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It's like Meat Boy and Sonic had a baby

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If you sit down with the people promoting Fenix Rage, that's what they say: it's like if Meat Boy and Sonic got together and produced offpsring

And yeah, sure, if you look at Fenix, the main character in Fenix Rage, he really does kinda look that way, small and stocky but also fierce and spiky. There are also the similarities in terms of speed and accuracy of control.

I played the game at a demo last week, and here's the thing about Fenix Rage. It's hard, but in a fun way, very much in the tradition of the best PC platformers of today, like Spelunky or Super Meat Boy. You try to get from one end of the level to another without getting killed. If you do get killed, you go straight back the beginning and start again.

There was a time when this sort of punishing mechanic would have been frowned upon, but in games like this, where precision is entirely the point of the puzzle, it is absolutely central.

fenix rage

Fenix has basic run and jump moves as well as wall jumps and boost dash, but as you find out early in the game, the creature can also jump without limits, in the air. When you are surrounded by bad things, this makes for a really interesting exercise in careful control.

The game is designed with that hook of making you really want to complete each level, and master each obstacle within the levels. There are also cookies (the eatin' kind) to be picked up as bonuses. Many levels will have very specific mechanical devices, like portals, that add to the variety.

Dying repeatedly is fine, it's all part of the fun of figuring out how to defeat the patterns, how to solve the puzzle of getting from A to B with as little grief as possible.

fenix rage

There are nine worlds in this game, with 20 levels in each, as well as prototype levels, arcade games and special challenges like a God mode in which the tables are turned on your enemies, but the problem of killing them all within an allotted time is not an easy one.

Fenix Rage (Windows PC) from Green Lava will be out on Sept. 24 for $14.99.