Sawbuck Gamer

Inspiration Dave

Pounding The Davement

The hero of Inspiration Dave travels back in time to be more like his favorite band.

By Steve Heisler • May 31, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

How far would you go to demystify your favorite band? Dave is such a big fan of “Davement” that he travels back in time and tries to become an even better musician than the group itself. Now that’s fandom!

Inspiration Dave takes place in the past, and follows Dave as he collects musical notes, hoping inspiration will strike him once he’s found enough. Each level has about 20 notes and the usual complement of platforms and death spikes. The visuals, fittingly, are reminiscent of old Atari titles, blocky and rough. At times, they contain a lot of what looks like Microsoft Paint artwork. And Dave occasionally has to pop anti-anxiety medication, or else the entire world goes dark.

A man must overcome his own anxiety to write a song greater than Pavement? Sure, Dave goes to the past, but Inspiration Dave is driven by this very modern construct. Unfortunately, that’s about as far into 2012 as the game gets. It plays like older titles: The controls are patchy, which means an ill-timed jump can screw up an entire level’s worth of play. But Inspiration Dave allows its levels to grow vertically as well as horizontally, opening the game up substantially and allowing a few notes to remain hidden, eluding Dave so that Pavement—I mean, “Davement”—can remain the best.

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126 Responses to “Pounding The Davement”

  1. Merve says:

    I played this for about thirty seconds and then gave up. The controls really are that patchy.

  2. HobbesMkii says:

    There’s sort of a sad misfortune to running a Sawbuck Gamer about a flash game on the same day that the Humble Indie Bundle V started on sale.

    It’s Amnesia: Dark Descent, Psychonauts, LIMBO, Superbrothers, plus Bastion if you kick in more than the average ($7.07, as of this post). 

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       That is an outstanding bundle!

      • Aaron Riccio says:

        It is indeed. And in all honesty, most of the people who already wanted to play LIMBO, Pyschonauts, Amnesia, or Bastion have already done so, so now they’re just getting new fans for $1-8 a pop (or more, if you support charity). I wonder if the designers can write any of these sales off to charity? 

        In any case, I’m certainly going to chip in $2, just to get Superbrothers (which I was waiting for a sale on); already have the others. Might wait a little, though, just to see if they throw in anything else that might tempt me to BTA. 

        And while I know it’s more expensive, I wouldn’t overlook this bundle:

        • Girard says:

          Not having a PS3, XBox, or iThing and not really using Steam, I’d never played Limbo, SuperBros, or Bastion before. So I’m really pumped about this bundle for those alone!

          I’m curious about Amnesia, though I didn’t like their game from the first bundle (Penumbra?) very much, so this is a nice bonus.

          I may cave and buy a couple of things on Steam for the “Because We May” sale – Stacking and Binding of Isaac are both things I’ve been meaning to play for a while now.

        • caspiancomic says:

           See, I’m the perfect guy for this bundle because I’ve been salivating over literally every title in this pack without having played any of them. When I saw this bundle I almost fell out of my chair, it was so perfectly tailored to my needs. Plus, soundtracks! Also, charity! As if that wasn’t enough, set your own price! Need more? This time Bastion runs on Mac! My jaw is still on the floor!

    • zerocrates says:

      Plus, crucially, the soundtracks for all those games. At least Bastion and Superbrothers are standouts in that department.

    • Asinus says:

      Does this version of bastion support game controllers other than the damn 360 controller? I reallywant to play it but got my money back from steam because “Game pad support” in the features just meant “xbox 360 controller.”

      I ask because it seemed like the sort of game that would be great to play on the TV and I have a wirelss logitech ps2 controller that is great for that (25 feet of HDMI cable get the computer to the HT).

      • HobbesMkii says:

         It doesn’t look like it does natively. You could try running a 360 emulator, I suppose.