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29 Sept 2021

REVIEW: Struggling on XBOX One

Review by staff

Struggling is one of the more bizarre games I have ever played, instantly memories of the disgusting failed experiment in the original "The Fly" film comes to mind.

You play as "Troy" a deformed monster created from Hector and Achilles, two heroes who were horribly conjoined, so two separate arms connected to a head. That is your character. Each arm is controlled independently, and to move, you throw one arm out and grab on to a surface, and then drag yourself along. This game can be played as a two-player game, but I played it only in one player mode. And to say the controls take some getting used to is an understatement.

Luckily if one arm is torn off, you can grow it back. This is a physics-based platformer, and you really need to learn the method of movement to progress at all in this game, from within the first moments of play you will be screaming at the game, it is incredibly frustrating, it is a huge "Struggle" I guess.

As you progress through the game, you will go through weird levels, with other deformed creatures, and seemingly impossible obstacles to pass.

Luckily you will also unlock some upgrades to your character, these include slowing down time, which allows you avoid various traps or hazards. You can detach your arms and use them to crawl around, and even use your separated body parts to attach to various obstacles which you can then use to complete the level.

Now let me make one thing very clear, this game is tough, very, very tough, at no point do you ever feel totally comfortable with the control system, but I guess that is the point, it is called "Struggling" for a reason. The game will drive you made, but when you do eventually overcome that seemingly impossible chasm or obstacle, there is a strong feeling of accomplishment.

The graphics are all hand drawn and disgusting, the soundtrack is surprisingly good, clearly some time has been taken to really match the music to the gameplay.

The Good
If you enjoy really challenging physics-based puzzle games, then this is about as challenging as you can get. With the hand drawn graphics and great soundtrack, this is all very impressive, and you can tell a lot of work was put in.

The Bad
You will never get used to the controls, and you will be forever shouting at the screen. The fear is that people will just give up when they realise how hard it is.

As challenging, physics-based platformers go, this is one of the better ones in recent times. Frustratingly hard at times, but a good challenge should never be a bad thing.

I score the game a strong 7/10

Review by staff

Out now on Playstation and Xbox

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