Sawbuck Gamer


Take It Easy

Recursion requires quick hands but a soft touch.

By Anthony John Agnello • June 5, 2012

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

Recursion requires patience, but that’s not to say it isn’t an immediate delight. From the start, everything feels right in The Village Blacksmith’s little platformer: Your little marooned spaceman moves quickly through the single-screen puzzle courses, with jumps that feel tight but not too quick, to the easy sounds of light trance jams.

The name of the game is important, though. These levels are just one screen, and the goal of each is to guide your spaceman to the flagpole. But moving across the edge of the screen takes you right back to the other side—jump in a pit, and you fall right out of the sky. The first few levels feel like just a hop and skip over to the flagpole. Soon, however, the spaceman encounters cunning arrangements of spikes, zombies, nasty bees, and crumbling floors, forcing you to strategize.

Getting through the levels requires a healthy balance of problem-solving and smooth movement, and the levels are varied enough to keep things interesting. Come Level 16, you can literally break a level, trapping yourself so you can’t proceed—break too many of the bricks above you, and you can’t climb out—forcing you to restart a level from scratch. Slow and steady gets the spaceman home, though, and that’s not a bad thing.

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173 Responses to “Take It Easy”

  1. Xtracurlyfries says:

    Fun fact: When you Google ‘recursion,’ it says “Did you mean: recursion” 

  2. Aaron Riccio says:

    Just beat it, and I have to say, this right here is what I go for: “a healthy balance of problem-solving and smooth movement.” Make me figure out what I have to do; then make me master how to do it. Keep gradually increasing the challenge with timing-related (or color-coordinated) platforming and you could keep me going for another hundred levels. Level 30 is too early for a kill screen/happy ending.

  3. Brainstrain91 says:

    Oh yes, this is great fun. This is why I love sawbuck gamer. Never would have found this on my own.

  4. Jeb Adams says:

    Nice one. Took me about 20 minutes. I liked the inverted jump (down arrow) after the gravity switch. 

  5. Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you liked the game. :)

  6. djur says:

    The sounds and the balloons remind me of Commander Keen. What a fun little game.