Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Skullface is a whole lot like Super Meat Boy, a dizzying game that requires you to jump at just the right time, at just the right angle, lest you be turned into a bloody mess by whirling saw blades. In that game, you’re a fleshless cube of meat; in this one, you are a little man with a skull face. The differences pretty much end there. The levels are frantic and unforgiving, with walls that are covered with spikes except for a little sliver from which you must bounce. Perfection is still the elusive goal.
But while Super Meat Boy also stripped down the run-and-jump formula for parts, Skullface takes those parts and fleshes out its own distinct contraption. Perfect runs sometimes result from patience, like one level where the floor falls, and Skullface runs from side-to-side avoiding the labyrinth of dangerous objects scrolling from the bottom. Sometimes those whirling blades stop all together. It can get eerily quiet in Skullface, like there’s a malevolent deity toying with you before throwing yet another mace to the face.