Exception – Review
Follow Genre: 2D action platformer
Developer: Traxmaster Software
Publisher: Traxmaster Software
Platform: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: Switch

Exception – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Stunning Graphics, Smooth Gameplay
Bad: Lacklustre Story
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

In a world where there are plenty of side scrolling platformers, it takes a truly exceptional one to stand out. Exception makes a valiant effort thanks to the care that developer Traxmaster Software put into this game. They attempted to bring us a 2D platformer but added a literal twist. Mix that with super stylish gameplay and you might have yourself a winner.

Story

Exception starts you off with a few slides of what seem to be robots praising their god, who is named Alice34. Turns out that Alice34 is a sweet, little old lady, who is wondering if she received any emails from her grandchildren yet. While browsing the web, she gets a pop-up that says she can have a free software package. Nothing wrong with that right? She hesitates a bit but then realizes she loves free things and ignores all the messages she had from her antivirus and installs this software. This immediately causes damage to the software she already had on her computer. That’s where you step in, all the robots you saw in the beginning are actually threads in Alice34’s laptop. You play the role of a single thread that somehow got transported due to the virus that attacked and now has to figure out where he is and how he can save grannies laptop.

The story is presented to you in multiple slides that look a lot like comics do. You progress these slides by just pressing continue, the text bubbles appear as they come straight out of a comic book. The story progresses every few missions and you always have the chance to watch them again in the main menu.

The story is really fun, but there was a lot of potential for something even better. There’s simply not enough story for you to stay intrigued, and what you do get is funny but pretty lacklustre after a while.

Graphics

Graphically Exception truly looks exceptionally good. Everything looks super crisp and detailed, plus there’s a nice little touch that when you take damage, the image becomes more and more pixelated. The slides the story is presented with are all still images, with barely any movement. Once all the text is on the screen it makes the picture look like something out of a comic book.

When a level loads, you see all the parts that make up the level come flying in, creating the level in front of your eyes.

Sound

While you make your way through the levels you hear your footsteps constantly, as well as the “whooshing” of your sword as you cleave through the enemies that stand in your way. The music is good but gets repetitive quite fast. It’s pretty synth-wave sounding but it’s constantly the same songs as you play, with some drops here and there to switch it up. If there would have been more music this would have been amazing as the audio quality is great. It just leaves you wanting even more.

Gameplay

Exception is very much a 2D action platformer at its core, but there is a twist. When you progress through levels you jump into these orbs that will change the entire level and turn gravity upside-down. You are tasked with finding the golden orbs, that will serve as the finish line for that level.

There is a big emphasis on speedrunning these levels as the faster you complete these, the more points you get. Completing levels automatically grants you points, but along with speed, there are other things that can grant you points: being a pacifist, killing every enemy, doing a lot of wall jumps, using skills, not getting hit.

There’s an experience bar that fills upon completing a level and once this is filled out you will receive a new skill. These skills can be upgraded with the circuits you will find throughout the levels as well to either improve power or speed.

All the levels are rather short however and this means you will blast through most of them pretty quick. While some levels can be seen as puzzles, usually you’ll figure these out pretty fast and the completion time for most levels is about thirty seconds. Some longer levels would have been a great addition to break the fast-paced short levels you constantly complete.

The platforming feels okay, but the jumping will mess you up sometimes, especially when you jump going through an orb and your character then gets launched in the direction you jumped. The problem with this is that some orbs are set in such a way that jumping is the only way you can reach them, so you have no choice but to have your character launched in a direction.

Conclusion

Exception is a good game with the potential to be a great game. The visuals are stunning, especially with the bonus that upon receiving damage the game gets more and more pixelated. The soundtrack is okay, nothing bad, but also nothing you will remember for the rest of your life. The story is funny but feels pretty lackluster and the gameplay, while being very smooth, can sometimes mess you up with its constant need for jumping. If you are looking for a decent 2D action platformer, this one can certainly scratch that itch.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Exception - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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