The players “speed runners”, more than a genre itself, what they enjoy is the video games in a different way. Thus, while most of us enjoy the adventure, its challenges and, in itself, what the developer has prepared for us, the goal of the “speed runner” is to
complete the game, stopwatch in hand, as soon as possible. We see these players finishing titles like Dark Souls III in less than half an hour, or the classic videos ending the Mario Bros in a few minutes, even with their eyes closed.
This way of enjoying a game or, better said, its scenario, became very popular with the first Quake, where its “strafe-jumps” allowed an extra speed, or the “rocket-jump” to reach places on the stage not designed precisely to be transited. With this classic a
subgenre was established in which players focused exclusively on speed, always based on precision, coordination, reflexes and, above all, practice. Repeat dozens, hundreds of times a journey, until each jump, every millimeter cut, and finish the route a few tenths before.
The title that we are analyzing today, SEUM, is a tribute to these players, as well as to this title that this 2016 celebrates 20 years. It consolidates the “speed run” mode as a genre in itself, being its only motivation and sense of being.
In this way, his approach can not be simpler. It presents a hundred levels full of spiked traps, lava pits, circular saws, fireballs … and our goal will be to cover them in the shortest possible time.
Of course, this mechanics must be supported on a good story and its plot basis. As good as those of ID Software where a Marine had to defeat the Devil; because if. In this case the plot is somewhat more elaborate, given that it is the Devil who, instead of going to the
“super”, decides to steal the beers from a heavy metalhead of the 90s, our protagonist Marty. And since Marty does not want to go to the “super”, his goal will be
to descend to the underworld to recover his “beers” directly from the claws of the Devil. Argument more than enough to raise the a hundred scenarios full of difficulties that Devil himself poses to us to prevent us from ruining his beer afternoon.
The levels closest to the surface can be avoided simply jumping, lighting a couple of fires and internalizing what is the goal of the game, which is none other than what the Devil himself shouts at us from time to time: “Faster, faster … FASTER ! “Because although the
levels are simple in their approach and objectives, the time we have to travel them is sometimes limited to five or six seconds. The game does not have enemies on the stage and neither will rusty skewers or lava; The real enemy of SEUM is the chronometer that occupies the top part of the screen.
That chronometer, which considers up to the thousandths of a second, is the leitmotiv of the game. Its main function is to determine if we have been fast enough to complete the level. Otherwise, you will have to retry. If we have fulfilled in the marked time, we will be able to aspire to cut it, getting the consideration of master of the level or teacher.
These achievements will be reflected in the level selection menu showing what levels we have more controlled and in which we have gone through the hair.
These achievements are at a particular level, because where we look, as we improve in the title, it is the general achievements. SEUM has a global
time table in which in each game we will classify our time, either in relation to the rest of the players on the planet, or in front of our friends. For better or for worse, this ranking will end up being the main incentive of the game. We see why.
Initially SEUM offers 100 levels, plus some extra if we find the beer can that is hidden in each of them. These levels, as expected, get complicated as we descend into hell and the Devil sees that we are going for “their” beers. In this way, the first fifty or sixty levels are easy to finish in the first two hours of the game. Remember that some levels end in five seconds.
From the sixties level, the scenarios get a little more complicated and there will be some that get stuck but, in short, it is not a title where the
complicated thing is to finish the hundred levels. The real challenge is to do it before the rest, that is, pure “speed runner” philosophy. And there the management that makes Pine Studio is excellent, showing you in real time how you advance or you surpass other players, your rivals.