Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

A pretty grandmother turns on her laptop, opens a browser and sees ads with free gifts. Not knowing how dangerous such advertising can be, she clicks on all the buttons in a row and unwittingly downloads several viruses that infect the operating system. There is no one to help her, except for one brave process, which takes the initiative in its digital hands and decides to clean the laptop of filth. For him, we have to play in the dynamic and vibrant platformer Exception.

No antivirus needed

The plot is so absurd that even the developers do not particularly want you to delve into what is happening. Before starting the walkthrough, you are asked if you want to watch an introductory video or immediately start playing. The same happens with the rest of the videos – after the completion of the next chapter, the same question is asked, and the “Skip” button is the first one so that you can quickly click on X and go to the next challenge.

Well, okay, after all, Exception was not created for the sake of the plot. Its gameplay is reminiscent of Strider, designed in the style of the film “Throne”, it is a fast platformer with a side view, where the protagonist armed with a sword runs, jumps, cuts opponents and jumps over dangerous obstacles. The main task is to get to the yellow cube, and you can do this either by running past everyone, or by destroying each enemy and looking for collectibles.

A distinctive feature of Exception is that the location periodically transforms when you reach certain objects. At some point, the floor becomes the ceiling, and previously unreachable platforms rotate 90 degrees along with everything else, and it becomes possible to jump on them. All this is accompanied by beautiful effects, the environment is changing before your eyes, and it will not be possible to predict how the level will look after contact with these objects. Later, when you play it again, you understand what to expect, but during the first attempt it remains a surprise.

Exception game review

Among the opponents, there is no one who would cause problems and interfere greatly.

At the same time, it’s hard to say that this great idea was brought to life in the best possible way. Many levels (even those that come across in the later stages) are too short and can be completed in less than a minute – during this time you see the transformation of the map once, maximum two. The authors say that they did not set themselves the task of making the game difficult, so the fact that after death you start the level again is not very annoying – after all, a considerable part of the stages are completed quickly. However, if the locations were a little larger and turned into something else during the passage, Exception would only benefit from this.

But when this feature is used to its fullest, you get great pleasure from the platformer. You get into a closed space, kill a couple of viruses, touch an object hanging in the air, the camera zooms out, and the walls and ceilings quickly move, forming a completely different figure. Before you ran on the floor – now you have to climb up the ceiling. And the character here can climb by jumping on the same wall, which is very convenient and saves in many situations. What once seemed like an insurmountable obstacle is now easy to jump over. And all this – to the sounds of an excellent synthwave, which sounds continuously and does not restart at the beginning of the next level.

For each individual stage, an assessment is made, which, apparently, depends solely on the speed of passage. They also give out all sorts of bonus medals (for eliminating all opponents, quickly killing several enemies, using some tricks), but their meaning and value are not explained in any way. The maximum score is four stars, and in the vast majority of cases, after the first attempt, you will receive only two or even one. This prompts you to immediately click on the “Again” button and look for ways to complete the passage faster – either you will find a wall along which you can climb immediately to the goal, or you will even find a destructible secret passage. Hunting for collectibles is also fun, especially if they are outside the “boxes” in which you complete the entire level.

Exception game review

Disappearing platforms, trampolines, spinning lasers – everything is in order with variety.

Software bugs

The only thing that can spoil the impression of Exception is the physics of the protagonist. He does not jump, but seems to fly, and at first the simplest sections may seem difficult due to the unpredictable behavior of the character. Remember the old open world games where the collectibles were on some tall turret or pipe and you tried to jump on it from the wall, but over and over again flew over the top? Exactly the same thing happens here, and even if you just try to jump up and touch an object hanging in the air, you will surely miss and lose precious seconds. You can get used to it, but in the later stages, when moving platforms-trampolines begin to appear, there will be more difficulties.

Other shortcomings include character leveling and boss fights. As you progress through the levels, you gain experience and unlock new skills one by one over time. However, all of them are so useless that it is even difficult to imagine in what situations they will come in handy. For example, you will learn how to hold the strike button and throw a sword, but this will not affect the speed of passage. Or make a dash down, for which you need to hold down the “Down” button, and jump, which is also unlikely to be used by anyone. The last level can be completed with the same set of abilities as the first one – it would be better if the characters were given skins or some funny filters.

These skills can be useful in battles with bosses, but it is likely that you will simply forget about these tricks and limit yourself to jumping and regular attacks. Exception has a couple of great episodes with big opponents, but in all other cases you have to fight with not the most original opponents who use the same tricks and fall apart after a few pokes. This does not spoil the impression, but the battles are clearly lacking inventive mechanics.

Not the most dangerous obstacles can quickly become a problem.

***

Exception, despite its name, is not an exceptional platformer, but there are elements in the game thanks to which you go through levels one after another and do not notice how quickly time flies. There are more than a hundred stages here – some turned out to be not very high quality, some please with the way the environment is transformed in them. It’s not worth running headlong into a digital store for this game, but when you want something like Strider, some bright and fast platformer where you don’t have to be distracted by the plot, buying Exception at a discount will not be the worst decision.

Pros: stylish picture; groovy soundtrack; an interesting idea with the transformation of levels; a large number of stages; a constant desire to restart the level for the sake of a high score.

Cons: the character does not jump, but seems to fly, because of which the simplest actions can cause problems; some levels are so short that interesting transformations simply do not have time to appear in them; useless character upgrades.

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