must regain them through exploration. Your sole verbs are walking and a low-gravity leap, which ends in a slight bounce if you fall long enough. The game's main mechanic is the dual polarity of red and green platforms; if you touch a red switch, for example, red blocks disappear and green blocks materialize. Like Terry accomplished with V^6, Anna wrung out every conceivable application of this mechanic and the game's three pitfalls of robot, laser, and electric pit. The level design is absolutely stellar. The difficulty is also fairly low-key, the platforming isn't by any means sadistic and save spots are frequent. Playing through Redder and exploring its landscape shows that you can create a mainstream-oriented experience without dumbing it down or diluting it.
Not much else needs to be said, except this: thank you ma'am, may I have another?